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.
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. Continue reading “Superintendent moves from Beaminster to Bridport”
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.
On Tuesday 7th February 1928 Bridport town hall was crowded, the Bridport News reported the largest attendance at a police court know in the town for many years. This was largely due to the fact that a case of larceny … was to be heard.
Superintendent’s Annual Report on Licensing
First the annual Licensing Session for Bridport Borough was heard by the magistrates, Mayor A. R. Travers, Aldermen E. S. Reynolds, W. G. F. Cornick, and G. A. Mabb. According to Supt. Beck’s annual report there were 32 fully-licenses houses, 11 beer houses (including 2 off license premises), one wine and spirit licence. This was a reduction of one licenses house as the Dolphin Inn had closed at the end of the previous year. Continue reading “Licensing and Larceny in Bridport Borough”
Bridport News March 2nd 1928
Beck – March 1, at Peel House, St Andrew’s Road, Bridport, Rebecca Beck, wife of Supt. A. P. Beck, aged 66
The Bridport News also wrote a piece entitled SUPT. BECK’S BEREAVEMENTThe deceased lady, … possessed a gentle and kindly disposition what endeared her to all with whom she came in contact. Throughout a long illness, borne with patience and fortitude, she was devotedly attended by her husband, while Dr. J.H. Armistead, her medical attendant, was unsparing in his efforts. The interment will take place at Blandford to-morrow (Saturday). The deepest sympathy is extended to Supt. Beck in the heavy bereavement that has befallen him.
Rebecca Beck (nee Illes)
My great grandparents had married 35 years before at Buckland Newton Church in Dorset. Grandad Beck was a 21 year old police constable and his bride a 35 year old former dairymaid. Throughout their marriage Rebecca had supported her husband’s career and, if family legend is correct, encouraged her husband to climb the promotional ladder.
A while ago I asked Who are these people? about a photograph including some of my Grandmother’s family. Sorting through the photograph albums I have found more photographs taken at the same time. Some of these are in front of a house, looking at one of them in detail I can make a good guess as to the question of where the photograph was taken and, therefore, who the people are.
Where was the photograph taken?
The answer to this question is possible because the owner of the house has very kindly put his name on the house wall. Thank you to Jim (cousin-in-law) for spotting this.
On 23rd November 1929 Grandad Beck married his second wife Annie Wayman at Corfe Mullen Parish Church. Though her name was Annie, she was known as Jo and by the grandchildren and great grand children as Aunty Jo, therefore I will call her Jo or Aunty Jo in this post. I met Aunty Jo several times, she was a lovely lady and all the family were fond of her.