A FORMER police superintendent who was a renowned ‘bobby on the beat’ has died at the age of 93. 

Leslie Thompson, known as Les by friends and family, was born in Workington on December 10, 1925. He was the second youngest of seven children 

After having lost two brothers during the war – one of whom died at sea – Les tried to sign up to the armed forces but was turned away for apparent medical reasons, he was told it was something to do with his heart.
He pretty much kept this story to himself until after he retired from work because he felt he was handed what he believed, was a ‘shameful death sentence.’ 

Craving to serve his community and the nation in any way possible, at the age of 21, Les joined Cumbria Police where he was issued with a ‘helmet older than himself, a magnificent domed hard-top dating back to the 19th century.’ There he worked for 37 years and climbed the ranks to superintendent before retiring in 1984.

During that time he was the longest-serving policeman in the county and was Kendal’s campaigner for bobbies on the beat – ’a true people’s policeman.’ 

Les was known for his witty jokes and his ‘long’ stories. One which he would tell often was the day he met his wife, Imelda, at a social in Workington when she picked him out from a crowd and the pair immediately bonded over their love of dance. 

Within 12 months, in 1956, the happy couple were married. They went on to have two daughters – Hilary and Christine – and the young family lived in many areas around Cumbria before settling in Kendal, where they lived for nearly 40 years. 

As a family, they loved to travel around the world and explore new sights. Les and Imelda visited America often when Hilary moved and settled in California and they also went as far as Indonesia to visit Christine who lived in Brunei for a time. The Westmorland Gazette:

A keen sportsman who played rugby and cricket for the police as well as football, Les was also a member of Windermere Golf Club. From table tennis to football, there wasn’t a sport he wasn’t keen to try. 

Also known as the ‘go-to-man’, even when he wasn’t in uniform Les was always involved within the community.

In 1979 he joined Kendal Rotary Club, where he was an active member for more than three decades. As well as serving as president, he thrived in the society and made friends with everyone who crossed his path.

Towards the end of his life Les suffered from Alzheimers and he and Imelda moved to Newport Pagnell to be close to Christine. 

A man who read the paper back to front, who filled in the crosswords and made sure his flowers in the garden stood to attention Les was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and will be greatly missed.