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    My car insurance runs out in under two weeks time, my renewal came through and it's gone up from £324 to £522 despite me having no claims etc.

    I have had to set about looking for alternative car insurance, and in my quest for a more realistic price I have noticed a few strange questions on the insurance application... Are these at all relevant to my driving? You decide....

    What is your marital status? Err, sorry do divorcees drive more or less dangerously than those who are in a civil partnership?

    What is your occupation? Come on guys, do certain occupations attract any form of discounts any more? Pah! I think not, so why ask?

    How many cars are there in your household? May as well as how often do I mow my lawn, as it's just as relevant...

    I have had 4 phone calls from insurance companies today, since I have been on a price comparison website... Aaagh!

  1. Cartoon

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    Has anyone a copy of the cartoon from the October fed police review mag - page 9

    could it be scannned and forwarded onto me at nigel@nkettlewell.freeserve.co.uk

    I have been told it is a little derogatory towards Special Constables & could do with a copy - I hear they are going to print an apology in November's mag.

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    MindTheGap
    Latest Entry

    When people think of 9/11, they think of the towers. The buildings, the planes and the culprits. Rarely do they endeavour into the personal level. Read about 1 of the nearly 3,000 people whose lives were lost, the fathers, the mothers, the daughters, the sons, the uncles and aunties. They mean no disrespect, grief for the event is collective and they cannot possibly grieve for each victim and the gap they leave behind.

    There is one thing I think is disrespectful, and that is conspiracy theorists. They question whether the United States Government of the time deliberately harmed and killed it's own people. They're inconsiderate pigs who refer to anyone who believes the official line of events as a sheep, whereas they are always quoting their 'truth' movement as growing, so tell me - why is it not following the herd to believe in a theory dreamt up by a 19 year old liar? Conspiracy theorists forget that these events (usually 9/11, 7/7 and the like) involve people. They turn up to memorials spouting their opinions based on their personal grievances against the system of government without a second's thought to the feelings of the victim's families. They implied that the police, fire and EMS were all involved on one 9/11 memorial without caring that nearly 500 emergency service workers died on 9/11, and many more died in the years following from exposure to the debris.

    Conspiracy crackpots are insecure children who are rude, inconsiderate and disgusting. They need stopping but they cannot be stopped.

    I'll return to my main point as I did get sidetracked there, people forget the human side. One thing that I believe humanises it are the phone calls from the towers. People trapped above the impact zone's calls for help and final words to 911 or their loved ones. Listening to the phone calls makes it seem real, and less like an event and more like a tragic loss of life.

    God Bless.

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    Well this is my first steps on this "blog" thing so bare with me.

    Well I lost my job on the 1/09/10 so I've been out of work for about 2 months after working full time for 3 years and I think I am going crazy.

    Most days just flow into the next and the next and before I know it there goes another week and I haven't do alot, I am finding it hard to motivate myself to do anything :unsure:

    Theres not much of anything on the job front at the minute so having to sign on down at the job centre :( and to top it all off I've managed to put on the weight I lost to get into the specials :strop::strop:

    My only light at the end of the tunnel is that I come out of training on the Dec 5th for just over a month to go and I can start :)

    My plan for next week is that I am going to start back at the gym and hope this will help me to get motivated before I go out on the beat.

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    Well I'm new to all this blog stuff but have decided it's time to catch up and take part and what better way to do it than to do one about my Special Constable Application?

    ------------------------------

    Well it all started back in the January of 2010. I sent my application off and I recieved a confirmation email on the 23rd January, it was on the :D26th that I recieved an email inviting me to the Assessment Centre at Six Hills Court on the 13th February. It was at this point I became extremely nervous. I'd never really sat anything like this before so read the documents that were attched with the email over and over and over!!

    Very quickly, the 13th February arrived and what a great start to the day, got onto the A1m and was greated by stand still traffic, rang the number that they gave and said to ring with any problems and explained I would be late due to this, my heart was soon put to rest when they told me they were aware of what was happening with the motorway and that there were about 5/6 other people with the

    same issue, phew! Skipping all the boring parts and getting to the main part, it was when I got home that I saw the email saying I'd passed the Assessment Centre stage, WIN!

