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.
The station had stables at the back, Grandad Beck kept one, maybe two horses here. I have been told that he had two horses for his trap, possibly due to the steep hill between Beaminster and Lyme Regis (about 15 miles). By 1920 some Superintendents, from Dorset Police Constabulary, where using their own cars to get around their area but Grandad Beck kept his horse and trap. Later, possibly from the time he moved to Bridport he used a taxi. I previously posted about this here.
Beaminster Police station as a home
The Police Station didn’t have a garden but the Beck’s made good use of the available space to grow plants and keep chicken.
I am amazed at the size of these beans, I can only assume this is the result of lavish helpings of horse manure.
Several of the photos show a dog, I am assuming that this was May’s dog. There are photographs of May with dogs after her marriage taken at Wytherston Farm. In a couple of the photographs show a baby, I wonder if this was the child of the PC based at Beaminster station.
Working Police Station
Besides the visitors to the Police Station, and the local court room, all the local Policemen from Bridport Police Division would have gathered here at regular intervals. Below is a photograph taken of the Bridport Division, probably in 1925 shortly before Grandad Beck and his wife moved to Bridport.
Many thanks to Ian for identifying these policemen as far as possible. From the Newspapers we have tried to put, in brackets, where each of them is stationed. Ian is researching Dorset Police and we are both hoping that any readers with information about the Dorset Policeman around this time, will be kind enough to contact me.
I can’t resist to end with one last photograph. Rebecca and May are leaning out of the court room window, Grandad Beck is up the ladder and sitting in the doorway is the unknown lady and her baby. The window partly opened over the entrance to the yard, is the Beck’s kitchen window, still used as a kitchen for the youth centre that now occupy the building.
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