A BRADFORD police officer who completed more than 40 years’ active service was invited to City Hall yesterday after turning his hand to writing.

Joseph Barker Wilson QPM, 70, retired from West Yorkshire Police ten years ago.

He has spent the last few years putting together a book documenting police stations in Bradford over the last 170 years.

The book – The Former Police Stations of Bradford, 1847 to 1974 – is a photographic and informative look back on Bradford City Police, before it was merged into West Yorkshire Police.

The book is now available to buy in the Bradford Police Museum, and to mark its release Mr Wilson travelled to City Hall for a civic reception with the Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Geoff Reid, followed by a tour of the building.

Mr Wilson received the Queen’s Police Medal in 1992 for distinguished service, and decided to write the book when the Police Museum opened in 2014.

He said: “In the 1980s one of my colleagues was a photographer, and on a day off we went around taking photos of the old police stations that were still standing, and since my father and grandfather were both police officers I had all this information about the stations.

“He told me to write it all down, and I did nothing with it for 30 years until now.”

Many police stations were ‘auxiliary stations’ based in churches during World War II, and have now been demolished.

The Lord Mayor, a councillor for Eccleshill, said it was a pleasure to welcome Mr Wilson to City Hall.

He said: “Congratulations to Mr Wilson on producing this piece of history, it enables us to flag up a tourist attraction at the heart of the city and in the bowels of City Hall. I was especially glad to see Eccleshill has always been a significant location on the police map.”

One of the groups which helped Mr Wilson put his book together was the Laisterdyke History Group, which provided some of the photos featured in the book.

Susan Brook from the group said: “We dug out a picture of Greenhill Methodist Church for him, which used to be an auxiliary station, but has since been flattened and replaced by Eccleshill Library.

“It’s a very informative read and is very interesting, and shows all the different buildings which were used as police stations during the war.”

Mr Wilson said he hoped the book would serve as a reminder of the bygone days of policing in Bradford. “I hope it will keep the memory of these old places and the people who served in them alive.”