    Unfortunately, it was at this point the whole process went down hill, I developed an injurt with my knee which I knew would cause me problems but also had things like trying to source a new job going on which put my application further back, infact, my application was put back around 3 times until I was finally able to tell Recruitment I was all sorted and able to continue!

    The next step was my fitness test, this was booked for the 1st July and I passed this also! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, infact it was near enough the same as to what I'd done on the Public Service Course I did at College.

    I never did recieve a confirmation of passing this but we all got told on the day which was quite nice, was only a small group of us also :)

    A month after passing my fitness test, I got a call from Ocupational Health asking me about my on going knee Injury, this again, was the point it took another drop down hill! So off to my GP I went to get a letter confirming my knee wouldn't cause me any issues whilst on Duty. He did a check up on my knee, spoke to my Physiotherapist and the letter was signed :) The knee injurt is still there but it's got a lot better and it now wont cause me any issues! So my Medical was booked for the 16th September at 9am which again, I passed!!

    All going well so far! Got home and an email from Recruitment telling me I'd passed, and an invite to another fitness test because the last one is outside the 8 week border before a start date. I was kind of annoyed at this but then after some of the kind members on here explaining why, I accepted it and also realised that I've done it once, I can do it again. It was in the same email I was given a provisional start date of the 6th November.

    Assessment Centre - Passed 13th February

    Vetting - Passed? Never recieved confirmation of this but given a start date and lady at OHU said it would mean I had?

    Fitness Test - Passed 1st July

    Medical - Passed 16th September

    Fitness Test 2 - ....... 23rd September

    Provisional Start Date - 6th November

    Sorry it was so long, but this now means I have a complete blog of my process so far!

    I'm off for some coffee....

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    waltont
    Latest Entry

    Heyy,

    So first post.

    I've been on PS.com for some time now, but more as just a browser whilst I got into the Specials.

    Have read alot of amazing and helpfull posts! and now want to see if I can post some equaly helpfull posts and this blog, to give an insite into my experiences :)

    Lets see what happens ey.

    Toby

  3. Quarter to 11 on a thursday, and it was the day of my second driving lesson. It seemed an eternity before the week went by since the last one, however, when she opened her diary she seemed fully booked, but explained she had 2 people doing their test this week, and that if they passed, she would have more slots to fill up. She picked me up and we went to lea green industrial estate which was a short drive away. She told me she takes all learner drivers there as it's a very long and not too bendy stretch of road, and that it's a good place to get students changing gears. As we were on our way, she asked me about last weeks lesson just to recap and how I thought it went. We also round one of the main roundabouts in town, and she was annoyed that a woman was right behind her and it was even more of a hazard as it was raining.

    Eventually we got there, she pulled over and we swapped seats. I adjusted the seat and the mirrors and we were ready to go. I was told to pull off from the side of the road like I did last week and then pull back in again after 100 yards. I did this without any problem. After this, she told me she wanted me to change into second gear. I was a bit nervous at first as I could see a mini roundabout just ahead, and all sorts of things were going through my head, like would I make it to the roundabout before I manage to change into 2nd, What happens if there are cars on the right and I have to give way and i'm in second gear? It was easy! I pulled off, and after a few seconds changed to second gear. It's a very quiet area and there was no cars in the area, so i didn't have to stop at the roundabout. Quite a bit after the mini roundabout, I was told to pull up . She explained that there was a sharp right hand bend coming up ahead and it was also on a hill due to the train track beneath. I knew it was there already as the college bus always comes this way home from college. I was told to steer to the left a bit so I didn't get in the way of traffic on the right hand side of the road, and then obviously steer right to go past the bend. Again I was told to change into 2nd gear, and whilst going along the stretch of road, I was asked to change into 3rd gear. I managed to execute it perfectly and here I was driving along at just under 30 mph.

    Merseyside Police training academy was coming up on my right, and although response cars are not usually there, I was just anticipating one to come wizzing past on blues and twos. Thankfully, nothing did. I went round a sharp left bend before coming up to yet another mini roundabout. This one was quite weird as you approached it at an angle and then had to turn right, despite it being a straight ahead way. I managed to pass it fine and then I was basically told to go back the way I had come from.

    That was my 2nd lesson done, and I booked my 3rd one which was to happen the following thursday again, which is also results day for my AS levels, so I have 2 things to look forward to! (as well as the celebration on the night time with some friends, so 3 things to look forward to :aok: )

  4. JaseS1434
    Latest Entry

    Hi People,

    Been a long time since I sat down and wrote a blog.

