THE exciting and surprisingly humorous world of private investigation was the subject of the talk given to members of Croft WI by former private detective George Hughes.

George related the history of private investigation, which was started by a British man named Alan Pinkerton, a cooper by trade, who in 1875 emigrated to the US and founded the famous Pinkerton Agency.

The capture of many of the outlaws of the old west, such as Jesse James and Butch Cassidy, were instigated by the Pinkerton Agency and the company is still in operation to this day.

Surveillance is just one part of private investigation, involving many hours of sitting in a vehicle.

The golden rule is to take along plenty of snack food, but not drinks, as ‘nipping to the loo’ is not an option. The reality of surveillance bears no resemblance to its portrayal in films.

Visiting night clubs was often part of George’s work and he told of his early naivety in the job when he had to sign in to a club in order to follow a suspect but left his pen at the reception desk.

One of the bouncers duly returned it to him and to his dismay George realised it had the name of the agency he worked for advertised in bold lettering on the pen!

A further element of the work includes door-to-door enquiries, where apparently women are much more cautious than men when giving information, a fact with which the WI ladies totally agreed.

Liaising with overseas operatives, the nuances of giving evidence in court, all these subjects were part of the talk and George concluded by saying that every day was a challenge and having an understanding wife or partner was an absolute must.

President Doreen Clare thanked the speaker for an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The competition was won by: First, Glenys Haines, Second, Barbara Fazackerley, Third, Barbara Taylor.

Diary Dates: February 10 or 16, County Quiz 2pm to 4.15 pm Appleton Parish Hall; March 3, annual council meeting Winsford; March 30, spring group meeting Croft; April 9, Lowry Theatre ‘Rebecca’.