NEWS ITEMS FROM THE 1920's - 1930's - 1940's
The Western Gazette of Friday 24th December 1920 reported, “COUNTY POLICE-COURT – ANOTHER LIGHTLESS VEHICLE Bert Chinn, Grimstone, was summoned for driving a vehicle without lights at Wrackleford – Defendant said he was wet through and cold, that it was raining hard and that he had failed to light his lamps when he tried to do so. Eventually the gardener at Wrackleford House lighted his lamps for him. – A fine of 7s 6d was imposed.”
The Bystander of 26th January 1921 carried a photograph with the caption, “The Rev. E. A. Milne has been Master of the Cattistock for over 20 years, and hunts his own pack. The country around Wrackleford, where this meet took place, is well stocked with foxes, and provides excellent runs.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 10th June 1921 carried an advertisement, “SITUATIONS VACANT – BUTLER-VALET WANTED. State age, experience, if married, wages. – A. Pope, Wrackleford House, Dorchester.
The Western Gazette of Friday 12th August 1921 reported, “CRICKET – STRATTON v. DORCHESTER BREWERY The Dorchester Brewery were the guests of Stratton at Wrackleford on Saturday, the visitors winning by 58 runs to 17. In a second innings the Brewery scored 77 for eight wickets.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 21st October 1921 reported, “DORCHESTER BOROUGH POLICE COURT – THE CHAUFFEUR AND THE DANGEROUS CORNER Charles Barton, Wrackleford, chauffeur to Mr. A Pope, was summoned for failing to stop a motor-car when requested to do so by P.C. Cooper, on 7th inst. – Mr. P. H. Morton defended. – The constable stated that while on duty at the town cross he saw a car coming down High West-street and another car, driven by the defendant, coming up South-street. He signalled the car coming down South-street to stop, and at the same time signalled the High West-street car to come on. The defendant, however, ignored the signal, and turned the corner sharply, narrowly escaping a collision with the car coming down High West-street. Defendant stopped at the Museum, and when the constable asked him why he had not stopped when signalled to do so replied that he thought the signal was to proceed. – Corroborative evidence was given by William George Major, an Army pensioner. – Mr. Morton’s defence was that the signal of the constable had been misunderstood. – The Mayor, after the magistrates had privately conferred, said that they were of opinion that the signal had been disobeyed, but in view of the defendant’s very satisfactory record as a driver in the past the penalty would be made as light as possible, and defendant would be fined 5s. The Bench were bound to uphold the police in the carrying out of a difficult duty in controlling traffic at this dangerous corner. There would be no endorsement of defendant’s licence.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 14th April 1922 reported, “THE RAILWAY TRAGEDY – ILLNESS AND DEPRESSION ENDS IN WOMAN’S SUICIDE An enquiry was held at the County Hospital on Friday afternoon before the Deputy-Coroner (Mr. G. G. H. Symes), into the tragic death of Miss K. Limm, whose mutilated body was found early on Thursday morning on the railway line between Dorchester and Grimstone. The police were represented by Supt. Hussey, and the Coroner’s Officer was P.S. Churchill. The G.W.R. representatives present were Messrs. T. F. Jakeman (stationmaster at Dorchester) and H. E. Denne (foreman, locomotive and carriage department, Weymouth).

