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  • Metropolitan whistles.

    Hey everyone,

    Strange question, perhaps, but does the metropolitan whistle (Bobby's whistle), come with a whistle-pea? Or is it just a tube of metal with holes in it and a ring for a chain and nothing else?
    "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" - Admiral David Farragut.

  • #2
    Hi Shangas. I'm the proud owner of an 1888 Metropolitan Police Whistle which came to me with a provenance that it was given to an East End family by a serving PC from another Division who was lodging with them through the Ripper enquiry. It has no pea but two chambers.

    PHILIP
    Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd.

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    • #3
      Philip, a question : in the City, the PCs didn't have whistles. However, Morris had one and blew his.

      If this situation held with other night watchmen, then I take it that if you were a City PC and you heard a whistle, you knew that some night watchman in the City was summoning you.

      In the Met, the PCs had whistles. But did the night watchmen in Met territory also have them?

      I'm curious as to whether various alarm calls from various sources were uniquely identifiable.

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      • #4
        I've got one too -hang on will get a pic sorted! No pea tho!
        Suz x
        'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'

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        • #5
          Then you had better go for a pea, Hanney!

          HSQ, MA

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Robert View Post
            I take it that if you were a City PC and you heard a whistle, you knew that some night watchman in the City was summoning you.

            [...]

            I'm curious as to whether various alarm calls from various sources were uniquely identifiable.
            Hi Robert,

            Morris was a retired constable and still had his whistle. It wasn't a standard possession of a night watchman.

            It wasn't that you heard a certain sound and knew a certain kind of person was calling for help, it's just that the whistles (and in the City, the rattles) were known to be signals for help and any constable who heard it would respond.

            Dan Norder
            Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
            Web site: www.RipperNotes.com - Email: dannorder@gmail.com

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            • #7
              Hi Dan

              Right, thanks. I didn't realise that Morris had kept his whistle from his police days.

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              • #8
                So the famous Met Whistle is a two-chambered pealess whistle, right?

                In that case I think I may be able to buy one. I've wanted one for a while and I spotted one at the flea-market last week. I shall return there and see if I can grab hold of it...I think they're interesting whistles with a very unique and identifiable sound.
                "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" - Admiral David Farragut.

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                • #9
                  No pics of these whistles anyone ?

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                  • #10
                    This is what a Metropolitan whistle looks like:

                    "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" - Admiral David Farragut.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Shangas.
                      Do you know what the inscription is on the main part of the whistle by any chance ?

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                      • #12
                        No, sorry.

                        The whistles were created in the 1870s, I believe. Before that, bobbies used rattles. The inventor got the idea for the whistle after he dropped his violin and broke it, apparently. The vibrating strings let out a sound in E or Eb or something like that, and he decided that it would be an excellent tone for a police-whistle. Loud, far-carrying and distinct.

                        If you want to hear what a Met whistle sounds like, watch "Casablanca". There's at least two times in the film where a Met whistle is blown.
                        "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" - Admiral David Farragut.

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                        • #13
                          An interesting link

                          On the subject of whistles.

                          Code:
                          http://www.constabulary.com/faqs/w-faq.htm
                          Not trying to be a smart arse here just hoping that this will prompt some more information on the matter.

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                          • #14
                            Whistles for the London Met and many other police forces worldwide were, and are, made by J Hudson & Co Ltd, Birmingham, England. Their trade-name is 'Acme' (there's original). They are also official makers of referee's whistles for the FA, the Rugby Union, and other similar sporting bodies around the world. The company was founded in the second half of the 19th century, and I believe still trades out of its original premises.

                            Graham
                            We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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                            • #15
                              And another

                              This gives issuance dates for the Met. I find it interesting that the night shift are two years behind the day shift.

                              Code:
                              http://www.fomphc.org.uk/faq.php?cat_id=6&rowstart=90
                              The question for me would be what was the situation as regards the city police.

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