Lyme Regis – Attempted Suicide and Overcrowded Steamboats

Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca lived in the police station at Lyme Regis from 1896 to 1903. The station was in Horse Street, renamed Coombe Street in about 1901. This is now a private house. Sergeant Henry Battrick with wife his Mary, Son William aged 9 and Daughter Elizabeth 8 also lived in the station in 1901.

In 1902 the Standing Committee approved repairs to several police stations around the county including Lyme Regis.  Grandad Beck and the family may have benefited from the £25 10 shillings spent on the repairs.  The contract was awarded to A.O.F. Wisecombe.

1902 was also notable for the coronation of  King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra on 9 August.  The coronation had to be postponed from 26 June as the King was ill and required surgery.  The Chief Constable authorised  £25 for decorating the 17 police stations in the county for the occasion.

As a Police Constable, there are fewer reports in the newspapers for me to follow Grandad Beck’s career.  The only one I found of him, giving evidence in court, was in 1900.

The Dorset Standing Joint Committee spent considerable time discussing the monitoring of passenger numbers on the steamboats.  Though I can find no mention of him, I am sure that Grandad Beck would have been one of the P.C.’s deployed to count the people, at the Cobb, Lyme Regis.  I thought you would enjoy a couple of photographs taken aboard the steamboat, though these are most likely from when the family lived at Beaminster in the 1920s.  There is a link at the bottom of the page to more photographs of the steamboat Victoria at Lyme Regis.

Women seated on a boat
Rebecca Beck aboard the steamboat c1920

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More of Grandad Beck’s Photographs

Today I am going to share some family photographs taken at different houses.  The locations and the dates are not given but from the ages of Lionel and May they are likely to have been taken between 1907 and 1909.  This would make Lionel between 8 and 10 years, May between 6 and 8 years.

A Favourite Garden

The first photograph was a favourite, as it appears in several albums. This doesn’t look any of the places we know Grandad Beck lived. Both the Dorchester and Upwey houses are mid-terrace and prior to Upwey, they lived in the police station at Lyme Regis.

View of front porch and garden
A beautifully composed picture showing Lionel, Eli, Fanny, Rebecca and May

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Playing in the sand and climbing the rock at Bowleaze Cove

At the beginning of a New Year, many of us think about booking our holidays, I am sure the Grandad Beck was no different.  Up until 1909 the only time he had off was 5 days annual holiday.  One year the family went to Bowleaze  Cove near Weymouth.  I know this because Lionel and May very kindly built a sandcastle.  Little did they know how useful this would be over 100 years later.  Thank you Granny!

2 Children on beach with chalet behind
May and Lionel playing sandcastles at Bowleaze Cove C. 1908

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Happy New Year and where is May and Lionel?

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.

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Frances Jane Beck “Who fell asleep” May 26th 1919

Grandad Beck’s mother died on May 26th 1919, Grandad Beck, Rebecca and 18 year old May would have joined Eli (Grandad Beck’s father) and the rest of the family at Garland Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset for the funeral.  My Great, Great Grandmother, Frances Jane Beck was buried in the St Mary’s churchyard, Longfleet. Later to be joined by her husband, Eli and Grandad Beck.

Seated gentleman with older lady on his lap
Grandad Beck with his mother Fanny

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My Great, Great Uncle Ernest emigrated to America

In January 1923 it must have been with sadness that Grandad Beck said good bye to his brother Ernest who emigrated to America, with his wife, Flo and daughter, Olive.  Ernest sent lots of  photographs home and we have over 100 photographs and postcards of his life in America.  Ernest wrote on the back of the photographs so though we don’t have the accompanying letters, we can gain a glimpse of his life in Massachusetts.

Family of 3 sitting on grass in park
Postcard posted on Aug 22 1925 to Ernest’s father. Text reads: Taken on the slopes of Boston Common. Perhaps you know some of the folks. That is not a bottle of whiskey peeping out of my coat pocket. Ern

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Parents and Siblings

Grandad Beck died on 11 September 1947 in Poole, Dorset. From his  will, dated December 1942 I encountered a few names that I hadn’t heard of, this was an opportunity to research Grandad Beck’s parents and siblings. Grandad Beck was brought up in Buckland Newton, a small village in rural West Dorset and was the middle child of five children,  One older brother (Charles) who didn’t survive childhood, an older sister (Olive), a younger sister (Beatrice) and a younger brother (Ernest).  Interesting to see that his sister Beatrice married a police constable and their son also joined the police, eventually becoming a Chief Constable.  Grandad Beck’s younger brother joined the Metropolitan Police and later immigrated to America, I would like to find out more about Ernest and his family. Grandad Beck was the only one to remain in Dorset, near their parents. Continue reading “Parents and Siblings”