I have held back these last images from the Open Day as the Air Force Police Dogs have always had a special place in my affections.
When we lived in Blackpool, my father was involved in the RAF recruitment and he had the dog handlers do their stuff at local football matches. The game at Blackburn was called off as the pitch was flooded, but otherwise I got into the the terraces for free at Blackpool and Preston North End. The Preston game was one of their more crushing defeats, things had not been going their way and the number at the game in 1973 was the lowest on record. After that game, Alan Ball Senior was booted out as manager. I think they were definitely relegated as a result of that game. However, Burnley - you win as the team that knew how to treat a teenager disinterested in football. I got a seat in the director's box with heating gushing out on my poor cold feet. The pre, half-time and post game refreshments were also much appreciated. Getting a little drunk on free hospitality helped me get more involved in the game!
After the Blackpool game, I think, my father entertained the dog handlers at our house. They were very friendly and charming to Seamus, our boxer. They also let him have some beer which he enjoyed immensely. After a while the poor dog was, to say the least, a little uncertain on his paws. The next day he was in a sorry state, definitely hung over. I don't recall if he had the hair of the human to help him get over it.
I apologise for the very poor quality of these last images. I had to crop them as the action was some way from the camera. The first is where the dog captures the "felon" biting his arm (which was well wrapped in padded sacking), the second is the end of that phase of the exhibition. The third and fourth are shots of a white haired alsatian that was part of the dog team, and the fifth is of the MP cycling away with a dog on his back. I don't suppose the dog handlers have changed the routine much since the 60s. There's not much need to.