1932 was the year that Grandad Beck’s third and final grandchild was born. My father was very fond of his grandfather and has happy memories of holidays at Poole. Grandad Beck outlived both his son and daughter. Lionel died in 1918 and my Grandmother, May in 1939.
We have many photographs that Grandad Beck took of his two children and three grandchildren. I have chosen two photos for this post, both taken at Grandad Beck’s home at Longfleet, Poole, Dorset. The first one shows the three Grandchildren Osborne, Marion and Jackson with Aunty Jo (Grandad Beck’s second wife) and Fred House, the children’s father. This photograph has a date on the back, 7 September 1941, which (if correct) would have been during the World War Two. Osborne at 15 years would have left school and have been working on the farm with his father, Fred. Marion 12 years and Jackson 9 years old, both at School. From the balls on the lawn and mallet, Fred is holding, it looks like they had been playing croquet.
The second photograph is my favourite. A race between Grandad, Granddaughter and Grandson, with what looks like 2 lawnmowers and a lawn roller. The two children look younger so I think this is an earlier picture.
Bridport Division of Dorset Police Constabulary is a rural area. The selection of cases that came before the areas magistrates that I have chosen in this post reflect this. Controlling farm pests with poisons has always been dangerous, in the spring of 1932 Mr Hussey of Netherbury was charged with killing his neighbours sheep dog. Not far away at Marshwood, Tom Bishop’s dogs killed some of his neighbours sheep in September. In June the following year, a boy was sent to Industrial School for setting a hay rick alight. The last case happened in December of 1931 in the town, as it involved cattle and it amused me, I have included it here.
“Appalling dangerous driving on the roads” Grandad Beck was quoted as saying by the Bridport News in 1935. In 1930 over 7,300 people were killed on the roads, compared with 1,700 in 2013. After the invention of motor engine the variety of road users increased as never before. The pedestrians, horses and horse drawn vehicles, and from the late Ninetieth century bicycles where joined by many forms of motorised vehicles. By 1930 there were approximately one million private cars in Britain.
The cases I have chosen to write about include some of the variety of road users. The first involve a Pony and cart in Bridport where the passengers landed on the pavement when they had a collision with a charabanc, a lovely name for a bus or coach. Cyclists also had to share the road with motor vehicles and these amounted to nearly 50% of traffic (see Traffic Regulated by Automatic Signals) and I have written about one of the many accidents between cars and cyclists.
One case in the Bridport News stood out for me because it gave me more information about my Great, Grandfather.
In October 1933 Grandad Beck was himself involved in a car accident as a passenger in a taxi. While giving evidence Grandad Beck said He had travelled thousands of miles with Foot (the taxi driver). Thousands, that sounds a lot, was he exaggerating or the Bridport News. I started to consider whether Grandad Beck had a car and drove. From newspaper reports of the Police Standing Committee I knew that some of the Dorset Superintendents received allowances for the use of their own cars on police business. Supt. Beck was not mentioned, therefore I can assume that he didn’t have a car. When I asked my father he said, “Grandad didn’t drive and always used a taxi”. When Grandad Beck visited Wytherston (our farm near Powerstock) he always came with the same taxi driver. Continue reading “What Speed is that Motor Vehicle Doing?”