Which boycott hero will city choose?

A new police horse is to be named after one of the Bristol Bus Boycott pioneers, as part of the city’s 60th anniversary commemorations.

Individuals and schools from across Bristol are being invited to vote in an online poll, which runs until October 8.

They can vote for their favourite police horse name from a shortlist which pays tribute to some of the key people involved in the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police said the names had been put forward with permission of the pioneers’ families. 

The six names to choose from include Guy Bailey OBE, whose treatment when he applied to become a Bristol bus driver sparked the boycott, and Owen Henry, who became a driving force behind the St Paul’s Carnival.

The others are Audley Evans, Barbara Dettering, Raghbir Singh, Norman Samuels, and Prince Brown.

The winning name will adopted by one of the mounted section’s latest recruits, currently known as trainee Police Horse Brutus.

After training, he will be used to police large-scale events like the Balloon Festival and Glastonbury, take part in community patrols, and go on operational work including locating vulnerable missing people, tracking offenders and crime prevention.

Bristol North Central Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen said: “We share the city’s pride in those people who peacefully, but determinedly, challenged and overcame racial inequality and will be proud for a police horse to carry the name of one of those pioneers as he carries out his future duties of serving the public and helping to keep our communities safe.”

She said it was hoped that the poll would encourage people to hear of and be inspired to explore the names and histories of those Bristolians who paved the way for equal rights and justice.

One participating school, picked at random, will win a visit by pupils to meet PH Brutus and his stable mates, at the police’s Wilfred Fuller VC Operational Training Centre in Clevedon.

There will also be a £100 Love Bristol card for one individual entry, donated by the Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District, which can be used at one of over 130 local businesses.

You can vote in the poll here: Bristol Bus Boycott – 60 year anniversary (office.com)