    Thought it was time for an update. Well last time I was looking for a job with a p we are not consarks Police service.

    Well it turned out that none of them were recruiting and that some were in the process of shutting down. Whis is always sad as you wonder where the pople they already have will end up. Plus it means we as a general public lose another unique service.

    Well after sitting around and not being getting very far I decided to do something positive.

    What did I do? I went out and started my own security company. I know I know not quite the same. However the company is established around one major public service client the NHS .

    This is not to say we are not considering other clients, we are and are currently in talks with the local borough council to provide them with services for their parks, open spaces and other areas.

    hey if you want to check us out or website is www.southern-support.co.uk and get back I would appraciate the feed back.

    Thanks

    Jason

  5. Obsidian_Eclipse
    Latest Entry

    This will be one of my last blogs for a while as its tiring me out just to write them, however I must say that there have been some positive happenings in my life of late which are helping me to cope just a little better..

    I know I seem to brandish alot of criticsm for the police but they really have been a life saver for me, the source of alot of my concerns regarding how the organisation is run is not a go at Nottinghamshire Police at all but of the wider forces which make up the UK and some of the loony things which they seem to do. By enlarge Nottinghamshire Police has changed over the years and in my opinion for the better, I know the pressures they have been under from the media and previous government but they have coped marvellously well under what has mostly been unfound criticism and scare stories. In reality there is probably no force in the UK which I would feel more comfortable with than Notts. The new CC in particular has been given a slating for things which have festered long before she came to the helm, I feel that perhaps she has tried to address these issues and bring them into view whilst others have tried to keep them hidden. If any of the CCs in this country can react positively to the change of government, policies, budget cuts and society then I think it will ours - well done!

    One of the most recent happenings in my life in the Specials lately has been the two duties I have performed last month. Okay, they may have only been 2-3 hours each but its a start and has given me something good to look forward to. I wont say exactly were they were other that a quiet(ish) town in the countryside boardering two forces, they are not what I'm used to either having spent many evenings in my other life (prior ME) dashing around with blue lights and working abridge in town centres, however they offer something of a challenge having been somewhat neglected of a Specials presence for some time. Both have been day shifts and luckily they were rather pleasant days too.

    One thing that has made itself apparent to me by patroling this village was the closeness of many of the older residents and the equally divisive trench which seperates the youth. Its a story told throughout the land.. Times have changed though and the problems are very much modern as much as they are old, I just hope that I can make a difference. The side affects to these duties have been rather harsh, I will admit. Just a few hours of duty, a couple walking around have taken there toll on me, with a decent amount of aggressive resting and recovery either side I may be able to cope, well at least I hope I can. After my last shift I have needed to take dihydrocodeine for the pain, spent a few days in my pajamas and been as clumsy as heck! It would be comical if it wasnt fustrating, my kitchen shows signs of splattering from unsteady hands where I have catapulted pie everywhere - dont ask! Its strange how ME can cause so many strange occurances and confusion (putting milk away in cupboards and cooking implements in the fridge - how did that get there?). I'll see how things go, but I desperately hope I will be able to continue doing these duties every now and again. As much as I suffer I also gain so much..

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    So here i am writing my first ever blog...And i'm actually quite excited.But what is the point of a blog? And am i doing this right?Well i don't really know the answer to any of those questions. So i'm just gonna get stuck in.Now,onto the good stuff.I passed my driving test a week yesterday!! And boy does it feel good. Just waiting for the little pink card to come through, hopefully sometime this year. And went to look at a car yesterday. A Nissan Micra, to be precise. My first car. I really can't wait.Flying down the '52 where i live, Tinie Tempah blasting out. Oh yeah :DOr cruising through the city centre, either'll do me.I just wanna be out driving again!Wish me luck in my first few months, probably best to stay away from me, then again i'll end up on my cycle, as the cars not gonna be for work. Cheerio.

  6. Yippee!

    Just had an email earlier from SYP Recruitment, I've passed the papersift for the Specials on my third attempt! They said they'll invite me to attend Assessment Centre in due course! I'm chuffed to bits! Just had to email them back as I remembered I'm away for a week at the end of June, and it's sod's law they'll schedule the AC that week!

