Mr. Michael R. J. Parfitt is not a local man. He was born in Billingford, eight miles from Dereham. He's tall, hirsute of face, has twinkling ever-alert eyes and enormous hands. They're so large that he can span an octave on the piano between his first and his little finger. After leaving school he worked as a welder, a steel erector, and a sheet metal worker. 'Cor! I did all sort of things. Then, of course, I was also in the Air Force and did my spell in the 'Farterland'. I was in Squadron 450 SU RAF Rhinedalen, near Munchen Gladbach. There was all sorts there - French, Belgians, Eyetie's, Germans and us all in together like.'
When he came out of the forces in 1958 he continued welding and travelling. 'Oh! I've been about, you know, I've been to Norwich'. At this time Sizewell Nuclear Power Station was being built and a mate of Michael's said there was money to be earned there. So did he work there? No, he joined the police force.
"Ah, well, you got to be careful here, because this was a bet. You won't believe this you see, but I used to play football with the village policeman, you see. Now, he wanted me to become a special constable and I said I'm not doing your work for no money - and he said well, why don't you join the force then. And I said, are you daring me? So, I took the dare and I went up and joined. This was in 1963, Madam."
What did you have to do?
"Now, That's very interesting. There was thirty of us and we all had to take an exam. That was up at Thorpe in a row of old houses - that wasn't a headquarters as such, you know. Well, we all sat this exam and there was only six of us passed it".
What were the subjects?
"Oh, you know English, Maths and all that sort of old crap - General Knowledge. I thought I'd get through because I was fairly educated. Then that come a dinner time, and we all went off to Woolworth's to have a dinner. Then two more got kicked out after an interview. I wasn't surprised about one of 'em because he was a completely obnoxious sod, he was. And then, they