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  • Behind the Blue Lamp

4. ST. JOHN'S WOOD POLICE STATION

In 1849 the Metropolitan Police leased land on which Portland Town Police Station was built at a cost of £2,655. It was part of S Division (Hampstead), with five sergeants and 62 constables attached to the station. Portland Town was a charging station, and cells for the detention of prisoners were attached. The station had been connected to the private wire network so contact could be maintained with Scotland Yard; its call sign was Papa Tango (PT).


At the beginning of the First World War Portland Town Police Station was the home to a Company of the S Division Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary (MPSC). They were a dedicated band of men who helped to fill the void left by departing police officers who had joined the colours to fight. Although not fitted with uniforms until 1916, many of the Special Constabulary wore a duty armlet on their own plain clothes until that time. The picture above, taken in the yard at Portland Town, shows the supervising officers of the station’s Special Constabulary.


In August 1918 Portland Town Police Station was renamed St. John's Wood.


In 2013 the station was vacated and put up for sale, selling a year later for £8,555,555 to a property developer who has converted the site into residential flats.


Information taken from the new book BEHIND THE BLUE LAMP. Click here to learn more.




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