We have just been kindly provided with these five old photographs by Richard Lee, with the assistance of Martin Buckley who scanned them for us. 

As you can see, they are old photos of "bobbies" directing traffic at Heyl's Corner on Front Street in Hamilton who were said to be the most photographed police officers in the world at the height of Bermuda's tourism days,  These were all taken before the "Birdcage", designed by the aptly named then City Engineer, Mr. Geoffrey Bird" was installed at Heyl's Corner to provide some much needed shade.   You can read more about the history of the birdcage in our article "Bobbies in the Birdcage) at http://expobermuda.com/index.php/articles/219-bobbiesinbirdcage

 So why are we displaying these photos in our "Who, Where and When" column when we know there is almost no chance that any of our readers will be able to help us identify the individual officers, or tell us exactly when they were taken although an educated guess might be able to narrow down the timeframe?

There are two reasons for doing so:-

  1. We wonder how much information you can deduce from the photos.  For example, can you pick out any of the buildings, including the tower-like structure way in the didtance in photos 1 and 2.  Can you recall the time when No 1 Shed was a shed in the days before containerization?  What are the dark marks on the street in several photos?   and
  2. Did you ever direct traffic at the birdcage? If so, would you have any photos of yourself in action, and can you provide us with any of your own personal recollections of time spent answering endless questions from tourists.  We have just added these five photos to our collection in "Bobbies in the Birdcage"

One police officer who will forever be associated with directing traffic at the birdcage is The Late Inspector Hubert Simmons  (see article on Hubert in our Hall of Fame at http://expobermuda.com/index.php/hof2/342-hubertsimmons  Hubert was said to direct traffic as though he was conducting an orchestra, and both visitors and resident would stop to admire his performances.   One young lady was so impressed she married him!  We are hoping that one of these we will uncover a first class photo of Hubert in action for our collection.

Photo 1
Photo 2 
Photo 3


Photo 4
Photo 5




#7 Terry 2017-05-18 16:18
And just for all you know it all's info the only reason why the "wee platform" was north on Front Street was because the damn Train ran in front of it................................................

Editors note - It was also at the time when Queen Street was two-way.
#6 Terry 2017-05-18 16:14
Photo 3 is Reid and Queen looking east.
#5 Terry 2017-05-16 15:39
Queen looking east along Reid.
#4 Davie Kerr 2017-05-15 17:59
Fair enough: I go for Reid Street because a) the tower top R in Pic 3 is I think the same as the one top L in Pic 1, and b) all the pics except 3 have the Bobby standing on a wee platform instead of the middle of the street.
#3 Davie Kerr 2017-05-15 13:27
Hang on, let's sort this out. Mike agrees with me that Pic 3 is Reid Street looking E from Queen, while Roger agrees with Mike that it's Queen looking N from Front: SOMEbody's got it wrong!
And, re the comment that "Back then Front Street was all horseshit and flies", nowadays it seems to be "all bullshit and cockroaches"!

Editors note - Good one Davie re the bullshit and cockroaches! Sorry about getting things a little mixed up. Don't want to muddy the waters but I tend to think that photo 3 is taken from Front Street looking up Queen Street because one can see what I believe to be the Bermuda Bookstore building on the left, and then Riihiluoma's. Will try to find photos looking up Reid Street from the junction with Queen St. to compare the two.
#2 mike cherry 2017-05-14 11:26
I tend to agree with Davie that photo 3 is Reid St looking east from Queen St junction. The blurred tower like structure used to be on the Bank of Butterfield building at Burnaby St junction.
Photos 1 and 2 are Front St looking east and the tower used to be on what is now the Mercury Bldg. The dark marks are the old train tracks and horse droppings which apparently stayed in place until the next rainfall. Photo 5 buildings are now the Irish Linen Shop, Bookstore, Barbara Finsness store, Flying Colours and Perot Post Office. Point duty there could cause shoe polish to melt. Mike Cherry

Editors note - Many thanks Mike. Fully agree that photo 3 is looking up Queen Streer from Heyl's Corner. Your comment about the horse droppings reminds me of a blunt comment made by my wife's grandmother when we were waxing eloquent about the good old days in Hamilton. She put us straight when she wrly retorted, "Back then Front Street was all horse shit and flies!"
#1 Davie Kerr 2017-05-13 17:05
Would Pic 3 be looking E up Reid Street?

Editors note - Yes, that's the view from Heyl's Corner looking up Queen Street from Front Street. When this was taken Queen Street was two-way.

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