I wanted to share this photograph with you taken in 1923. Posing for this photograph is the most senior policeman in Dorset Constabulary at the time. Grandad Beck had a copy of this photograph in his collection but this is a scan of a framed photograph my cousin was given, that had been on the wall in one of the police offices for many years. Hence the fading at the sides.
In January 1923 it must have been with sadness that Grandad Beck said good bye to his brother Ernest who emigrated to America, with his wife, Flo and daughter, Olive. Ernest sent lots of photographs home and we have over 100 photographs and postcards of his life in America. Ernest wrote on the back of the photographs so though we don’t have the accompanying letters, we can gain a glimpse of his life in Massachusetts.
Below is one of the cases bought before Bridport Magistrates court in January 1924 in which PC Grey rode his bicycle for 10 miles, on a winters evening, to catch a thief. This post shows how attitudes to tramps was to change over the next few years. It is also interesting to note that the magistrates were to continue to warn the shopkeepers against leaving unattended goods outside their shops.
First a photograph from Grandad Beck’s collection, I think this was taken at Beaminster Police Station in the early 1920s. I am unsure if the Police are issuing new or second hand uniforms to their men. During this time police budgets were being cut so it is likely that these are second hand uniforms. Thanks to Ian (who is researching policemen in Dorset) we think the man in the bowler hat, with his back to the camera, is Chief Constable Dennis Granville. Standing next to him on the right is Grandad Beck.
This week I thought I would share some of the photographs that were taken at Beaminster Police Station during the 1920s. These are not dated but would have been taken during the time Grandad Beck, his wife Rebecca and daughter May lived there, from November 1919 to August 1925. In August 1925 Grandad Beck, and his wife moved to Bridport, I wrote about this here. The Station was not only a working Police Station, containing the visitors office, Court room, Police cells etc., but a home to the Superintendent and his family. It also contained separate accommodation for a Police Constable and his family. A Sergeant was also based in Beaminster and had separate accommodation in the town. In 1925 Sergeant and Mrs Symes lived in North Street, Beaminster while PC and Mrs Diment lived in a ‘cottage’ at the back of the Police Station. Grandad Beck and his family had their accommodation on the first and second floor, overlooking the main road through Beaminster.
Last week I wrote about the wedding of Grandad Beck’s daughter in the month of May 1925. (Laura) May Beck had lived in several police stations with her parents, she was born in Lyme Regis where her father was a constable, the family then moved to Upwey, followed by Dorchester and Blandford before coming to Beaminster. She must have known many of the police officers in Dorset and the local officers gave her with a guard of honour at her wedding.
The Bridport News reports that the weather was stormy and in this photograph it looks chilly and wet. Two of the guests have umbrellas up as they assembled for this photograph outside Beaminster church. Most of the guest are wearing coats and hats, from the photograph it doesn’t look like a summer wedding.