The Adventures of PC 49

Brian Reece as PC 49 & Joy Shelton as Joan
Created specifically for radio by Alan Stranks, PC 49 (Police Constable Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby) was an ordinary bobby on the beat, solving crime in the late 40s and early 50s. He worked for 'Q' Division of the Metropolitan Police.

The series featured Brian Reece as PC 49, Joy Shelton as his girlfriend Joan Carr (see picture above), Leslie Perrins as Detective Inspector Wilson and Eric Phillips as Detective Sergeant Wright. The producer was Vernon Harris.

A combination of light comedy and sleuthing in a character who also appeared in comic strips and films as spin-offs. The series began in 1947 and lasted until 1953. 112 episodes were made but only two are known to have survived in the BBC Archives. Those, plus a few other surviving episodes and clips, can be listened to here. A full episode list is here.

Click Here! PC 49 Introduction clip
Click Here!Signature Tune
The PC 49 signature tune is called 'Changing Moods' by Ronald Hanmer.

Having been aware of the existence of a fictional PC 49 for some years may I tell you a little bit about my great grandfather A REAL PC49.

His name was James Rapps and he was born in the village of High Littleton, near Bath, in 1836. He left school at the age of 12 and worked in the local coal mine at Timsbury.

In 1872 James followed his two elder brothers Thomas and Clifford and joined the Bristol Constabulary. He was based at Clifton Police Station covering the Clifton and Portway areas. He kept diaries from 1885 to the early 1890s and retired in 1898 and went to live in Bishop Sutton.

I have further information about him compiled by my cousin who was his grandaughter as was my mother. This includes stories of his life as a policeman and his conduct record (not all of it exemplary!) and a photograph of him in uniform with his number 49 in clear view.


Liz Chammings

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