What we look at today is an elegant little basket, designed to carry lunch for one person who may have been working out in the fields. Our basket shows some of the ravages of time, but apart from having gone a bit squiffy, it is remarkably good.
We think this is a delightful item, right down to the stub end of pencil which now makes the closing pin.
This is a basket made by Mullings of Market Lavington in the early years of the twentieth century so it is over 100 years old. We believe that the basket would have been made by Alf Mullings. His father, William was a basket maker before him, but died in 1903. Alf’s son, Sid, became a basket maker as well and stayed in part time business until the 1960s.
This simple box structure has a rather elegant opening lid.
With the lid open we can see it is curved and so, too, are the sides of the basket. Hinges, handle and fastenings are all made in basket fashion.
This lunch box belonged to Sid Cooper. We think he was born in the Northbrook area of Market Lavington in 1880 and was a labourer at the brickworks at about the time this basket was made. Later, Sid became a market gardener living at Fiddington Sands.
Sid died in 1951 and is buried in Market Lavington church yard.