100 years of Probation pen

A pen might seem like an unusual choice for an artefact, but ‘back in the day’ a pen (amongst other things – a three pronged highlighter if you were lucky) was a ‘freebie’ on the table at the staff away / development day.  This involved staff members from the offices in your area coming together annually at a location outside of the workplace (usually with a nice lunch) to discuss the plans and objectives for the next 12 months and often involved a guest speaker (sometimes academic or a representative from a local community group).  Post Transforming Rehabilitation these did not happen in the National Probation Service and I remember fondly the ‘good old days’ of catching up with colleagues you hadn’t seen for a while, celebrating promotions, the visibility of senior leaders engaging with front line staff and a forum to discuss the issues affecting our communities and the people we supervised.  For me these represented the local, community feel of the service, an identity lost upon civil service membership.   This specific pen was given to celebrate 100 years of the profession following the 1907 Probation of Offenders Act, effectively ‘creating’ the profession which became my career.  Amazingly 15 years later it still writes!