Francis Turner and Bessie Hine
Francis Turner was born in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England on 10 May 1885. His father was Joseph Turner a cooper and his mother was Amy Caradine who ran the Post Office. Their story is told on a separate page.
Bessie Hine was born in Dunster, Somerset, England on 2 July 1878. Her father was John Hine who was a stonemason and local builder and her mother was Mary Ann Knox. Their story is told on a separate page.
Chipping Sodbury Post Office
The photograph opposite shows the staff of Chipping Sodbury Post Office. Standing, third from left is Francis Turner who was a mechanical engineer and telegraphist.
I think the person seated in front of him is Bessie Hine, but I am not certain about this.
Francis Turner records his occupation as a Mechanical Engineer and later as a Telegraphist.
Telegraph systems, a key innovation during the Industrial Revolution, soon spread across the world. Extensive systems appeared across Europe by the later part of the 19th century, and by 1866 the first permanent telegraph cable had been successfully laid across the Atlantic Ocean; there were 40 such telegraph lines across the Atlantic by 1940.
The electric telegraph transformed how wars were fought, how money was sent and how newspapers conducted business. Rather than taking weeks to be delivered by horse-and-carriage mail carts, pieces of news could be exchanged between telegraph stations almost instantly. The telegraph also had a profound economic effect, allowing money to be “wired” across great distances.
Telegrams, often delivered to homes and businesses by delivery boys, were a popular way of communicating during the 1920s and 1930s, when long-distance calls were more expensive than a telegram.
Bessie Hine Family Photograph
The photograph opposite shows Bessie Hine on the far right with all her siblings.
Francis and Bessie were married in the Wesleyan Chapel Dunster on 17 August 1910. Francis was 25 years old and was working as a mechanical engineer. Bessie was 31 years old and was the Postmistress at Chipping Sodbury Post Office.
Interestingly Francis records his father’s occupation as a Dairyman, rather than as a Cooper. I’m not sure whether a dairyman was someone who ran a dairy farm or whether he worked in a dairy, selling or delivering dairy products, like a milkman.
When Francis and Bessie retired from the Post Office in 1938, they moved to Minehead, near where Bessie grew up in Dunster.
In 1939 they were living in Elm Grove, Minehead. Francis records his occupation as retired Telegraphist and Sorting Clerk and Bessie as a retired sub Postmistress.
By the end of the war they had moved to Ingleside in Church Road, Alcombe, which is between Minehead and Dunster.
Francis and Bessie moved to the property Ingleside in Church Street, Alcombe. He was fit in his retirement and used to bicycle into Minehead.
Death of Bessie Hine
Bessie Hine died in Alcombe on 3 November 1950, and she was cremated in Bristol.