Our Speaker

Talks are delivered on behalf of Marshland by Peter Layzell.

Peter was born and raised in North Essex although he has lived at Burnham on Crouch for over 30 years. At 16 years of age he joined Essex Police Cadets serving at Harwich and Clacton on Sea.

At 19 years of ago he became a Constable in Essex Constabulary being stationed at Billericay where he was one of the last  generation of Essex Police to walk the beat in the way that Policemen had done for a hundred years.

With the coming of radios and panda cars he transferred to Basildon and then after promotion to Sergeant he moved to Corringham/Tilbury and Grays where he experienced a very different Essex.

In 1982 he was transferred to Southminster, which was a rural beat run by a Sergeant, before promotion to Inspector. Peter expected to stay one year but ended up spending 16 years as the ‘Sherriff of the Dengie Hundred’.

After retirement Peter gained an adult teaching degree after which he was a tutor at Essex Adult Community Learning until a second retirement in 2015 to allow more time to deal with the ever increasing public interest in his Local, Essex Regiment and Family History web sites

He has developed a reputation of a Local Historian with interviews on BBC Radio Essex, Saint FM and BBC 1 TV. Peter is on several approved speakers lists including Essex WI, Public Speakers Corner, Speakers in Essex and the National Federation of Family History Societies

Police Talks

Peter offers five light hearted talks on Essex Police that are more 'Heartbeat' than 'Morse'!.

During his police service he learnt a lot about life and came across many difficult situations, colourful characters, clever and not so clever criminals which allow him to raise thought provoking issues as well as delivering the humorous anecdotes that characterise his talks.

So much happened to Peter that two talks listed come in two installments!

Wet behind the ears -  This talks covers Peters three  years as a police cadet  and being a teenager in the sixties which includes  doses of nostalgia like scooters, 45 records, Saturday cinema, gobstoppers  and winkle picker shoes.

My time on the beat or When policemen still had feet  (Parts 1 & 2) – These talks cover Peters first two years in the Police Service at Billericay before the advent of radios and panda cars when points were still made and old fashioned policing saved the day.

My life as a rural sergeant (Parts 1 & 2) – These talks cover 17 years as a rural police sergeant in the rural Dengie Hundred peninsula which was full of clever and not so clever customers!

Newly promoted Sarge – This talk covers service at Basildon and Thurrock where Essex met London and both met Peter with some unexpected results.

Arrest ye merry gentlemen or Christmas in Uniform – This talk covers the funny and not so funny side of life as a policeman during the Christmas season.

Other talks offered

Family History for your Police Ancestors  This talk discusses the how Police Officers and their families lived from Victorian times to WW2 and  provides information on how to uncover their genealogical facts .

Where to start with your Family History – This talk covers the basic rules for researching your family history based on Peters experience in both conducting family history research and from running popular family history websites -

Essex Regiment during World War One - This talk covers the Essex Regiment from 1913 to 1920 and covers the build up to war, mobilisation, deployments, heroes, villains and demobilisation as well as the daily life of a WW1 soldier.

Rural Essex in Victorian and Edwardian Times - This talk provides a snapshot of life in rural Essex 100 plus years ago seen through the eyes of the local press .The talks are illustrated by old photographs, newscuttings and memorabilia with some content included about the area where the talk is to be held.

Cost of talks

Talks start at £35 with the addition of travel expenses (agreed at time of booking) from Peters home.

The talks are usually of 45 minutes to one hour duration although all talks can be extended by prior arrangement.

Microphone, sound amplification, projector and screen are included at no extra charge as required by the presentation.

Display boards and relevant historic items are often brought to supplement the talk. These are included in the cost.

Peter provides public liability insurance to cover his visit and any activities undertaken.

A full risk assessment is available if required by the booker.

Click here to contact Marshland to obtain a free estimate. Please include contact details, location of talk and details of the talk required.



"Just to say thank you for a really enjoyable and informative talk at our museum last night. We raised some much needed funds and I had some good positive feedback"

" On behalf of our Club I would like to thank you for a very interesting talk last night. The information you gave us last night has reignited my interest in my Family History and I might have another go!"

"I just wanted to say a big thank you for your presentation " When Policemen still had feet" at our Club meeting last Friday. Your visiting card states ' talks that amuse an stimulate' and you certainly did that. I has lots of feedback as to how much everyone enjoyed themselves and we look forward to your next visit"

"Very good feedback from our members, all enjoyed the talk"

Other Speakers

If you are looking for a speaker but Peter does not fit the bill excellent register of speakers are provided by Facebook Essex Speakers Group and Public Speakers Corner.

Click here to visit the Public Speakers Corner

Click here to visit the Facebook Essex Speakers Group.