    WOOT! I didn't think I'd pass papersift much less be invited to AC! Can't get too excited yet though, there's still a rather high chance I'll fail the medical if I get that far, but yay! Go me for passing at least papersift if I fail everything else!

    I know a lot of people use the Specials as a stepping stone to the Regulars, but if I get in, I'm going to be a Special for the long haul, as long as the bosses can cope with me, lol.

    In other news, I also need to enquire about that job at GAME in Meadowhall I applied for the other week, because if all goes right for the Specials application, I'll have to drop out of the GAME job, due to rules from the job centre about working only a certain number of hours before benefit entitlement is affected.

    Anyway just thought I'd do my blog while I wasn't do anything else of crucial importance.

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    Hiya people, i have my Day 2 Fitness test arriving very fast and was hoping if anybody can give me any advice or helpful information which would enable me to be more prepared for this test as the nerves are getting to me. This would be greatly appreciated.:D

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    jp2uk
    Latest Entry

    Well,

    I went today 16/05/10 for my Level 2 Exam and passed... 78%. Was hopign for a greater mark but hey its a pass...

    Here goes to getting to Level 3 Independant status... :D :-D

    JP :)

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    1st Feb - Attended Metropolitan Police recruitment event, waited for application form

    13th March - Received application form... trying to finish filling it in before the deadline (1st April)

    31st March - Went to Hendon to hand the application form in myself after nearly 2 hours on a train

    16th April - All that waiting paid off... my application was accepted. Sent off the booking form for Day 1 that afternoon.

    25th June - Received joining pack for the Day 1 assessments and PIRT.

    4th August - Attended Day 1 assessments at Hendon.... that was hard.

    26th August - Results came through - Failed interview and 3 roleplays, now to wait for the next recruitment event.

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    Pippin
    Latest Entry

    I can't believe here I am, looking at my mobile looking at the words:-

    "Dear Special Constable Candidate

    We are now in a position to book you onto a Special Constable Training Course...."

    I can't believe that August last year I was sitting with a dear friend in "Nando's" talking about his job and how he felt I had every quality he would want in one of his specials. How infact I had wanted to pursue a police career when I was in my teens but my parents didn't support my ambition I was encouraged in a different direction and one that made it impossible for me to see me ever being able to pursue either of my dreams of being a children's nurse or a police officer. I broke away from the life that was dimming my shine and at 30 I got divorced and took my life in my own hands and decided to be what I wanted to be, and stop being what others wanted me to be.

    Inside I was listening to him, thinking this is the right time for me to now pursue my policing dream - but I didn't know how to ask him, tell him this was what I wanted. I didn't want him to think he was influencing me or encouraging me. I know he was / is SO proud of me for doing my nursing and continuing to do so well on my nursing degree. I hinted and made him aware of my interest and how maybe disillusioned I was with my nursing at the time and that I wanted to go on my three week cruise and think about it. I know it wasn't him that encouraged or motivated me to do my policing but suddenly here I was with someone who I had no doubt about would be someone significant in my life till the day I died. It was like I met him at the right time by total chance yet here he was and able to give me first hand experiences and answer my questions about becoming a special.

    In October 2009 I went to him and said I have requested the application pack. I didn't know how to really apply etc some how I just got on with it and here I am just 2 weeks off starting my training. Amazing.

  7. mitch1985
    Latest Entry

    Well found out me result from the PIRT......I PASSED!!! :D I am so pleased and very proud of myself.

    Got me background and financial check forms to fill out now so send off to the Criminal Records Bureau and Special Branch for checks. Filling these out over weekend and sending them off monday. I really still cannot believe i have passed the PIRT. Found out when i was on a course at work and had a grin from ear to ear through the afternoon :)

    Next Post: Background & Financial checks and Interview Date

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    Nozza
    Latest Entry

    Hello all, thought id start a blog on the long winding process of my speicals application.

    In October this year, finally had the guts to print out the application form, and set about filling it in.

    Sent it off just before my 19th Birthday, got a confimation email saying they had received it, then several days later got a letter saying the same thing. The waiting game then began, and id been doing university things.

    Was a strange day, the only time i left my phone as i went out, they rang, and said they needed some more information on the form, and that i had passed the papersift, which i was very extatic about! Also got a call for a job interview aswell shortly after.

