At the July meeting Liz Johnson was acting President as Judith Walker was away on holiday. Liz reminded us of forthcoming events. There is to be a barbecue on July 27th at Dove Close by kind permission of Ann and John "Huntifar". The Craft Exhibition is September 1st open to all villagers. The Barford Group meeting is at Shrewley Village Hall on September 24th.
Our speaker for the evening was Ray Alan, whose talk was entitled "Busts I Have Known". The intriguing title was explained by Alan who, it was revealed, is a retired member of the Warwickshire Drug Squad. Alan served in the police for 17 years and then as a plain clothes policeman in the CID. Before retirement, he served 7 years in the drug squad. He went on to explain that "bust" is a word used to describe the arrest of a criminal. He covered a very wide area including Kenilworth, Stratford, Studley, Shipston, Warwick and Southam. The Squad consisted of Alan and one other. There is now no separate drug squad in Warwickshire as the duties are incorporated into normal police routine. In Alan`s time, there was no specific budget for them, so although everything was supposed to be very low key, they were issued with a very old car, the colour of which was bright green.
The drugs they were looking for were mainly cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. Users have many ways of using their drugs and of concealing them. Some examples were a biro, a small keyring and a belt buckle, all of which, could be converted into pipes for smoking cannabis! One user`s false teeth were removed and proved positive for cannabis. He didn`t get his teeth back until he pleaded guilty. Some single mums, who were drug dealers, would hide the drugs in tea and coffee tins and even under the mattress of their baby`s cot. The baby of a drug addict mother would be born addicted and have to be weaned off the drug. Alan showed us photos of cannabis plants, which can take many forms and be very beautiful plants. In the process of "busting" cannabis plant growers he would inhale the fumes. Cannabis has been proved helpful to MS sufferers. In tracking down those involved in the illegal use of drugs, members of the public were relied on for giving helpful information . Although having been retired now for 17 years, Alan`s talk revealed his fascination for the job.
We don`t meet in August, so the next meeting will be
September 11th, the speaker has yet to be arranged. On October 9th, the speaker is Gillian White, who will tell us about "Mary Queen of Scots"