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Britain's First Black Police Officer talk & Lock-up tour

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 17:00 to 19:00

This lock-up evening tour includes a one hour talk by retired Cumbrian officer Ray Greenhow on the life and service of John Kent - Britain's first black police officer. John Kent's service with Cumberland Police from 1835 - 1846 pre-dates the 1960s when it was thought that black and Asian police officers were first recruited in the UK. Ray has written a fascinating book on the life on John Kent which will also be for sale at the event.

After the talk, there will be a chance to browse freely around the facility, see our museum display and have a closer look at some of the pictures of the Victorian prisoners once resident there. You can also visit our shop and help support our fundraising.

We are also pleased to have for sale several books about policing, crime and punishment in Birmingham throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Profit from these books all goes towards converting the Lock-up into the new Police Museum.

The Steelhouse Lane Lock-up was in use from 1891 to 2016 and many of the original Victorian features are still present, alongside more modern custody facilities. The Grade II listed building shows how a mini prison operated in a busy city centre for well over a century.

All proceeds from this day will be supporting our fundraising to turn this iconic building into a permanent police museum (with the exception of A Fair Cop - with the money going to Coventry Haven, Black Country Women's Aid and Anawim).

Health and safety:

This tour is for adults only - no under 16s, please.

Please note due to the nature and age of the facility there is currently no access for mobility impaired guests due to the large amounts of steps and lack of a disability access lift.

You are advised to wear suitable and comfortable footwear (e.g. no stiletto heels) as there are three floors to view and some of the landings have small holes which could trap heels. For this reason, short skirts are not advised due to the grilled floors and winding staircases.

Please note that photographs will be taken during these events which could be used as publicity material for the museum in the future and may, therefore, be published on social media.

For security reasons, a bag search will be required prior to entry.

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