William James Steele, shepherd, of Higher New Barn, Bradford Peverell, brother-in-law of the deceased, gave evidence of identification, and said that Miss Limm had been staying at his house for a month. She had been in ill-health and had been medically attended, and came to see if the change would do her any good. On the day after her arrival she was not well, and Dr. T. B. Broadway, of Dorchester, came to see her. She complained occasionally of a heavy weight on her head and also some affection of the nostrils. About a fortnight after her arrival at Bradford she went to the County Hospital on the suggestion of the doctor, and she returned to witness’s house on March 29th. After that she complained about her nostrils. Witness last saw her alive about 7.30 on Wednesday evening. During the day she had not complained; in fact, she seemed brighter than usual. Witness went into the woodhouse and deceased came out to him and after that she played with the children until they went to bed. Witness had to attend to his sheep, and when he returned at 8.30 his wife told him that the deceased had gone out, presumably into the garden. As she did not return witness and his wife went out in the garden and the adjoining field, but could find no trace of her. A neighbour also made a search. Witness afterwards walked to Frampton and reported the matter to the police. Neither witness nor his wife went to bed that night, and at break of day he had another look round. Afterwards he heard from a railwayman that the body of a woman had been found near Gaston Bridge, and witness went and saw that it was the body of his sister-in-law. Witness added that he had never heard the deceased say that she would do away with herself. Latterly she had been very depressed. Since the death of her father six or seven years ago she had lived alone at Abbotsbury.

Harry Bird, G.W.R. platelayer, of Charminster, gave evidence as to discovering the decapitated body on the up-line near Gaston Bridge. Information was at once given to P.C. Dyer, of Charminster, and on his arrival the body was placed on a trolley and taken to the Dorchester station. It was evident that the woman had placed her head on the rails, and she had been dead some hours. The usual notices were displayed near by warning people against trespassing on the line.

P.C. Dyer said that he found the body lying on its right side 15ft away from the end of the parapet wall. The clothing was saturated with rain, and from the appearance of the body witness formed the opinion that death had taken place some hours previously. Witness afterwards examined the vicinity, and in Tillywhim-lane, which was beneath the railway bridge, he saw that someone had made a recent entry through some wire fence, and he traced footmarks up the bank to the spot where the body of the deceased was found.

The Coroner : Judging by the position in which the body was lying, did it appear that the deceased had been run over accidentally? – Witness : No Sir, it would have been impossible.

Thomas Frederick Jakeman, G.W.R. stationmaster at Dorchester, said that after 8.30 p.m. there were only two up trains that would pass Gaston Bridge, one being the 8.45 p.m. passenger train from Weymouth, and the 10 o’clock goods from Weymouth to Bristol. The drivers and firemen of these two trains had been interrogated, and had stated that they detected nothing untoward I the running of the trains in passing Gaston Bridge.

Miss Elizabeth Morton, house surgeon at the hospital, stated that Miss Limm was admitted as an in-patient on March 22nd with a view to an operation being performed on her nose, but after examination it was not deemed necessary. Witness saw her daily, and she complained about pains in her head, difficulty in breathing, and she continually complained about her nostrils.