    After a few days, got a letter about the PIRT that i was booked for, which i was happy with. From this date, the next 4 weeks flew by, until today.

    Spent last night feeling sick and nervous, couldnt sleep much! The morning came, overcome with nerves, 9am train to Colwyn Bay, to HQ and arrived and sat in the reception area with the others who has made it into the PIRT. We had a chat as more emerged, then by 10am, 3 ladis came along saying hello, would you like to follow me to the conference room.

    Only was 11 of us attending, a small number.The room was already set out with the papers for the test, we all took a seat. It hit home when one of them said'Well done all of you for getting this stage' and i just felt wow, im actually doing this and on the winding road to the speical constabulary of North Wales Police.

    Tests were done after the alloted time, and we all spoke for a while and did some admin stuff, sign forms and had to re do my security form, the yellow booklet, as mine seemed to have went AWOL from the post. Oh dear.

    With all that sorted, was explained the next step, which got me excited and nervous, as you shall see why in a moment.

    Were informed we would normally get results within 7 - 10 days, but in fact we would get them TOMORROW! Sent my heart racing to begin with, then to make it more dramatic, this was due to 2 divisions haveing interview before christmas, so everything had to be pushed along. After this chat, all got asked to which division we want, and i was the only person, out of 11 to chose western! But nevermind, the dates for interview seem to be next week, so all in all i was full of excitement, hope and dread all in one ball. Now, to add to ths, an extra intake is scheduled for February, so im all excited now, and being advised the security form will take about 4 weeks, i could potentially be offered a position in NWP, around end of January.

    When all this was done, i had to stay behind to complete another security form, fair enough they need them. Had one detail which i couldnt remember, so got a direct number, and i found that at 4.40pm and gave them a ring. told them all they needed to know, and she also said, im pleased to tell you, you have passed the papersift.

    My reaction was literally, "OMG, you dont know how much this means to me, im so happy!". Was informed the medical/optician forms were in the post so i should get them and need them doing ASAP in time for the interview, hopefully.

    Now i need to wait for the division to contact me, in the next couple of days to arrange the interview, and been given detals of the core comptencies and what is required in the interview.

    I have a lot of feelings at the moment, got lots of supports of friends who i love to bits, knowing they know how much this means to me, even saying to one im going to put on that uniform and wear it with pride, in the streets of North Wales. I know this person is proud and cant that her enough for her support and belief she is putting in me, big hug for her tomorrow :D I can't wait until the next stage, so much excitement and nerves, this is all for one day.

    I shall be updating this blog when i get more information :)

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    Recent Entries

    Welcome folks, this is my first blog, this first post will briefly outline how long recruitment took for me. It will be updated in the New year when i start training, and hopefully every (few) week(s) after that.

    Well, it seems a long time since i submitted my application to Merseyside Police to become a Special, however it was only at the beginning of September, and the process has flown by. I received my letter last week with training dates and offering me a position as a Special. I have no figures here but i must say it is probably one of the fastest recruitment turnarounds in the country, as i will attest in March, so from appliation to attestation will be no more than 6 months, however is would have been 2 months quicker if i was actually old enough to attest if i was old enough to start training on the initial course i was booked onto.

    After submitting my application in the first few days of September i received and email the next day from the recruitment department inviting me to my PIRT, two and a half weeks later. Attending this, i heard i had passed 2 days after taking the tests and was invited to an interview at HQ 2 weeks after the PIRT. In between the PIRT and the interview i was also invited to an open evening, and managed to fit in a station visit. After alot of revision and nervous waiting i attended my interview and was immediately put at ease by the interviewers (they are actually extremely friendly people, and are not there to catch you out!). I found out the next day that i had passed this stage. Next was the medical which i had booked for 2 weeks after the interview, so from submitting the application to attending my medical was 7 weeks. After the medical i filled in and sent off the vetting forms, which took 4 weeks to be returned with the all clear stamp.

    The recruitment team were great throughout and didn't mind my pestering calls or email about updates throughout the vetting process at all. Now i just have to sit back and relax until training starts.

    Bring on the New Year and training, can't wait!

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    richard smith
    Latest Entry

    Have passed the paper sift and have to attend the assessment day next saturday 7th November in Kidlington. Feeling really nervous have been revising for the last week and plan to do loads more this coming week. Does anybody have any tips?

