About Patrick

Patrick EasterThe son of a colonial police officer, Patrick was born in Cyprus at the tail end of 1943 and lived there until the age of 12, when he was sent ‘home’ to school in England. The cold and rain which greeted him was in stark contrast to the sunshine and the beach where his life had, until that moment, been largely spent. It was to be many years before he could begin to think of England, rather than Cyprus, as his home.

With the outbreak of the EOKA troubles in 1956, life was to change quite radically. The free and easy life the family had known was now to disappear and they were compelled to live behind rolls of barbed wire and travel everywhere with an armed escort. Patrick’s father was, for a time, at the top of the EOKA ‘hit list’ and he carried a loaded firearm wherever he went.

At 19 Patrick joined the Metropolitan Police in London and three years later went onto the river. In those days, the patrol launches were wooden (rather than fibreglass) and the back of the cabin was open to the elements save for what was called a ‘dodger’ – a canvas sheet strung across the back of the cabin so the crew could dodge the rain and the wind-borne spray that regularly soaked them. The uniform greatcoat was an extraordinarily heavy garment which, while designed for warmth, would most certainly have drowned anyone falling overboard. Lifejackets were, unfortunately, still a long way in the future.

The headquarters of Thames Division, the Metropolitan Police (now known as the Marine Support Unit) was, and remains, at 259 Wapping New Stairs – the same address from which Tom Pascoe and Sam Hart used to leave and return in the exercise of their duties. By the middle of the 20th Century, much of the crime that Tom Pascoe had to deal with had disappeared, along with the river traffic. Even the docks were a shadow of their former selves and although long strings of lighters continued to go up and down the river, their day had passed as trade moved down river to Tilbury. In their place came the colliers with fuel for the power stations, the small coastal vessels from Holland and Germany and, of course,
20130208_43the pleasure traffic, each bringing its own problems and solutions.

Patrick finally left the river on promotion and finished his service at New Scotland Yard  with a policy portfolio that included – yes, you’ve guessed it – Thames Division. On leaving the police service in 1994, he became a journalist chasing deadlines for technical magazines and articles in national newspapers. He still writes, full time, but now concentrates on his novels. He lives in Sussex with his wife and a Boxer dog, working out of a Victorian pump-house, complete with its own well and pumping machinery, in the grounds of his home.

© 2010 Patrick Easter – All rights reserved.