THE police headquarters in Glasgow were inundated with phone calls from members of the public, but for once they were not calling to report a serious incident. They were phoning to book tickets for the forthcoming International Police Tattoo, at the Kelvin Hall. Some callers were demanding as many as 30 or 40 tickets each.

A couple of days before the event, the venue’s booking office ran out of tickets and had to keep a queue of customers waiting until more tickets could be sent out from HQ by police car.

The week-long tattoo in August 1970, said to be the first of its kind in Europe, was produced by the TV producer and director, Bryan Izzard. The photograph shows the Glasgow police force’s mounted contingent in a promotional event, bearing the flags of all the countries that were to take part, some four months before it opened.

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More than 450 police officers from Scotland, England, France, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Holland and Luxembourg were involved in the tattoo, and it proved to be a considerable success, though there was the occasional teething problem in rehearsals. The Italian motor-cycling team, for example, did not have an interpreter; the Italian consul in Glasgow, Cesare Marini, came to their rescue by roping in his two teenage children as interpreters.

It was the commander of the Italian motor-cycle team who suggested that a wreath be laid at the Cenotaph in George Square. It consisted of flowers blended into the national flags of all the countries taking part in the tattoo. The police officers all paraded through the city, headed by the Glasgow Police Pipe Band and the Danish Police Military Band, arriving in George Square, where the wreath was laid.