Thank you to all my readers, this is my 52rd post, I find it hard to believe that my first post was a year ago. Through this blog I have ‘met’, family members I didn’t know existed, descendants of Grandad Beck’s colleagues and friends that have enjoyed my scribbles. I can’t thank you enough for all your kind comments. I hope you will all keep reading as I write the last few posts of Grandad Beck’s life as a policeman.
To celebrate the New Year I thought I would give you a challenge. Can you help me identify May and Lionel in these school photographs. The first two are taken at Broadwey School. From 1904-1908 the family lived at 6 Prospect Place, Upwey. At first I wondered why the children went to Broadwey school when there was a school in Upwey. Then I found that the police house was in a lane just off the main Dorchester to Weymouth road and between the two schools. Lionel was born in March 1899 and May is two years younger born in 1901.
I have included some photographs of the family to help identify the Children.
I thought I would let Lionel and May wish you a Happy Christmas, can you hear Lionel on the violin accompanied by May on the piano coming to you through the years? This photograph must have been taken over 100 years ago, around 1910. The room is the same one as in the photograph here and is at Overton Villas in Dorchester. Christmas Bells is a one of Ezra Read’s ‘Descriptive Fantasias’ which was popular with music teachers at the time. Continue reading “Christmas Bells to wish you a Happy Christmas”
“A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One” was a popular song from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan, since 1880. I am sure Grandad Beck, heard this and chuckled, he loved his job and working in Dorset but others were not so happy.
Grandad Beck was promoted to Sergeant in 1908, while the family were living at Upwey. As a police constable he would have been working long hours, 7 days a week, the family must have only seen him for short periods each day. While his promotion would not have effected the hours he worked, it would have meant a modest increase in pay. Police Officers had 5 days annual holiday, for Lionel and May it must have been strange to see their father out of uniform. The newspapers reports of the Joint Standing Committee meetings (1909-1914), shows how this was all to change. The police Weekly Rest Day Act of 1910 was to give all policemen 1 day off per week, this was voluntary for the police forces until becoming mandatory on 26th July 1914, just before war was declared.
The request for policemen to assist the military in 1910 came as Dorset, along with other force, were having problems retaining and recruiting men. Young men, including Great Uncle Ernest, were joining the Metropolitan Police as they paid more. First a report about mounted police, which gives me an excuse to show you this photograph of Grandad Beck again. This was taken in the 1920s when he was a Superintendent at Beaminster.
I have written before about the Dorset Police Athletic Club, when in 1935 Grandad Beck, as vice-president, said he was the last serving member of the club. He had been an active member from the first meeting in 1896. Though he enjoyed the sports and supported them, the only reference to him taking part was when he mentioned the cycle races and loosing. During the years he was a Detective at Dorchester (1908-1915) it is likely that he took the photographs that the family still have. In this post I will share some of these photographs with you.
Weymouth had a separate Borough Police Force at the time and joined the Dorset Constabulary sports day. I understand that on occasion the event may have been held in Weymouth.