The Deputy Coroner returned as his verdict that the deceased committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity due to illness and general mental depression.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 22nd September 1922 reported, “DORCHESTER POLICE BUSINESS – COUNTY POLICE COURT – SATURDAY before Mr. H. S. Williams, Mrs. Stillwell, Major K. R. Balfour, Dr. P. W. MacDonald, Mr. E. C. Paul, and Mr. E. Graham. A NEW HOSTELRY FOR GRIMSTONE – Mr. A. Pengilly made application on behalf of the owners and licensee of the Royal Yeoman public-house, Grimstone, for sanction to plans for a new building to take the place of the premises which were, on 5th September, burnt to the ground. Plans, he stated, had been deposited, which showed that the new house would be erected on a portion of the site covered by the existing licence. – Legal argument ensued as to whether within Section 71 of the Licensing Act of 1910, for “structural alterations,” should be made at the Court or at the general annual licencing meeting. – Supt. Hussey observed that there was a dangerous corner at the present time, but he understood that a portion of the land would be thrown into the road with the consent of Mr. A. Pope, who is lord of the manor. – Mr. S. Jackson, architect, produced plans of the new house, and in answer to the Bench he stated that the floor-line would be kept up, which would enable the road to be made up. The plans showed that the house would be set back about 10 feet. – Supt. Hussey said he agreed with the plans, and he thought the house would be a great improvement, taking the place of the previous hovel. It would be a nice house and should be useful to the public. – The Bench regarded the application as one for “structural alterations” and granted it.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 22nd December 1922 reported, “DEATH – SNOW. – Dec. 19th, at the London Hospital, of typhoid fever, contracted whilst nursing, Nina, the dearly-loved and devoted child of R.H. & M.E. Snow, of Grimstone, Dorchester, aged 26 years.
The Western Gazette of Friday 23rd February 1923 reported, “THE CATTISTOCK – KILL ON WRACKLEFORD HOUSE LAWNS It was not until after the last of the Stratton plantations had been drawn on Monday that the Cattistock, having met at Grimstone Viaduct, hit a stale line. Working it out nicely over Grimstone and Stratton Downs, hounds got on better terms, and ran well by Forston nearly to Stratton village before turning to the left, and with Wrackleford on the right reached the Asylum. Here the fox turned right-handed, and passing Charminster, made straight for Wrackleford House, where he was killed on the lawn after a good sporting hunt of fifty minutes. The weather had changed for the worse when the next fox was found in Godmanstone Gorse, but hounds ran hard by Bushes Bottom, through Langford Gorse, and over Grimstone Downs, where they were in difficulties on the foiled ground of the morning, and although they ran over Stratton Downs and got up to their fox, he had to be left at Coronation Plantation.”
The Western Daily Press of Tuesday 3rd January 1928 reported, “DORSET – Dorchester – Yeovil – Floods, 2ft 6ins.; impassable at Wrackleford”
The Western Gazette of Friday 23rd March 1928 reported, “DORCHESTER POLICE-COURT – DISMISSED WITH A CAUTION Daniel Kelly, of Wrackleford, was summoned for riding an unlighted bicycle. – Supt. Lovell having acknowledged defendant’s assistance to the police in the past, the case was dismissed with a caution.”
The Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser of Wednesday 24th July 1929 reported, “DORSET MANSION FIRE – OUTBREAK AT WRACKLEFORD HOUSE An outbreak of fire which threatened serious consequences broke out just before midnight on Friday at Wrackleford House, the residence of Mr. Alfred Pope, South Court, having originated in some outbuildings and extended to the stabling. The Dorchester Brigade, who were summoned, were promptly on the spot, and prevented the fire spreading. The conflagration resulted in considerable damage to the stabling and garage, a valuable car being destroyed. The property is said to be insured.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 1st November 1929 reported, “DANGEROUS DRIVING CHARGE AT DORCHESTER – ALLEGED OFFENCE WHILST HURRYING TO BUY A WREATH – LORRY THAT OVERTURNED [The alternative spellings of the defendant’s name are as shown] Alleged to have cut in between two motor-lorries, causing one to overturn Fredk. Wyndham Cheyney, roadman, of Grimstone, was summoned at the Dorchester Police-court on Saturday for driving a motor-car to the common danger.

The case was a sequel to an accident on October 8th which was described by Henry Edward Parsey, motor driver, of 40, Holloway-road, Dorchester. Witness said he was driving Mr. Pickett’s lorry at 5.40 p.m. from Wrackleford to Dorchester, and a motor-car cut in from behind, touching the front off wheel so that witness lost control. The lorry ran up the bank and overturned. At the time an approaching lorry was practically opposite and was travelling at a speed of 30 to 35 miles per hour. Cheyney said to witness that he was in hurry to get into town before the shops shut. The other lorry was brought to a standstill and the driver of that vehicle told Cheney that “he was hopping along”.

In cross-examination by Major H. O. Lock (for the defence) witness denied that the lorry was ‘wobbling’ and that a week before the accident he had complained as to its condition.

Arthur George Bishop, of Broadmayne, who was riding in the back of the lorry driven by Parsey, said the car which was following came out, went in again, and then came out once more and tried to pass. He heard a crash, and when the lorry in which he was riding turned over he was thrown into the road. He did not give any signal to Cheney.

Cross-examined witness said Cheney did not say to him “You signalled me through”.

