PC Andy Hocking bronze footprints unveiled in Cornish port
Earlier this year, a procession of more than 6,000 people lined the streets of Falmouth to honour the memory and celebrate the life of the town’s immensely dedicated and popular community policeman.
On the 4th December 2015 the Mayor of Falmouth was joined by the Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police and several town leaders to unveil a fitting, community- funded memorial in the form of five sets of bronze footprints that have been installed around Falmouth, in locations on PC Hocking’s well-trodden ‘beat’. PC Andy Hocking’s shoulder badge, number 4270, was also presented to the town.
PC Andy Hocking passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. A charismatic, popular and extremely approachable figure, he served as a policeman in Cornwall for 23 years and championed community policing, the ‘bobby on the beat’. To honour his work, life and dedication to Falmouth, the Town Team (the partnership between the Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and Falmouth Town Council’s Town Management function), conceived the footprints idea with support from the Hocking family and co-ordinated a Crowdfunder campaign to raise funds for the project.
The Falmouth community, as it has done so often, rallied together and everyone from school children to senior citizens generously donated the necessary funds in record time. Furthermore, Falmouth and Cornwall based businesses quickly agreed to support the project by providing services in kind – design company 20/20, artist Natasha Ratcliffe and Tim Marsh Stone Merchants collaborated on the design and manufacture, while Cormac and Tim Griffin Stonemasons have undertaken the installation works.
Falmouth’s Mayor Cllr John Body, Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer, Falmouth BID Manager Richard Wilcox and Town Manager Richard Gates joined the Hocking family and local police officers to unveil the first set of footprints on the Moor in Falmouth. The other footprint locations all mark key points on Andy’s patch – Market Street (outside Marks & Spencer), Church Street corner, Pendennis Point and Western Avenue (adjacent to King Charles’ School). The cast for the bronze was actually taken from a pair of Andy’s work boots with the left footprint bearing his name and rank, PC Andy Hocking, while the right highlights his shoulder number, 4270.
Following the unveiling Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer presented PC Hocking’s shoulder badge to Falmouth, which was accepted by Mayor Cllr John Body.
Falmouth’s Mayor, Cllr John Body said, “I cannot think of a more fitting memorial to Andy and to recognise the special place he holds in our town. The plaques are sited at spots where Andy, with his infectious smile would regularly be seen. I’m pleased that his contribution to our town as the epitome of local policing, is now retained for posterity.”
Sally Hocking said: “I feel so lucky to have had Andy as my best friend and husband for so many years. I miss him constantly and, like everybody in Falmouth, I look for him in all his ‘usual’ places when I’m walking through the town. These amazing footprints will continue to remind me that he is never far away from us. Myself, Meg, Gracie, Liz, Harry and all the family would like to thank everybody for helping make this happen. We are so proud of everything Andy achieved in his life and this is a perfect memorial in his favourite town in the world. He would definitely be smiling today!”
Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “This is a wonderful way to recognise the relationship between Falmouth, its people and both Andy and wider policing. It is an extraordinary, generous and welcoming addition, so resonant to the spirit of Falmouth and reflects the nature of Andy who wanted to be on the streets and with the public whom he loved, and who loved him.”
Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, Richard Wilcox added: “Richard Gates and I feel privileged to have worked closely with Andy on a variety of operational and festival planning projects. Everyone in the community wanted to create a fitting and positive tribute that celebrated Andy’s personality and style of policing. We’ve worked closely with Andy’s family on this idea and are immensely pleased to have had their support. Along with the Hocking family, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the fundraising efforts as well as those businesses and individuals who provided time and expertise, free of charge.”