Thames Police: Patrick Colquhoun Launches - The Green Parrots
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Table of Contents > WWII Veterans > The Green Parrots > The "Silver Role"

The Green Parrots by PC Bob Jeffries & PC John “Joz” Joslin (ret.)

By 1961 it was thought time that the supervision launches should be replaced by three new, purpose built launches. The new launches were to be built to a similar design as their predecessors but from modern glassfibre instead of wood. The first of these new vessels was commissioned on January 15th 1964. The hulls were described as being semi-chined, coloured green and made of laminated fibreglass. They was moulded by Halmatics of Southampton and fitted out by Criss Cruisers, Richmond. They were powered by twin six litre Gardner diesel engines which produced a speed of around twenty knots when fully equipped and carrying five persons. Each launch weighed 6.2 tons and carried 45 gallons of diesel as well as 16 gallons of water which acted as in internal coolant thus taking away the need to draw coolant from a dirty and polluted river which would have damaged the engines. The launches were 41ft 11inches in length with a beam of 12 feet and a draft of 3 feet. Each boat was equipped with special propellers which both rotated in an anti clockwise direction. The port propeller was 17 inches by 20 inches and the starboard propeller was 17.5 inches by 20 inches to counter-act sideways thrust. The characteristic platforms at the stem of each vessel were added by our own engineers in order to lessen the wash created by the boats when underway.

The title “Commissioner’s Launch” may well originate from the nickname given to each of the boats. The Robert Peel was known as the “Commissioner’s Barge” after it took him afloat one day and the Patrick Colquhoun was known as “Royal” after it once carried Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. All three launches were affectionately known as “Green Parrots” because of their distinctive green liveries.

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