Enquiries ranging from what did my great great-grandad do in the force, to what’s the exact shade of police station blue, are all in a day’s work for Will Brown.

Retired Detective Superintendent Will had been researcher at the Museum of Policing in Cheshire since 2015. He took over the role from ex-Special Branch officer Jim Talbot.

And Will has a special date with The Mayor of Warrington Cllr Jean Flaherty when he is guest speaker at one of her Heritage Breakfast events.

He will give a talk on the history and development of Policing in Warrington at the Town Hall on Friday April 28 from 9.30 to 11am. Tickets cost £10.95 and include a light breakfast.

Prior to Will taking over as researcher, he says Jim had gathered records from Cheshire County Archives in Chester.  This included dismissals, resignations, retirements and disciplinary issues from Cheshire and the eight smaller forces which amalgamated into Cheshire Constabulary.

Warrington Borough Police records were recovered from Warrington Library. In total a database of 15,000 names was created.

In 2010, Jim started doing family history research for people. Will continues this, and he personally expects to have dealt with 500 enquiries from when he started to the end of this year.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from working at the museum,” said Will. “When you give people information about a relative, they are pleased. They are particularly grateful if you find a picture of their relative, that gives them a lot of pleasure.”

Most enquiries are about family history. But there are enquiries from local history groups and people interested in old police stations and police history.

“Some years ago, there was an enquiry about an old police station in Cheadle Hulme which had been converted into apartments. Someone wanted to paint their front door in the traditional blue colour – so they made enquiries about the colour shade and reference number of the paint,” said Will

Enquiries cover the history of police stations, such as the one in Tarporley from about 1909 which was converted to a private house in the 1980s. In Oakmere the old police HQ which has been converted to an apartment block, is also of historical interest.

The Warrington-based Museum has an extensive database of Force Orders from Cheshire from 1857 onwards.

Will has to sometimes exercise a degree of tact if there is something of concern, such as dismissal or drunkenness, in an officer’s past. But at the end of the day, he says “you cannot re-write history.”

Will joined Cheshire Constabulary in 1961 as a cadet, and became a PC in 1964.  He served throughout the county mainly in CID and related areas such as drugs and serious crime. He became a Detective Superintendent at Chester.

After retirement in 1993, he went into security for a multinational company until 2010.

Enquiries to Will are made through the website. If there is enough information available for a full report there is a fee of £25.

He said: “Most people are complementary when they receive information and are satisfied with what they get. It gives me a boost and a feeling of satisfaction and I’m happy that I’ve been able to help them with their search for information on family history.”