Billy Spiller: Force connects with family of former police officer and sporting legend
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Last year, our Heritage Centre produced a booklet charting the life of Billy Spiller, a Glamorgan police officer of 32 years and gifted sportsman who achieved legendary status in the early twentieth century as a rugby international with Wales and as a first-class cricketer with Glamorgan County.
Produced bilingually in Welsh and English, the booklet uses original sources and photographs to help tell Billy’s story and raise awareness of his work as a police officer and his sporting achievements.
Billy Spiller: Policeman and Sportsman
Shortly after it was produced, the booklet caught the attention of the granddaughter of Billy Spiller, Christine Dobson, who later contacted the force’s Heritage Centre.
Throughout this year, Christine and the Heritage Centre team have been in regular contact and yesterday, she and her family visited police headquarters to meet the Chief Constable and to take a tour of the Heritage Centre. During the visit, members of the family were presented with hard copies of the Billy Spiller booklet.
Christine (sat right) and family with the Chief Constable at the force headquarters.
During her visit to police headquarters, Christine said:
“We really enjoyed our visit to police headquarters today and especially enjoyed seeing the Heritage Centre. We were very impressed with the research carried out on my grandfather, who was such a character and a lovely man, who is still greatly missed.”
The family take a tour of the force’s Heritage Centre with former South Wales Police Chief Officer and co-producer of the Billy Spiller booklet, Gareth Madge.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan added:
“A good story can bring people together in ways they couldn’t have previously imagined, and Billy Spiller’s has done just that. I was delighted to meet Christine and the family yesterday, and to hear her memories of her grandfather.
It’s important that we share our heritage and the exceptional stories like Billy’s, because as we’ve seen today, they have the potential to help us engage more closely with communities and service families.”
The booklet was co-produced by former South Wales Police Chief Officer, Gareth Madge, who today supports the Heritage Centre in a voluntary capacity. Mr Madge was present during today’s visit and said:
“It has been a real delight to help develop the story of Billy Spiller, and a pleasure to have met the family at Police HQ.
This was an extremely fascinating project to be a part of, and I would like to express my gratitude to those who supported it, especially Andrew Hignell from Glamorgan County Cricket.”