Peter Layzell

Location: Burnham on Crouch, Essex
About the speaker...

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


About his presentations...

Since I started public speaking a few years ago, I have extended the number of talks to cater for a demand from social based groups who want a lighter talk and more serious based groups who want a more detailed factual talk.

I normally take a projector and screen to talks. These are quite important for the three serious talks but I often deliver the police talks without the projector especially when I am invited to attend a small group in someone’s front room where there really isn’t enough room for a projector and screen. For the police talks these props are probably as important to me by keeping me to my script than they are to enhance the talk to the public whereas for the serious talks the visual display is an important part of the talk.

The quiz needs a projector, screen and amplifier/speaker which I bring. Once again I can do without but the resulting quiz is probably less enjoyable to the participants.


I give talks anywhere in Essex for a basic fee of £30 plus a travelling fee depending on distance from my home at Burnham on Crouch.
The Quiz takes much longer to prepare so will cost £40 plus a travelling fee depending on distance from my home.

My Contact Details:

01621 784097

My Time on the Beat or When Policemen Still Had Feet

This talk which mixes amusing anecdotes with true stories and thought provoking issues covering my first two years in the Essex Constabulary at Billericay from 1968 to 1970 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

This talk which mixes amusing anecdotes with true stories and thought provoking issues covers 17 years as a rural police sergeant in Essex Police in the rural Dengie Hundred peninsula of Essex 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.

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 –  and

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.

Rural Essex in Victorian and Edwardian Times –

This talk uses newspaper articles to describe life in the Dengie Hundred area of rural Essex during late Victorian and early Edwardian times.

Essex Regiment During World War One  –

This talk drawn from testimonies and newspaper accounts follows the Essex Regiment from 1914 to 1920 including its organisation, characters, daily routine, trench life and significant events.

Marshland Quizzes

I have been running successful quizzes in Essex since 1989 and have developed a formula to produce enjoyable quizzes that will generate profits for organisations on the night and by bringing repeat customers to future quizzes. The normal quiz is based on general knowledge with 80 questions taking about 2 hours but topics such as music, sport etc can be covered by request.

Peter Layzell Contact Details:

01621 784097

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