August 20, 2014
Florence Eldin, daughter of a butcher who held the shop which is now Dowse the butchers, has been mentioned before on this blog. Click here for that posting.
We know that Florence was born about 1893 in Cambridgeshire and moved to Market Lavington when her father took over the butchery business.
She was in her 50s when she married George O’Reilly in 1945, a marriage which lasted just three years before George died. He was quite a bit older than her.
Florence herself died in 1973 but that length of life might have seemed unlikely back in 1922.
Extract from the Market Lavington tuberculosis reporting book
As we can see, it was in that year she was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.
This could explain her absence from the village in 1926. She is not on the electoral register for that year.
At Market Lavington Museum we have quite a substantial record book, kept in accordance with the Tuberculosis Regulations of 1911. Our book, we should be thankful to say, received very little use.
August 19, 2014
It’s a couple of dozen years since buildings were going up in Beechwood, Roman Way and Saxon Close – new areas for buildings as far as modern Market Lavington was concerned. The building works are fading into history so today we have a reminder.
It’s October 1990. Total chaos seems to reign and houses appear to be plonked randomly on the landscape in an area just below the churchyard.
Grove Farm Estate, Market Lavington under construction in October 1990
We can pick out areas in the background. Behind the new red roof we can see the roofs and chimneys on Northbrook Close and other houses along the track at the top of Northbrook.
In the background we see the top of Northbrook
At the extreme right we can see other houses on Northbrook, close by the stream.
Stream Cottage and other buildings near the Northbrook
The most distant of the new dwellings is definitely on Beechwood.
A new house on Beechwood
The view was taken from what are now the steps leading from Roman Way up to the churchyard and looking straight down Saxon Close.
August 18, 2014
Hopkins who was general builders and builders’ merchants in Market Lavington 100 years ago had their own postcards for quick and simple information transfer.
Here is one posted on 18th August 1914 – 100 years ago.
Hopkins postcard sent on 18th August 1914
As we can see, plumbing and drainage seem to have been specialities, if we judge by the images on the address side of the card.
The reverse, of course, carries the message.
The message is a simple acknowledgement of an order
We now have to remember what conditions were like 100 years ago. The telephone was an established item, but most people and companies didn’t have them. Of course, there was no email or text messaging. The postcard was the equivalent of its day.
It was a fortnight since Britain had declared war on Germany when this card was sent and no doubt many a young man was away from home, receiving training or was even overseas. But rural life still went on – as it had to, of course.
How lucky we are to have reminders of this time in Market Lavington Museum.
August 17, 2014
Today we have a photo from the same source as the one we showed yesterday – and its caption has some of the same problems.
A play within the church fete at Beech House, Market Lavington in about 1972
OK. It was 30th June – but what year? There’s no doubt this was the garden of Beech House and on the left hand end we have Peggy Gye, the owner – yet to found our museum but as ever, closely involved in village activities.
Sad to say, we don’t recognise others in this photo so once again we are appealing for help. We think the year was 1972 (30th June was a Friday that year) which means even the youngest child in the picture is well over 40 now.
Do get in touch if you can tell us more about the people or even what the play within the fete was about.
August 16, 2014
Sailing is a bit of unpromising activity in Market Lavington where our big stretches of water are the Broadwell and the privately owned lake at Clyffe Hall. But that didn’t stop Lavington School from building a sailing dinghy.
A dinghy built by pupils at Lavington School in about1972
The caption on this is not as useful as it could be. OK, it was 12th March, but in which year? We think it was about 1972. We’ll forgive the missed r in Crystal – and hope that others will forgive us our many similar errors – but ‘The Crystal Palace’ was destroyed by fire long before this photo was taken.
We believe the teacher in the photo was Mike Copland. He taught history and is remembered as keen on sailing. We can’t name any of the youngsters who will, by now, be in their 50s if we have dated the photo about right.
We’d love to hear from anyone who can help us be sure with our date and who can name the people shown.
August 15, 2014
Today we look at another of the bills paid by Holloways of West Lavington. This time the recipient of money was James Neate.
Receipted bill paid to James Neate of Market Lavington by Holloways of West Lavington
We can see that James Neate established his business in Market Lavington in 1852. We understand he came to Market Lavington on the strength of a proposed railway line. The line never materialised, but James weathered some financial storms and became well established in Lavington as a brewer, wine and spirit merchant and Maltster.
