Final farewell to beat bobby Bob from the grateful people of Garstang

The people of Garstang turned out today to say "farewell" and "thank you" to a local bobby who devoted years to making their town a safer place to live.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 2:35 pm
Bob's funeral cortege moves slowly along Garstang's High Street where he used to patrol.

But mourners from further afield were also at his funeral to salute retired PC Bob Spiers for the role he played in putting two of Britain's most notorious killers behind bars for life.

While Bob was a well-known officer around Garstang, few locally were aware of his back story - the young constable who discovered the body of the first Moors Murders victim back in 1965.

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Bob Spiers with a plaque presented to him by the family of Moors Murders victim Lesley Ann Downey.

But for his tenacity 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey may never have been found. Further searches of Saddleworth Moor unearthed the remains of Pauline Reade, 16, and 12-year-old John Kilbride. Sadly the body of 12-year-old Keith Bennett has never been found.

Bob, 79, collapsed while walking on Garstang's High Street and, despite the efforts of police and paramedics, he could not be revived.

The main street was a central part of his beat as a local bobby after moving to the area in 1970. And locals stood in solemn respect as his funeral courtege made its way slowly through the town on Bob's final journey to Preston Crematorium.

His coffin was draped in the standard of the National Association of Retired Police Officers and topped by his police helmet.

Bob's coffin was draped in a NARPO flag and topped with his police helmet.

Bob joined the police in 1965 and was only months into his service when he made the crucial breakthrough in the Moors Murders case.

Had the bodies on Saddleworth Moor not been found then Ian Brady and Myra Hindley would have been jailed for just one murder and would almost certainly have been released back into society instead of being locked up for the rest of their lives.

Five years later Bob moved to the Garstang area where he worked until he retired in 1997 after 32 years service.

Bob's son Scott said: "Dad is going to be missed by a lot of people. He was so well known and well liked in the area.

Residents of Garstang pay their respects.

“He was the ideal beat bobby because he loved people and loved meeting and talking to people."