Matlock’s mounted Special Constable

Gerald Flletcher of Matlock, on his horse "Bess" in the 1950s.
Gerald Flletcher of Matlock, on his horse "Bess" in the 1950s.

For many years Gerald Fletcher was a well known figure in Matlock.

He owned a butchers shop on Bank Road and during his spare time he was a Special Constable.

Mr Fletcher was a distinctive figure and through his love of horses he carried out many duties on horseback.

His daughter Audrey Lambeth, who sent in the photograph, said it was claimed he was the only mounted Special in the country.

He was regularly seen at town events astride his favourite ‘Bess’, pictured here.

Sadly, Bess died following a tragic accident reported on the front page of the Mercury.

The article, printed on August 27 1955, read: “Matlock and district residents will be sorry to hear that Bess the handsome light grey hunter which provided such an impressive mount for Special Constable Gerald Fletcher at many local events has recently met with a fatal accident.

“She was turned out to grass with another mare belonging to Mr England, a Heage farmer who found her dead in the field one morning with a severe head wound, which suggested she had been kicked on the head by her playmate.”

Such was the depth of feeling at that time the then Duke of Devonshire generously offered a replacement steed.