  8. Ok - ive not been about for a while but im still lurking, will do a major update shortly :D

    :) Stay Safe

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    Recent Entries

    rotti_55
    Latest Entry

    Right then, where to begin!!?

    im new to all this blogging stuff so you may have to excuse me while i get the hang of things!

    Iv been serving as an spc for 21months now with notts. I enjoy every minute of it and work with an amazing team of regulars, who have helped me out so much. it has come with its trials but when you do get the odd thank you or a smile it makes it worth while.

    iv not been able to get many shifts in over the last few weeks due to work commitments but managed to get out on a night shift last night.

    Due to students returning for their "studies" and a few clubs re-opening the city centre was packed to the rafters with drunken folk. thankfully now we have officers who foot patrol the centre fri and sat evenings, relieving a lil pressure for us to fly about in our cars, trying to catch burglers!! the poor young lady of one address was very tearfull as you would expect and asked the ultimate question of " when will we catch them?" "if it was up to me id go round there right now and search every burglers house but im afraid we may never catch them," great honesty from a colleague.

    Altho last night was very busy, and we got kicked about to job after job,there was still time to have a laugh(mostly at each others expense) and a cuppa altho having snap was out of the question! so on a whole with a few baddies locked up a decent saturay night shift.

    hopefully a few more could be like this!! :D

  9. So, it's the 2nd Cadet session but this week, it is fitness in the Gym. Every other week is fitness, so one week is theory in the classroom, the next is fitness in the gym. We met our fitness instructor, Grant, who is also a College Tutor at St Helens College. He told us to drink our fluids as we weren't allowed any in the gym for the next 45 minutes. At first, we all thought we was going to be doing the bleep test, as the week prior he told us we would be doing. However, for the next 45 minutes, we would find ourselves doing a circuit non stop! To be quite honest, I hated the fitness aspect of the course. Although I know it is essential, I use to be fit myself (before my very long break over the summer), but I let my fitness levels fall and it was an absolute killer. So much so, I and another 5 of the Cadets, dropped out after 30 minutes. It basically consisted of running, star jumps, keeping our hands up in the air sideways, press ups, sit ups and squat thrusts. I had tea just before, and after I dropped out after the 30 minutes, I was actually sick in the toilets. I had certainly learned something from the session though and that was to improve my fitness big time! Although I can pass the bleep test 5.4 with ease, that is just very basic fitness (I usually get around level 9). Anyway, after the fitness session, he told us that in 2 weeks time, the circuit would be 30-40% harder than this weeks, and that for those who dropped out (including me) were weak, which I thought was lovely of him! :D I didn't see him joining in! But anyway, it was an enjoyable, but tiring session. Next week is theory in the classroom with the Sergeant.

  10. Corbs
    Latest Entry

    Hi Readers,

    Just a post to give PMTTS (Police and Military Tie Tac Service) a bit of promotion. PMTTS is a website and service that produces tie pins, challenge coins and a few other things for various parts of, unsurprisingly, the police and the military. It also has produced a few things for this site, including the rather lovely challenge coin, and the new PS.com tie pin. It is also represented on PS.com by a member of the same name, who is always very helpful and seems to know just about everything there is to know and more about the Police and Military.

    The images on the website give some idea of the pins, but they really should be seen in the metal. The craftsmanship and intricacies of the pins and coins are something else.

    A percentage of the sales of the coins and pins go towards many good causes, including Help for Heroes, and HEMS, with one pin recently rasing over £300 for HEMS from internet sales alone, and that figure is rising, leaving very few excuses for you not to buy one! Go on...

    Corbs

    Here is my (growing) collection - Click here for more info:

    HPIM1739.jpg

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    Recent Entries

    nicola89
    Latest Entry

    Hello Everyone,

    my new blog entry is that i'm feeling extremelly nervous for my assesment day and thinking have i done enough prepping for it. 3 hours a night for the past month, if i don't get in im thinking go back to school and re-sit those GCSE's!!

    My excitement is starting to kick in now, and even my family are getting excited for me! talk about being under pressure now!!

    I will keep you all updated to see if i pass or fail the assessment day. If i do fail, a wise man said to me, you can do it "again and again and again.." hopefully i wont have to though!

    Keep you updated :D

    Nic.