Published: 14/06/2010 09:34 - Updated: 14/06/2010 09:36

Co-founder of BoS dies

Bryan Constant
Bryan Constant
Private detective, former policeman and co-founder of Bedfordshire on Sunday, Bryan Constant has died after losing his battle with motor neurone disease.
 
Bryan, 82, who died in the early hours of Tuesday morning, established BoS in 1977 alongside Frank Branston and Bob Elford, who both passed away last year.
 
The trio all financially contributed to the newspaper and while Mr Branston was responsible for the editorial content, Bryan  took the photographs in the early years.
 
He was born in London in 1927 before moving to Biggleswade at the age of three.
 
After attending Rose Lane School and being involved with the local Rover Scouts, he was drafted into the Royal Air Force for his National Service and served as a Military Policeman in India, Singapore and Malaysia during the Second World War.
 
After returning to Bedfordshire, Bryan signed up for the police in 1947 and rose to the position of Detective Inspector.
 
He was involved with numerous cases during his 25-year stint in the force including the Hanratty case, the Great Train Robbery and he formed the first ‘Flying Squad’ unit that patrolled the newly opened M1 in 1959.
 
But Bryan’s favourite police story was his involvement in discovering a smuggling ring that involved the speedway racer Split Waterman.
The police had grown suspicious of Waterman’s visits to the continent in his sports car and decided to strip the vehicle down.
 
Having found nothing, Bryan suggested they weighed the vehicle and it was found to be far too heavy.
 
On closer inspection of the chassis, it was discovered that gold had been poured into the car’s shell.
 
Establishing how the gold was melted was the sticking point of the case, but Constant found a link between Split’s partner Avril and a baker in London.
 
Bryan inspected electricity bills of the bakery and saw huge surges of electric use when Split was in the country. A raid of the bakery found traces of gold and confirmed that this is where it was melted down and a conviction followed.
 
After leaving the police force Bryan set up Constant and Co in 1973. He started the business in his spare bedroom before moving into premises in Harpur Street where it remains.
 
Over the years Constant and Co has established itself as a nationwide investigation and bailiff company which also provides High Court enforcement services.
 
Bryan was also appointed as Sheriff’s Officer to Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire by the Lord Chancellor and held the role for 20 years.
Bryan was married to his first wife Margery Hill from 1952 until they split in 1969. He then married Helen in 1970 with whom he remained until his death.
 
Away from work Bryan was a member of the Sharnbrook Community Choir and sang with the group at the Royal Albert Hall.
He had a passion for music and theatre but he loved the news and was always striving to be up to date with the  latest headlines.
 
Bryan’s funeral takes place on Thursday, June 24 at All Saints Church in Riseley.
 
He is survived by Helen, children Gillian, Christine, Neil, step-children Stephen, Lesley, and six grand children.
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