Father and son share policing memories at deserted West Parade station

When the West Parade police station in Lincoln closed last week it signalled the end of an era, particularly for one local family who share more than 50 years of policing memories.

The Lincolnite took a tour of the building on Thursday, November 21 which, after years of daily hustle and bustle, resembled a ghost town with abandoned desks and empty custody suites.

Known by many locals as the ‘Ryvita building’, its future is yet to be decided by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Myers, 51, joined the force in 1990 and is due to retire in June 2020 after spending his final months with police at the £21 million joint ambulance, fire and police station this summer on South Park – where former West Parade staff now reside.

Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

His father Walter Myers, 82, worked in CID after joining the force in 1961. He was previously based at Sessions House on Monks Road before moving to West Parade.

Walter was one of the first staff to move into the West Parade building when it opened in October 1975, and fondly recalls the family feeling at both bases.

Lincoln Police Station on West Parade was opened in October 1975. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Inside Lincoln Police Station. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

‘Like a big family’

Walter Myers joined Lincolnshire Police in 1961. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Walter told The Lincolnite: “We dreaded leaving Sessions House and coming here as it was good and homely. Some people liked moving at the time, but I thought it was better here. It was like a big family.

“Being here brings back a lot of memories. We had some good times and we had a good social club, which they haven’t got now.

The custody suite at Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“It’s more efficient with the gear they’ve got now to what we had. When we first got a personal radio we had one which we spoke into and another in our ear, I could never cope with all this technology.

“When I started if you took somebody’s fingerprints, the bloke used to go down on a motorbike to Scotland Yard and have them checked out. Now he (Paul) can do it from his desk.”

The cells in the custody suite. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Inside a cell. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Following in father’s footsteps

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Myers joined the force in 1990. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Paul, who previously working as a plumbing and heating engineer, said: “I have a lot of happy memories here. My father was here before me so I used to come here as a child back in the old days when it was a real family friendly environment. I used to come and use the gymnasium and play pool and use the canteen, so I go back 44 years in this building.

“It is happy, busy, with a lot of people working together as a team facing a lot of challenges, but this place invokes a lot of views. Some people don’t like what it looks like, but I’ve always loved it here.

An interview room. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

This was used as the old force control room at West Parade until the late 1990s. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“It’s got heart to it and it’s where I feel I’m at home and it’s where I’ve spent most of my life. When I started my dad had already retired, but there were a lot of people that knew him, so that was a nice connection.

“It’s the end of an area. This building has been part of not only our lives, but lots of other officers and the community as well. Anyone that’s lived within a few 100 yards of this building has known a lot of people that have worked here, people would socialise with us and come up to the social club, that’s how it was when I started.”

Paul was lucky enough to take on his dad’s collar number from his days in the force. Walter’s collar number used to be 90 at the Lincoln City force and when it amalgamated with Lincoln County and Grimsby it became 1190.

Paul also met his wife Emma at the coffee machine at Lincoln Police Station. She retired last year after working as a Detective Inspector in the Public Protection Unit.

The car park at Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The building belongs to the office of the Lincolnshire Police Crime Commissioner. It officially closed to the public on November 17 with more services wound down in the coming weeks, and police are expected to be fully moved out by early December.

Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones previously commissioned a group of local businesses – Investors in Lincoln — to do a feasibility study on the options for the building.

See the rest of our gallery inside the station:

Inside the TEO (town enquiry office) at Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The cell call system. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

This was one of the popular desks in the office due to its Cathedral views. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Police lockers. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The custody suite. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The holding cell at the police station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Inside the holding cell. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Inside Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincnolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln Police Station on West Parade is now closed to the public. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Outside Lincoln Police Station on West Parade. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite