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Will it snow this winter?

During the year I have received several messages through this blog, all have been interesting. Thank you. Several messages were interested in Dorset Police and these contacts I have passed on to Ian who hopes to be bringing you a history of the Dorset Police force and the Policemen who walked our streets, in 2018. Other messages were members of the Beck or House family, I have loved meeting you on line and hopefully in person in 2018. Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Sylvia Photo of May taken at Blandford Police Station most likely during WW1

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


The gentleman mowing the grass is Grandad Beck's father Eli, while his son Lionel is watering some plants. On the left is his mother Franny, wife Rebecca and daughter May.  Rebecca is wearing a smock, which suggests she has been working.

The photograph has amazing quality and allows us to see into the windows of the house.  This reminds me of my Step-Grandparents house, Grandad Crabb was also a gardener.

Window in the house
Windowsill full of plants and flowers

picture of the garden

Picture of garden
Grandad Beck liked this garden

There is an unknown gentleman with Lionel in the photograph below.

Same house as before showing the porch and garden
Unknown gentleman and Lionel

Buckland Newton

In October 1907 two cottages in Buckland Newton were sold by auction.  Eli lived in one of two cottages and next door was Alfred Spurdle.   The advertisement for the auction gives us some more information, besides the occupiers.  The two cottages stood in about two acres of land which included gardens, orchard and paddock in the centre of the village.  The cottages had slate roofs and contained a sitting-room, kitchen, scullery with furnace, pantry, store and three bedrooms.  They each had an earth closet.  It goes on the say that each cottage had a large productive garden and could be converted into one house.  It is likely that Eli and Fanny moved after the sale, especially as Eli worked as a gardener, for the Rev. Canon Ravenhill who was retiring. Rev. Ravenhill was also selling furniture, carriages and horses from the Vicarage.  In 1911 census Eli and Fanny are caretakers at Rempstone Hall, Near Corfe Castle.

Two more photographs

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Two children sitting at the door of a house
Lionel and May seated in front of their Grandmother Fanny, and Grandad Eli on the right

Could this be the back door of the first above? The roof is slate but the window is a different design.

The photograph below includes both families plus two ladies. One is possibly Grandad Beck’s sister, Beatrice and the other is too obscured by the plants to identify her.

Group of people behind some flowers
Beatrice? unknown lady, Eli behind May, Fanny, Lionel and Rebecca

I hope you have enjoyed these photographs, while we may not know where these were taken, we can be sure the Beck family were keen gardeners.  I have previously written more about Eli and Fanny.

All original content by Sylvia Collins is copyright protected.

Western Gazette - 25 October 1907 p1


  1. I know Eli was a very enthusiastic gardener as was his Grandson Bernie Legg and great grandson (Keith) David Legg. Imagine having two acres of garden to maintain! They must have been very self sufficient, especially if they kept hens and pigs as many villagers did in those days. The first cottage I am sure is Buckland Newton, I wonder if the the second one could the back or another place such as Corfe Castle where I believe he lived for a while either side of living at nearby Rempstone Hall where he was a caretaker. It looks a bit like some of the Corfe cottages.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Heather. I am rather keen on gardening myself and so is Carol. It is interesting that both Grandad Beck and Eli loved their flowers as well as the vegetables. The cottages have changed so much over the years that it is difficult to recognise them now. It is possible one is at Corfe Castle, I didn't know they moved into one before they went to Rempstone Hall. It is unlikely to be after they were at Rempstone Hall because I think, the children would be older than in these photographs. As the rector, at Buckland Newton, had several horses and carriages I wonder if the photographs of Eli driving would have been one of these.
    Best wishes Sylvia

  3. Just catching up on your fantastic blog and photos, I loved the Boweleaze ones , ab fab and the photos this week as expected are brilliant and as usual not disappointing. The house this week
    maybe at Buckland Newton. I will email you. IAN

  4. Ian, Thank you for your comment and email. In the photographs you emailed me, the cottage had a post box and telephone near the gate, which suggests it could have been the Post Office. In the advert, the location of Eli's cottage was described as "situated in the centre of the village, adjoining the roadway from Cat Cross to the Post Office". In the fourth photograph, you can see the road behind the railings and some more houses in the background. This suggests that the cottages are not square on to the road. One day I will take these photographs and see if I can find out more. A future post perhaps!
    Best wishes Sylvia


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