Floods, Chocolate and Intoxicating Liquor: Blandford Forum 1916/17

As I had previously written about annual reports on premises licenced to sell intoxicating liquor in Bridport Divisions. I thought I would look at Grandad Beck’s annual report to the Blandford County Licensing Sessions in February 1917. This gives a interesting look at life during World War One.

First I will briefly write about two other cases before the Courts in Blandford Forum. A tale of 5 lads and their quest for chocolate, and one relating to the severe winter weather.  Across the country, people suffered from a winter of  storms, heavy snow, gales and high tides which bought lots of flooding during the winter of 1916/17.

Photograph of a cattle market
Cattle Market possibly at Blandford

Worst floods for 35 years

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Blandford Magistrates Petty Session in 1919

The move to Beaminster in November 1919, meant some changes for Grandad Beck, as Police Superintendent, I wrote about some of these here. Blandford had more military personal unlike Beaminster, Bridport and Lyme Regis which were more rural. Blandford Camp was a depot for the Royal Naval Division until 1918 when it became an intake camp for the newly reformed Royal Air Force. During 1919 there were several motor related court cases at the Blandford Petty sessions, I have written about two which involved RAF drivers.  To give a flavour of life in 1919, the year after the end of World War One, I have included a summary of some of the other cases before Blandford Magistrates.  First is a sad case of the death of a young girl that was killed in a motor accident.

Tented area
Unknown Photographs from Grandad Beck’s collection – any thoughts?

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Licensing and Larceny in Bridport Borough

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”

Intoxicated Liquor Licences 1934: Controversy over Summer Half-Hour

Licences for intoxicated liquor, then as now, was an emotive subject and was a subject for local courts. Every February the local businesses selling intoxicated liquor renewed their licences. Grandad Beck as Superintendent of the Bridport Division of Dorset Police Constabulary gave the annual report to the licencing committee for his area. Supt. Beck started each session by giving a report into the previous year, which was reported by the Bridport News.

In 1934 as in previous years Mr Roper on behalf of the Licenced Victuallers’ Association wanted Bridport Borough to grant an extension by half-hour during summer evening. Bridport Borough didn’t agree that they had to right to do this. Bridport Borough and Dorchester magistrates argued that they needed a change in the law but other areas including Beaminster, Lyme Regis and Weymouth granted the half hour extension. The hours are set by national government with local areas allowing extensions in their area for an individual or group of premises. There seems to be a confusion about what extensions to opening hours the local courts could allow. Continue reading “Intoxicated Liquor Licences 1934: Controversy over Summer Half-Hour”