Photographs of Beaminster Police station 1920 to 1925

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.

Supt. Beck in uniform with his wife in a pony and trap
Grandad Beck with his wife Rebecca

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.

Uniformed Supt. on horse
Superintendent AP Beck on his horse at Beaminster Police Station
The gates to the road are behind him

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.

2 ladies with a hen and chicks
Rebecca Beck and the other lady is possibly Policeman’s wife who lived at the station

I am amazed at the size of these beans, I can only assume this is the result of lavish helpings of horse manure.

One lady up a ladder picking beans
Rebecca up the ladder, with her daughter May. In the background the same lady as above?

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.

Union Jack flags flying above a table set for tea
May and Rebecca on left, with a dog under the table, Grandad Beck in centre.
The identity of the other two ladies and baby is unknown.

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.

19 police officers plus one lady
BACK ROW: PC 119 Walter Henry BAILEY (Netherbury); PC 25 William Burt PAUL (Lyme Regis); PC 164 Robert BOOL (Chedington); PC 66 George PEACH (Bridport); PC 81 Herbert Russell PAULLEY (Bridport); PC 175 Alfred John WINTLE (Chideock); PC 33 George Charles Knight DIMENT (Beaminster).
MIDDLE ROW: PC 64 William Charles Henry CARTER ; PC 71 Fred NORRIS (Corscombe); PC 107 Francis G VATCHER (Bridport); PC 31 William J JONES (Bridport); PC 2 Albert STANLEY (Powerstock); PC 141 Henry SUMMERS (Loders); PC 144 Arthur E CLARKE (Thorncombe); PC 123 George MASTERS.
FRONT ROW: Sergeant Freddy CARTER (Lyme Regis); Sergeant George Henry KING (Bridport); Mrs Rebecca Beck; Superintendent Arthur Percy Beck; Sergeant Frank SYMES (Beaminster).

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.

2 ladies leaning out of window, gentleman up ladder. Lady and baby in doorway
Beaminster Police Station c 1920-1925

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7 thoughts on “Photographs of Beaminster Police station 1920 to 1925”

  1. Amazing – thank you so much for sharing – I have worked at what is now the youth club for 27 years and seeing these pictures mean so much. Paula

    1. Thank you Paula for taking such good care of the building and for showing me around. It is lovely to see the building being used for such a good cause, I know Grandad Beck would approve.

  2. My grandfather was Herbert Russell Paulley Dorset Police number 81 I have pictures from his time in Wales in the General Strike and I am conducting a search for them. I would love to send you a copy of my photo of Herbert in uniform and would love to have a copy of the group photo featured here

    1. Joan,
      Thank you so much for getting in touch with me. I have a copy of the group photo of Dorset Police at the general strike but I haven’t seen any others. I would love to hear more about your grandfather and his time in the police. I will send you an email.
      Sylvia

    1. Thank you Bill for leaving a comment. It is brilliant that so many descendants of the policemen who served with Grandad Beck have read my blog. Ian Swatridge is writing a more detailed account of the Dorset Police, have you been in contact with him?

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