DEFENDANT’S ALLEDGED ADMISSION Albert Edward Pickett said he employed Pardey and was at Wrackleford when he left. Cheney passed shortly afterwards. He later left in his own car., and when he arrived at the scene of the accident he spoke to Cheney. The latter said, “I don’t know that my car struck yours. There’s no mark on it.” Witness pointed out that it may have been a glancing blow by the tyre, and Cheney said, “Oh, we won’t argue about it. We will wait until Mr. Pickett comes.” Witness said he was Mr. Pickett. Cheney admitted he was in a hurry to get to Dorchester, as he wanted to get a wreath before the shops closed. He later said, “Whatever the damage is I must pay, but I am only a working man. I hope it won’t cost much.” Witness replied “If it’s very much I must meet you.”

Frederick Griffiths, fruit salesman, of Yeovil, told the Court he was driving the other lorry. When he was within 25 yards of Parsey’s vehicle a car came from behind it. He applied his brakes and somehow the car ran between the two.

P.C. Hopkins, of Charminster, stated the road was 17ft wide. Interviewed at Dorchester, Cheney said he was travelling at 15 miles per hour and thought he had time to get through. “I don’t want to be summoned,” he said. “I would sooner sell the car.” Witness found a small dent on the hub of the rear near-side wheel and a rub mark on the tyre.

Addressing the Bench, Mr. Lock submitted that the lorry should have been in the repair shop and was a positive danger on the road. The “villain of the piece” was Bishop, who, he submitted, called Cheney to come through.

WIFE PREVENTS SPEEDING Cheney, giving evidence on oath, said he was driving with his wife and two children, and as he approached the lorry he gave a warning and a man standing in the back looked in each direction and nodded witness through. When he was level with the lorry he saw another lorry coming and accelerated to get through. His wife told him the lorry had overturned, but before he could get out of his car the driver came up accusing him of having knocked the lorry over.

In cross-examination, witness said his average speed was 25 miles per hour; his wife would not allow him to go faster. He added that when he was driving he did not allow his wife to speak to him. When the constable saw witness he did examine the car. – Mrs. Cheney corroborated that when her husband gave warning of his approach she distinctly saw the man standing in the back of the lorry nod for them to pass. She did not feel any jar when going by the lorry.

After a lengthy consideration the Bench decided there should be a conviction, and imposed a fine of £1 and ordered defendant to pay £2 costs. – The Chairman (Mr. E. R. Sykes) said they had taken into consideration the position of the defendant. These cases were becoming numerous, he added, and the roads were becoming very dangerous. It was possible the magistrates might be driven to take a more serious view of such cases.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 25th March 1932 reported, “FARM LABOURER’S DEATH – JURY ENQUIRE WHY HORSE BOLTED – ILMINSTER LORRY DRIVER EXONERATED The death of a farm labourer who was thrown from his cart and run over when his horse bolted was the subject of an inquest which lasted for over 2½ hours at the Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, on Tuesday.

The dean man, Charles Honeybun (68), of Grimstone, Dorchester, was one of three brothers who have what is probably a unique record for Dorset farm workers. All three had been employed on the same holding, Manor Farm, Grimstone, all their lives.

During the hearing an Ilminster, Somerset, steam-lorry driver was called to give evidence, and subsequently the jury returned a verdict which exonerated him from blame.

“PLOUGH WITH ANYTHING” The Coroner (Major G. G. H. Symes) said that Honeybun was driving a horse and cart along the Dorchester Road at Grimstone on Wednesday, 16th March, at 12.45 p.m., when he met a steam-waggon travelling in the opposite direction. Apparently as they drew level the horse bolted. Honeybun was thrown out and one wheel went over him. He received internal injuries, and died at the County Hospital on Saturday.

Wm. Honeybun said that the deceased, his brother, had been driving horses off and on, all his life.”

The Coroner : Was this horse restless on passing motors?  Had it bolted before? Honeybun : Once in the Stratton field, when a dog bit it on the nose.

Wm. James Lock, of Manor Farm, Grimstone, said Honeybun was “thoroughly accustomed to horses and could go to plough with anything.” Witness said he had owned the horse concerned in the accident for seven years. It was a docile animal and had bolted only once before, 4½ years ago, in the ploughfield on the occasion mentioned by Wm. Honeybun. It was on the road every day, and on the day of the accident had several times passed the steam-roller. “There was no vice in the horse” added witness.

ROLLER DRIVER’S EVIDENCE Ernest Edward Griggs, driver for the Eddison Steam Roller Company, Dorchester, who said his home was at Spalding, Lincolnshire, said he waited for Honeybun to drive past his roller, but when the horse was within 60 yards of him a steam-waggon “cut round the corner” from Dorchester. The waggon was travelling on its correct side.

“When he got level with the horse the driver opened his regulator,” continued Griggs. This would make the engine-noise louder, Steam was escaping from under the engine all the time. The horse then bolted.

In answer to the foreman of the jury (Mr. G. Rose, of Dorchester), witness said that it was a blind corner.

The foreman : And the lorry was travelling at 25 m.p.h to 30 m.p.h.? – Yes, sir.

A juryman : There was no need to open out until he had passed the horse? – In two seconds he would have passed the horse.

The lorry, witness proceeded, did not stop after the horse bolted. The road took a right bend through the village and a left bend afterwards, and not much of the road would be seen in the driving mirror of the vehicle.

Mr P. H. Morton (for the owner and driver of the waggon) : The fact that the roller and the waggon were on the road would be likely to upset the horse? – It might have done so, but the horse had not got to me.

Ernest Amy, of Frampton, employed by a Bath firm on reinstating the cable track between Dorchester and Yeovil, considered that the steam from the waggon caused the horse to take fright, and then when the engine was opened up there was “a rattling noise,” which startled it more. The horse had bolted before the regulator was opened; it shied away from the lorry, but he thought the driver could not see it.

NO ROAD WARNING SIGNS The Coroner : This witness was nearer to the place where it bolted and thinks the horse started at the escaping steam, not at the opening of the regulator.

Amery said he thought that Honeybun would have got the horse under control after it had shied at the steam had not the engine ben opened up.

When Amery told Mr. H. O. Lock (who represented Honeybun’s employer) that there were no warning signs near the village, apart from the road-making signs and flags, Mr. Lock commented, “I don’t know if the jury would like to add a rider suggesting that the County Council should put up warning signs.”

Elizabeth Lock, wife of Honeybun’s employer, thought that as the lorry approached the horse’s head the driver blew off steam, and as Honeybun was getting it under control there was another report from the lorry, which caused it to bolt.

Walter Charles Horsey, dairyman, of Grimstone, said he tried to stop the horse. He saw Honeybun thrown from the cart and the left-hand wheel went over him.

Dr. R. E. Hope-Simpson, house surgeon at the County Hospital, said that Honeybun had eight fractured ribs, and the left lung was collapsed. These injuries caused death.

Mervyn Small, of West-street, Ilminster, Somerset, employed by Reginald Patten, of Ilminster, stated that having seen warnings that a steam-roller was at work he reduced the speed of his steam waggon from 18 m.p.h. to 15, and finally on going round the curve and noticing the roller stationary he slowed down to about 10 m.p.h. He received an “all clear” signal from a man in the road, and he did not see the horse until level with the roller.

“NO STEAM ESCAPING” The horse shied when it was about 25 yards away, and the witness shut off the regulator and applied brakes. The waggon was then absolutely silent. There was no steam escaping. “The horse immediately calmed down, and I thought it was safe to release my brakes.”

“I was going at about 5 m.p.h. to pass the cart,” continued Small. “I saw the horse in my driving mirror when I was 10 yards past, and it was still absolutely calm. I opened the regulator and went on.” Steam which would hang about the lorry on such a morning prevented him from seeing any more in the mirror.