We see he also traded in cigars and worked as an insurance agent.
It has to be said we do not fully understand this receipted invoice for the half share of a fence at the back of the stores in West Lavington. This might suggest that James had business interests in our neighbouring village.
If we consider the address we note James was at ‘The Brewery’ in Market Lavington. James and family lived at The Red House on High Street. The brewery was behind that and the sales outlet from the brewery was at a little pub called The Brewery Tap which was on White Street (Market Lavington).
As ever it is interesting to note that traders like James had to cope with substantial time delays before bills were paid. This one is dated 1906 and maybe the Ap. Means April. James received his money on 2nd March 1907 so perhaps for almost a year he had to make do without his rightful £1-17-7½.
In present day terms it sounds a trifling amount but in terms of earnings, that 1906 amount of money equates to about £1000 today. It was a load of money!
By the way, several of our James Neate items can be seen at present in Salisbury Library as a part of the Dusty Feet exhibition.
August 14, 2014
We love our old adverts from Harry Hobbs’s High Street Shop. We love them even if we are not 100% sure what the product advertised actually was. This one is for a product called Breeze.
Advert for Breeze at Market Lavington Museum
This card ad, for a product which keeps you beautifully country fresh, is cleverly made. It can be stored flat but with a bit of careful work the base opens out into a semicircle and the waterwheel becomes three dimensional. The advert becomes free standing then.
But what was Breeze? We believe it was a soap and the product was around in 1955. Adverts from that era seem to feature the words ‘country fresh’.
Before that it had been a Unilver washing detergent introduced in 1947.
Cleansing products with the name Breeze are still marketed by Unilver.
August 13, 2014
Time was when you needed a licence for many things. Keeping a dog was one of them, and some might say that would still be a good thing. In fact, if you happen to live in Northern Ireland then you still have to have a dog licence but for the bulk of the United Kingdom dog licensing for all ended in 1987.
Realising that this was something passing into history, the Gyes passed their final dog licence to the museum.
One of the last dog licences issued at Market Lavington Post Office
We can see that Tom had to get this licence in November 1987 and it was valid until the end of October 1988. Well it would have been had dog licences been needed into 1988.
The cost of the licence seems a very odd figure. It was 37p. Before 1984 it had been 37½p but the ½p was withdrawn that year.
The price of the licence had remained unchanged since before Britain had a decimal currency. It had been 7/6 in old money and that seemed a sensible and simple sum back then, being three half-crown coins. And that became precisely 37½p when the country adopted its decimal currency in 1971.
We are reminded, too, of previous owners and runners of the Post Office for the licence is signed by either Pat or John Noakes. There’s some ex residents we can all send good wishes to.
And what foresight of the Gyes to save this little item for posterity.
August 12, 2014
Then and Now
Back in about 1970 Peter Francis went up onto Lavington Hill and took this photo which he made into a large sized postcard.
Market Lavington from the hill in about 1970
It is quite a decent picture but it lacks detail. We can make out the church and of course we can no digitally enlarge it.
The church as seen some 44 years ago
These days we can do rather better.
A view from the hill in 2014
In fact even a half decent camera can get in close to the church.
A close up of the church in 2014
The lime green coloured tree to the right of the church is the catalpa which was planted (by George Dobson) to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. To the right of that, the T shaped building is The Old School.
There’s no doubt that modern technology has some advantages.
August 11, 2014
One of the family history records we have lacked at our museum was earlier burial records. We have now put that right and have acquired a copy of burials at the church from 1622 to 1837.
A Burial Register can now be inspected at Market Lavington Museum
As we can see, these records have been compiled by the Wiltshire Family History Society.
An index can help users find the full entry
The first section is an alphabetical list of names with the year of burial – effectively, it’s an index.
And then the bulk of the pages are in chronological order. The amount of information varied according to who was vicar at the time.
John Dobson who was vicar in the second half of the 18th century seems to have been the one who got up close and personal.
Here we get cause of death, often the name of a parent and even a one word comment from a coroner. There’s real family history in records like these.
George Rogers also kept quite full records at the start of the nineteenth century.
Elsewhere there is less detail but we reckon this will be a very useful document to have at our museum.