THE latest acquisition by Warrington Police Museum – a prestigious mannequin – spent almost two years “stranded” in a Shanghai warehouse, before making its long journey via California and Texas to its current home.

Museum Deputy Manager Len Cotterell and Force Diversity and Inclusion officer Sgt Gerard Gigg wanted the museum to reflect the different ethnic communities in the county and the Force.

They decided to source a mannequin to represent Ken Grosvenor who was the first black officer in Cheshire, and one of the first in the British Police.

Ken, who was born in Barbados in 1941 came to the UK in 1961 to work in the NHS and later served in the Army. He joined Cheshire Police and PC 981 on 7th February 1971 and was posted at Crewe. In 1976 he joined CID at Crewe as a Detective Constable and stayed until 1985 when he returned to Barbados as Head of Security in the hotel industry. In 1990 he returned to the UK and re-joined Cheshire Constabulary as a Civilian Scenes of Crime Officer until retirement in 2005.

So once the decision was made to honour Ken, Len had to source a suitable mannequin. He wanted a high-quality Black African model with detailed features of the same quality as the existing mannequins in the museum.

After hours searching on the Internet, he found an American company called Yanks Mannequins, which serves the Military Museums in the USA.

“Fortunately,” said Len, “they had branches in France. But unfortunately, when I researched the French ones didn’t do Black African mannequins.”

Len had to order the mannequin from California and to plan its journey to the UK, the project was jointly funded by the museum and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.

But then the plan hit a snag…..

It was bought prior to severe Covid lockdowns, and was “detained” in a Shanghai warehouse during Covid lockdowns.

Eventually it was transported via Chicago and Len was able to collect the prestigious mannequin from Liverpool on October 5.

“It was a very difficult task, “said Len, “we looked for an alternative, but this one is special with great details of the facial features and fingers and fingernails – others didn’t have the same detail.

“There are many more black mannequins in the USA as the population is more diverse. Many are displayed in Military museums.”

Now the mannequin is displayed in the museum, dressed in the correct uniform of 1971 with Ken’s collar number. It is there just in time to mark Black History Month.

Len said: “It was a challenging project, but it’s great to think we are representing the whole of the Cheshire community.”