The Coroner : Then the sooner they have on lorries another system of signalling the better. It doesn’t seem much good having a mirror if you can’t see anything in it.

Small : We have complained to the works about it.

Small explained that at slow speeds and in cold and misty weather steam continually hung about the waggon, but this did not happen in the summer.

The Coroner commented : “Now we know why we sometimes cannot get pass (sic) these waggons – they cannot see us.”

Supt. Lovell : Don’t you think it would have been reasonable to stop? – Small : I did apply my brakes and the horse calmed down so quickly I thought I was quite safe.

Don’t you know that by regulations the mirror must be in a position to show traffic behind? – It is in a correct position if it was not for the steam. When I am going faster the steam goes above the waggon.

Mr. H. O. Lock : If you had stopped this man would be alive to-day. I consider I did everything I could to quieten the waggon. The horse was under control before I opened my regulator.

Small said it was mechanically impossible for the steam to have been blown out in the way suggested by Mrs. Lock.

Ernest Hooper, of High-street, Ilminster, Small’s “mate” on the waggon, said that Small down to 15 m.p.h. after passing the roller and the horse shied when they were 25 yards away. Honeybun got the horse under control, and as Small had shut off the regulator and applied his brakes they passed the horse at about 6 m.p.h. Small let the lorry go to 10 to 15 yards further before opening the regulator.

Hooper stated he heard nothing about the occurrence until the next morning.

NOT EASY TO DRIVE After reviewing the evidence the Coroner said that if the regulator of the steam-waggon was opened when the waggon was travelling slowly a noise was made, but it was not illegal to make a noise if it could not be avoided. Excessive noise was not allowed, and due consideration must be given to other road users.

Apparently the horse was quiet in passing the lorry, but, as the driver of the steam-roller had agreed, one could never tell when a horse was going to take fright. It might do so when least expected.

If the jury thought the steam-waggon driver was negligent they must say so. He was driving what was not an easy vehicle to drive, though everybody was inclined to say when meeting a steam-waggon “Here is one of those beastly things.” If the driver was doing all that he could do with the instrument for which he was responsible they should say there was no blame attached to him.

A verdict was returned that death was accidental, due to misadventure, and that there was no negligence on the part of Small, the waggon-driver.

EMPLOYER’S TRIBUTE Speaking to a Western gazette reporter after the inquest, Mr. W. J. Lock, deceased’s employer, said “I should like you to say what a loss Grimstone has suffered by the death of Mr. Charles Honeybun. He was trustworthy, good workman, and I can never replace him. He was one of three brothers working for me.”

Mr. Honeybun had lived in Grimstone all his life, and was much respected in the village, as a quiet industrious workman, added Mr. Lock.

The funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.
The Western Gazette of Friday 20th May 1932 reported, “MR. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN’S FISHING HOLIDAY For his first holiday since his recent indisposition the Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Neville Chamberlain, chose to spend the Whitsun week-end at Dorchester fishing with his friend, Sir Montague Barlow.

Mr. Chamberlain arrived at Dorchester G. W. station on Friday afternoon, and immediately left by taxi for Grimstone where Sir Montague Barlow rents fishing on the Frampton Estate. His arrival at Grimstone was watched by only two motorists, who drew up for the taxi without recognising the Chancellor.

Sir Montague and Mr. Chamberlain occupied a private suite at the King’s Arms Hotel, Dorchester, the well-known hostelry which is mentioned by Thomas Hardy in his Wessex novels. They left on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Chamberlain had sufficiently recovered from his illness to spend most of Saturday in the open air. Leaving his hotel at 11 a.m., he was out with Sir Montague until five, when they returned for tea. They then fished from six o’clock until after nine.

