Popular Wedding at Beaminster

On a stormy day, at 2 O’clock on Thursday 7th May 1925 my Grandparents married in Beaminster parish church.  My Grandmother, Laura May, was the only daughter of Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca. Because she died when my father was a small lad, there are few memories of her. We have a few clues to their wedding day, family photographs, a Bridport News article and a hand written note book of invitations sent.  From these sources I have written this post.

The wedding took place at Beaminster Parish Church, described as capacious and stately, and was filled with relatives and friends.  The ceremony was impressively conducted by the Vicar (Canon G. C. Hutchings, M.A.) assisted by the Rev. Mr Kershaw, of Powerstock.  The paper also tells us the hymns sung were, “Lead us heavenly Father lead us,” and “O perfect love all human thoughts transcending.”

Bride and groom
Mr & Mrs House on their wedding day

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Dorset Standing Joint Committee Decisions

I have posted about the meetings of the Dorset Standing Joint Committees as reported in the local Newspapers before, 1930-35 here.  The reports of the committee meetings enables us to get a insight into the Dorset police force, as they are responsibilities for the police budgets.  Using newspaper reports gives us an impression but can be incorrect or give the view of the reporter and therefore need to be read with care.

I have chosen items that help to build a picture of the life of the policemen in Bridport Division between 1925 and 1929. I think Grandad Beck would have been typical of his generation and agree that Dorset did not require policewomen but welcomed an extra police constable and better equipment for his men. He would have “run a very tight ship” and any officer found socialising in the local pubs would have had, at the very least, a stiff talking too.

Supt. Beck in uniform
Supt. Beck was known for giving “a right earful” if an officer or family member didn’t live up to expectations

More Policemen but no Policewomen

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Superintendent moves from Beaminster to Bridport

Beaminster Police Station

When Grandad Beck took over as Superintendent of the Bridport Division of the Dorset Constabulary in 1919, the accommodation for the position was at Beaminster police station.  The reason for this is that when the Dorset Constabulary was formed in  1856, Bridport was a Borough and had their own police force, stationed in South Street.  The new divisional police station, with accommodation for the Superintendent and a court room, was built at Beaminster in c. 1862. By 1924 this was inconvenient for Grandad Beck as the larger portion of his work and staff was at Bridport and the vicinity. The Chief Constable drew this to the notice of the Dorset Police Standing Committee in July 1924 and requested that a suitable house be found in Bridport for the Superintendent’s accommodation.  My father remembers Grandad Beck saying that this decision was unpopular in Beaminster, this may have been because they were afraid they would lose the police station and justice court.
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Celebrating the birth of Grandad Beck’s Grandson

Letters and post cards give us a small glimpse into the life and thoughts of our ancestors.  They may tells us something about their characters but it would be too easy to make conclusions from these sources.  For example what could we deduce from Grandad Beck’s start of his letter Hello you folks! and ending All the love yours APB to his daughter and son-in-law. The letter (well it is actually added on to his wife’s letter) shows a practical side, a sense of humour, a casual way of writing and yet ends with his initials APB.

I don’t have many letters but I have chosen a couple both written in 1926. Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca had recently moved to Peel House, Bridport. There newly married daughter and son-in-law lived at Wytherston Farm, Powerstock about 6 miles away.  May and Fred were married on 7th May 1925 and this post celebrates the birth of their first child, my Uncle, Frederick Osborne who was born on 17 March 1926.

Post Card 15 January 1926

Sometimes it is odd which correspondence survive, for example why did the card below from Grandad Beck to his father Eli survive but not the card/letter that was being answered.

View of a house with a elderly lady standing outside the front porch
Front of postcard Rebecca Beck outside the Farm House, Wytherston where my grandparents May (Grandad Beck’s daughter) and Fred House lived.

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