THEY may be a dying breed, but two Oxford University Bulldogs are still turning out to keep order at landmark events in the city.

Oxford University’s private police still has two people who can associate themselves with the historic position, despite the force disbanding in 2002 after it was deemed constables were no longer viable.

When Lindsey Mills wears the famous bowler hat and iconic uniform she still calls herself a Bulldog.

The grandmother-of-six, the last female Bulldog to remain, started out as member of the organisation in 1997.

She said: “I just enjoy it so much. I think it’s a bit like acting, you play the part and everyone respects you. You get all dressed up and get to wear the famous uniform.”

Formed in 1829, the Bulldogs carried warrant cards and were empowered to act as police officers in the university precincts and within four miles of any university building in Oxford.

Now stripped of its arresting powers, the force’s duties involve stewarding at ceremonies and exams, and are also now known as Proctor’s Officers. Mrs Mills and colleague Graham Hilsdon are the last remaining two of the pre-2002 force. In the course of her duties, Mrs Mills has guarded countless famous icons, including Nelson Mandela and the Queen and loves regaling her grandchildren with stories about them.

The Eynsham resident, 75, added: “I’m a people person and I feel very privileged to have met so many people.

“I worked at ceremonial events for many visits. One was Bill Clinton when he was President, I’ve also met the Queen and Nelson Mandela.

“The nicest was Nelson Mandela when he visited the Said Business School in 2002. He said thank you to me for looking after him, he was a really nice person.”

Mrs Mills’s latest job was the installation of Professor Louise Richardson as Vice-Chancellor of the university at the Sheldonian Theatre earlier this month.

Despite directing protests about tuition fees, Mrs Mills admitted she had never used her powers to arrest a student.

She added: “Graham and I are the only ones that were originally sworn in. I started to work for the university computing service and this was a side thing you could do. We used to do the exam schools, where we had to search the students to make sure they weren’t cheating, and I think the proctor’s officers still do it.”

She said it was “nice” to be part of the force’s history.

* The power of the university to attest constables was granted by the Universities Act 1825.

* In 1829, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University formalised the powers and duties of the University Constables.

* Known as ‘Bulldogs’, the sworn-in force was supervised by the University Proctors, and had disciplinary powers over students.

* In 2002, it was requested to remove the police powers of the constables over citizens who were not members of the University.

* It was disbanded when it was decided that it would be too expensive to bring the force up to the required standard of training and implement a multi-tiered complaints procedure.

* Members can still carry out many of the duties without constabulary powers, such as stewarding and security.