This is the second holiday the Chancellor has spent in Dorset this year. Earlier in the season he was shooting with Sir Ernest Debenham, Bart.”
The Western Gazette of Friday 3rd February 1939 reported, “DORCHESTER MAN KILLED BY DIESEL TRAIN – MISADVENTURE VERDICT A verdict of ‘Death by misadventure’ was returned at the inquest at the Dorset County Hospital on Monday of James King, aged 64, of 34, St. Georges-road, Dorchester, who met his death on Thursday when he was knocked down by the diesel train at Grimstone.

Colonel G. G. H. Symes, coroner for South Dorset conducted the enquiry, assisted by a jury. Mr A. Frosdick, district inspector, of Yeovil, represented Mr. R. G. Pole, the G.W.R. divisional superintendent, while Mr. W. P. Fisher, secretary of the Eddison Steam Roller Co., the deceased’s employers, and Mr. W. J. Snook, the locomotive foreman, of Weymouth, also attended.

P.C. Best, of Frampton, gave evidence that at 5.45 p.m. on Thursday, with Sergeant Conway, he went to the G.W.R. station at Grimstone. Close to the signal on the Weymouth side of the down line he found a man’s hat (produced) between the metals. “I saw where something had been dragged in the snow,” he said, “I saw traces of blood along the down line and on the cross-over lines, 160 feet to the south of the signal, I saw the mutilated body of a man.” The body was conveyed to the mortuary at the County Hospital.

Alfred John King identified the hat and other objects as belonging to his father who was a steam-roller driver. He had been working at Grimstone for about a fortnight, but this week he had travelled backwards and forwards every day. He caught the 5.25 p.m. back at night.

James Edward George Fox, of the Forge, Frampton, a porter at Frampton station, said he had seen the deceased that week as he caught the motor at 5.25. About twenty minutes past five that night he heard the Diesel come through Grimstone tunnel. It blew the clarion. Witness said this could be heard for two miles. Five minutes after the Diesel had gone through the station the driver came back and said he thought he had knocked someone down. They searched the line and found the deceased.

The Coroner : Have you got any view as to how he got on the line? – Witness : He did not come up the right road to the station.

How did he come to be crossing the line where he did? – I take it he must have come across a field near the Royal Yeoman and instead of turning right to cross by the footbridge he went down by the signal-box to step across the metals. – In answer to a juryman witness said there was a strong north wing blowing at the time, and it was possible that the deceased would have his head down.  Although he was an intending passenger with a ticket the deceased was a trespasser at the time of the accident, as he was on a part of the Company property on which he was not allowed.

The Coroner : He may have thought the Diesel was the motor and it was going to stop at the station. It might have crossed his mind that was so.

CORONER’S THEORY The driver of the Diesel, John William House, of 10, Argyle-road, Weymouth, said he was four minutes late leaving Maiden Newton, and he passed through Grimstone at 5.20. The motor-train, which stopped there, was following him. He sounded the clarions and as he reached the end of the platform he noticed something approaching him on the right-hand side. “I felt the car hit something and I pulled up as quickly as I could.” He said. “I walked back over the line and found the mutilated body of a man.” The accident was over too quickly for him to form an opinion of what the man was doing on the line. – Frederick Albert Wellspring, of Sydling, a roadman, said he saw the deceased a few minutes before five and he appeared perfectly well and cheerful.

The Coroner said he did not propose to call the medical evidence because it was clear that the man had been killed by the Diesel. He could not say so, but it was possible he did not recognise the Diesel and thought it was the motor which would stop and he therefore stepped across the line. The Coroner said that for the purposes of the Home Office return the jury would find that at the time of the accident King was a trespasser on the line. The jury’s verdict was as stated, and the Coroner expressed his deep sympathy with the family in their bereavement, which was endorsed by Mr. Frosdick. – On behalf of the Eddison Steam Roller Company Mr. Fisher also expressed sympathy with the family, and said, “Mr. King has been in our employ for over 40 years, and by his death we have lost a valued servant.””
The Western Gazette of Friday 5th April 1940 reported, “The funeral of Mr. William Honeybun, who died at the Dorset County Hospital on Easter Sunday, took place at Stratton on Thursday. Mr. Honeybun was a native of Grimstone and had lived there for eighty years, being the oldest inhabitant. He was the eldest of four brothers. One, Mr. John Honeybun, still lives in Stratton. He had worked under five farmers at Grimstone Farm and, since his home was burnt out last autumn, had lived with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Wills, at Ilsington, where he worked occasionally. Two daughters and one son survive.

