Recollections of life in the Cumbria Police Force

The speaker at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Kendal on 14th December was one of its own members, Past President Les Thompson,  who had just celebrated his 90th birthday and to mark the occasion gave some of his recollections of his life and work in the Cumbria Police Force.

Leaving school at the age of 14, he initially worked on the railways and various labouring jobs before eventually joining the force in 1946 and worked his way up to become a Superintendant before his retirement.

Les was a highly respected officer and was well known in Kendal and around the area.

The Samaritans

The speaker at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Kendal on December 7th was Carl Mantel from the ’The Samaritans’, who gave a presentation explaining their work and vision.

He is based at the Lancaster Branch, one of 201 situated around the country from London to Orkney, and explained their mission statement ‘that fewer people die by suicide’.

The Samaritans Values are ‘Listening, Confidentially, People making their own decisions, Non judgemental and Human contact’. They are open 24hours a day providing emotional support and receive a phone call about every six seconds.


The speaker at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Kendal on 30th November was Nick Cox, who gave a fascinating and humorous illustrated account of his experiences living and working in Antarctica. 

He began by giving a brief history of both the Arctic and Antarctica and how Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton created an indelible legacy for polar travel. Having spent some years living on the driest place on earth - there is more rainfall in the Sahara – and with temperatures well below freezing he gave first hand examples of the dangers involved, including polar bears, gale force winds and crevasses to name but a few.