Traffic regulated by automatic signals is “marvellous”

I wrote about the installation of traffic signals in May 1935, at the Town Hall Bridport in a previous post, Bridport Gets Road Traffic Signal Lights at Dangerous Corner. In 1934, Bridport Borough council discussed the need for these lights and also wanted a set at another dangerous corner, close by, at Barrack Street – this is the road going North from the town centre, which is no longer a through road. Traffic lights were eventually installed at Barrack Street and remain in use until the bypass was opened.

When researching this post I was surprised at the number of bicycles in the town. Perhaps I should have realised that in the early part of the 20th Century, bicycles were relatively cheap and faster than walking. There was no mention of horses or horse drawn vehicles, this is most likely because they were not included in the count or possibly because there were none in Bridport that day. Continue reading “Traffic regulated by automatic signals is “marvellous””

Intoxicated Liquor Licences 1934: Controversy over Summer Half-Hour

Licences for intoxicated liquor, then as now, was an emotive subject and was a subject for local courts. Every February the local businesses selling intoxicated liquor renewed their licences. Grandad Beck as Superintendent of the Bridport Division of Dorset Police Constabulary gave the annual report to the licencing committee for his area. Supt. Beck started each session by giving a report into the previous year, which was reported by the Bridport News.

In 1934 as in previous years Mr Roper on behalf of the Licenced Victuallers’ Association wanted Bridport Borough to grant an extension by half-hour during summer evening. Bridport Borough didn’t agree that they had to right to do this. Bridport Borough and Dorchester magistrates argued that they needed a change in the law but other areas including Beaminster, Lyme Regis and Weymouth granted the half hour extension. The hours are set by national government with local areas allowing extensions in their area for an individual or group of premises. There seems to be a confusion about what extensions to opening hours the local courts could allow. Continue reading “Intoxicated Liquor Licences 1934: Controversy over Summer Half-Hour”

Bridport Celebrates King George V Silver Jubilee

King George V Silver Jubilee on Monday 6th May 1935 was celebrated with great joy by the people of Bridport. Each town and village held their own celebration and the Bridport News recorded the event. They decorated, marched, danced and gave thanks for the Kings 25 year reign, in many different ways. Reading the reports I can’t imagine anyone not being effected by the excitement of the day.

King George V Silver Jubilee. Procession East Street, Bridport. 6th May 1935
King George V Silver Jubilee. Procession East Street, Bridport. 6th May 1935

Continue reading “Bridport Celebrates King George V Silver Jubilee”

Bridport Gets Road Traffic Signal Lights at Dangerous Corner

“All this appalling dangerous driving on the roads”, was Grandad Beck’s view of the standard of driving in 1935. One dangerous place was the junction of South, West and East street at the town hall Bridport. For those that don’t know the town, coming from South Street, there is very little visibility to see the traffic coming from the West. Also traffic turning into South Street from East Street had to take the sharp corner wide to get around, as you can see from the first photograph. I can remember the traffic lights not working, turning right into East Street from South Street was scary and difficult to know if there would be any other vehicles coming towards me. Bridport Borough Council had been asking for “road traffic signal lights”, at the junction for a while. Bridport’s automatic traffic signals were officially opened at 12 noon on Saturday,  4th May 1935,  by the Mayor (Councillor W. S. B. Northover) who set the system in operation by turning a key in the “station” under the Town Hall colonade.  The Mayor was accompanied by his Deputy (Councillor S. J. Gale) and Councillor F. S. Cornick (Chairman of the Town Council Highways Committee).  After this there were numerous drivers coming up before the Borough Police court and in the first few months Grandad Beck was prosecuting.

The traffic lights at the Town Hall Bridport after 1935 exact date unknown
The traffic lights at the Town Hall Bridport after 1935 exact date unknown

Continue reading “Bridport Gets Road Traffic Signal Lights at Dangerous Corner”