Blackpool, the northern English seaside resort, went into mass mourning today (Thursday) as 100,000 people paid their last respects to a young police chief gunned to death during a jewel robbery on Monday.
GTV & SV PAN wreaths and flowers at Richardson's home
SV Richardson's widow
GV & MV Cortege past crowds in street (3 shots)
GV Flag on tower at half-mast
GTV ZOOM OUT TO LV Procession approaching
TV & SV Crowds outside church (2 shots)
SV Coffin carried by eight policemen
MV & TV Widow and relatives following into church
GV Coffin lowered into grave
MV Widow weeping
Initials OS/051 OS/102
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Blackpool, the northern English seaside resort, went into mass mourning today (Thursday) as 100,000 people paid their last respects to a young police chief gunned to death during a jewel robbery on Monday.
Superintendent Gerald Richardson, head of Blackpool police is the highest-ranking police officer to be shot and killed on duty in Britain. He was 38.
The shot was fired as he attempted to arrest men escaping after a 50,000 sterling (120, 000 dollar) jewel shop raid. Three men were taken into custody immediately after the robbery, and a fourth was arrested today. A nation-wide hunt continues for a fifth man wanted for questioning.
This film, telerecorded from the British Broadcasting Corporation, has a spoken commentary by BBC reporter Tony Gubba, which may be used. A transcription appears overpage.
SYNOPSIS: At Superintendent Richardson's home in Oaklands Avenue on Blackpool's north shore the garden and walls were covered with wreaths, wreaths that carried messages of sympathy for his widow Maureen. The procession of family mourner and friends followed a three-mile route the church, a route that took them along Blackpool's famous promenade, where crowd abandoned the holiday beaches to stand in silent tribute to the highest-ranking police officer to be shot and killed on duty in this country. And 500 feet above it all, on top of Blackpool's famous tower, the flag at half-mast.
For the last quarter-mile of the route to the church, the Chief Constable of Lancashire, Mr. William Palfrey, walking ahead, the funeral cortege drove through the ranks of 400 uniformed police men and women. On the pavements the crowds stood ten deep, with 3,000 of them outside the St. John's parish church.
Superintendent Richardson's coffin was carried into the church by eight of his Blackpool police colleagues.
Closely behind, his widow Maureen. Although the church could only hold 1,200 people, the service was relayed over loudspeakers to the crowds outside, crowds who joined in the singing of hymns.