The Rector (Rev. A. F. Godley) officiated, and Mr. Honeybun’s favourite hymn, “Rock of Ages” was sung. Mrs. Horsey being at the organ. The family mourners were : - Mrs. E. Wills and Mrs. H. Oliver (daughters), Mr. John Honeybun (brother), Mr. E, Wills (son-in-law), Miss I. Alpin (niece), Mr. W. Honeybun (nephew), Mr. William Morris (cousin), Mrs. P. Fost (friend). Mr. H. Oliver (son-in-law) was unable to attend. Others present included Mr. W. J. Lock (a former employer), Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. Hawkins, and Mrs. Damen.

The beautiful wreaths were as follows : - In loving memory of our dear Father, from Lou and Harold; In affectionate remembrance of dear Father, from Bess and Ted; In loving memory of our dear Granfy, from the grandchildren; In affectionate remembrance, from Chris; In loving memory, from Ivy; From Mr. and Mrs. F. Legg, Stratton, with deepest sympathy “Peace, perfect peace”; In loving memory of Mr. Honeybun, from C. and L. Harrison and boys, Ilsington (R.I.P); With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins. At rest.”

The Western Gazette of Friday 20th September 1940 reported, “GRIMSTONE FARMER’S BEREAVEMENT – VERDICT AT WAREHAM INQUEST At an inquest at Wareham on Monday evening by the Deputy Coroner for East Dorset (Mr. R. C. Howie), Mrs. Laura Judith Martin, of The Bungalow, Howards-lane, Wareham, said that on the previous evening, the deceased, Mrs. Elizabeth Lock, arrived at her house. At ten o’clock that Monday morning, witness went into the lavatory and saw Mrs. Lock hanging by a cord from a pipe.

Samuel Charles Martin, brother, said he saw his sister at her home at Grimstone and she returned with him to Wareham. At five o’clock next morning he took her a cup of tea and she seemed quite cheerful.

William James Lock, of Manor Farm, Grimstone, Dorchester, told the Deputy-Coroner that his wife had an operation last Christmas. When Mr. Martin called on Sunday and it was suggested that she should go to Wareham for a change, she seemed quite willing to go and was quite cheerful. His wife worried about her health and thought she had a growth, but her doctor assured her that such was not the case. She had no other worries, but he added : “I think she might have worried about her son, who is a pilot in the Royal Air Force, since seeing a German aircraft which crashed in one district.” Witness also said that his wife, who was aged 61, had not threatened to take her life.P.C. Edward Willis said the cord from which Mrs. Lock was suspended appeared to be from the dressing gown she was wearing.

The cause of death was said by Dr. John A. Brooking Snell to be asphyxia due to hanging, and the Deputy-Coroner found that deceased had taken her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed. He expressed his sympathy with Mr. Lock.”

The Western Gazette of Friday 10th June 1949 reported, “RETIREMENT OF STATION-MASTER After forty-seven years’ service with the Great Western Railway Mr. W. Samways is retiring on June 11th from the post of Stationmaster at Grimstone and Frampton. A member of a well-known Dorset family, the whole of his railway career has been spent at stations in his native county. Joining the Great Western Railway at Bridport General Station, in 1902, he held the posts of yard checker and goods guard, eventually being appointed station foreman. Leaving the town on promotion, he served five years as Stationmaster at Toller, and in 1935 took up a similar appointment at Grimstone and Frampton. He will not be leaving his old home. Mr. Woodward, Stationmaster at Toller, succeeds Mr. Samways at Grimstone.”