Published in Windlesora 27 (2011)
Few people realize that The Parade in Clarence Road on the corner of Parsonage Lane used to be the Clewer County Police Station. It was built in 1879 to replace a smaller police station near the Duke of Edinburgh PH. Clarence Road was then called New Road and to the right of the Police Station was St Augustine’s Home for Boys, one of the Clewer Sisters’ establishments. This has now been replaced by a petrol station.
In 1881 George Blake, Superintendent of Police, was in charge. He lived there with his seven children between the ages of four and twenty. He was a widower. There were also two constables and their families living in.
By 1891 George Blake had re-married and a multitude of children, grandchildren, and stepchildren occupied the station house, as well as a constable with a growing family, altogether 14 people, there hardly could have been room for the prisoners.
Today there are still three prison cells, which were later converted into cold storage and freezers for the butcher’s shop, but there may have been more. The cell inmates would have been short-term residents, waiting for the magistrate to either convict them with a fine, dismiss them, or send them to Reading Gaol to be tried at the next Quarter Session or Assizes.
By 1901 Solomon Borlace was superintendent, and two constables Ruben Earl and Theophilus Pucton, and their families lived in, but there were another 13 constables and two sergeants working in Clewer. At the same time, Windsor Borough Police Station in Sheet Street had 20 policemen working under Head Constable Nicholls.
Windsor Police Station moved to its new premises in St Leonard’s Road in 1907, but the Clewer station continued in New Road / Clarence Road under Superintendent Edmund Holding who had two inspectors, two sergeants and 21 constables working for him. Harry Jannaway was the last Superintendent, he handed over to Sergeant Edward J Elliott during the mid-1920s before they were amalgamated with the Windsor Police.
Par tof the Police Station became a butcher’s shop first owned by the Pridmore brothers, then by D A Dadley, and latterly by T Salway & Sons. The cells which had been converted to freezers and cold storage, are being restored for a new Thai food shop.