A Well-Kent Policeman

From Francis Gay's page - Sunday Post, September 19, 1993.

John Shearer died last month in Basildon, Essex, where he retired after spending many years as a police officer in Ardrossan. He was known as a tough copper, but a former colleague tells me of another side of Big John.

On Christmas Day 1957, they called at the home of a woman whose son was serving a prison sentence for a serious assault. She was caring for the man's  two little daughters. The Children answered the door, and John Shearer asked, "What did Santa Claus bring you?" The elder girl replied, "Santa didn't come, Mr Shearer. Grannie couldn't pay him."

John went straight back to the Police Station and organised a whip-round. Then he called on a number of policemen's wives and other friends for their help. Within a couple of hours he had two large bags filled with toys, children's clothing, sweets and Christmas goodies.

The two little girls and their Grannie were amazed and delighted when he returned to their home and told them Santa had remembered them after all, and asked the policeman to do the delivery. John's friend tells me he's sure the two girls have never forgotten the day they learned the real Santa Claus sometimes wears not a red cloak, but a blue tunic.