English Welsh



Article submitted by Phil Hopkins
While enjoying a visit to the Royal Welsh Show in July, I met Superintendent Robin Mason (Divisional Commander for Ceredigion and Powys). During our conversation, he reminded me that over 20 years ago I sold him the Red Kite pin badge (see below) which he was proudly wearing. I shared with him the story of the Red Kite badge.
Many, if not most of you, will have been serving in 1993 and will recall that that year was the silver anniversary of the formation of the Dyfed Powys Police (1st April 1968).  The Chief Constable at the time, Mr Ray White wanted to recognise the occasion and suggested that the force raised a total of £25,000 to be given to charity.  He set each division - eight at that time - the target of £3,000 with the outstanding £1,000 the target of Headquarters.
At the time I was stationed at Welshpool and came up with the idea of the sale of pin badges.  I had attended several Police Federation conferences and City of London Police federation representatives were at every one selling Rupert the Bear pin badges - they came up with a different design every year and raised thousands of pounds which was used to provide holidays for dependants of murdered and injured RUC officers.
I chose the design of the Red Kite as it is the logo of Powys County Council, easily recognisable and associated with Powys.  With the assistance of Barrie Beynon of the Force Finance Department, I secured an interest free loan which enabled me to pay for the manufacture of 500 badges.  This cost in the region of £300 and the badges retailed at £1 each, making a profit of around £200 on the first batch, which sold like hot cakes.  After a couple of similar orders, I was able to repay the loan and pay for the badges out of the profit generated from the sales of the badges. Subsequent orders were slightly cheaper as the mould had already been cast and so the profit margin was a little higher.
The Chair of the Police Authority at the time was County Councillor Marilyn Roberts from Brecon, who was very supportive of the police.  She helped me sell several badges, selling them to people she came into contact with in her council and Police Authority duties (you didn't say no to Councillor Roberts)!
I also developed a contact with Reception staff at Powys County Hall in Llandrindod Wells where the badges were displayed for sale.  
The charity which I chose was Hope House children's hospice, based in Oswestry (above), which also catered for children in Mid Wales.  During the year, the sale of badges raised in the region of £1,000. I continued to sell the badges for another three or four years which raised around another £1,000 for Hope House.  Then with the demand for the badges falling, I passed the responsibility onto my contact at Llandrindod Wells, as there would still be a demand, albeit small, at County Hall.
The Red Kite badges travelled all over the force area, so if any of you are in possession of one, you now know the story of it.