Visiting Falmouth last weekend, I became aware of something extraordinary, the news of which I had missed earlier. A local PC called Andy Hocking recently passed away at the untimely age of 52 years old. As a tribute, a friend organised a memorial walk to “Walk the beat (of PC Hocking) one last time”. This was done through social media and led to between 5,000 and 6,000 locals turning out. That’s about a quarter of the town’s population! A week later, virtually every shop had a “Thanks Andy” poster in its window, with the picture of the face of the bobby smiling out. The local papers had double cover spreads of the walk, such as the one above from the West Briton.
So what caused this unusual reaction? Local photographer Hugh Hastings, who worked with PC Hocking for 20 years, told the Falmouth Packet:
He was always a fantastic person. He represented Falmouth in such a superb way. Wonderful at his job. Always had a smile for everybody but he could do his job well at the same time.
He kept control in the most wonderful way. And he’s an irreplaceable icon. We’ll all miss him.
I also think that the reaction says that there is something special about Falmouth.