All gone!

September 17, 2014

All gone, but not forgotten. That phrase applies to the man-made bits of this photo.

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

This picture dates from 1986. That’s 28 years ago as this is written.

In the foreground we have the pens and yards associated with Grove Farm and behind them, on the right hand side there is the farm house.

At that time it all looked sad and derelict but of course it had been a tidy and well kept working dairy farm. When the Francis family had it they sold milk from buckets which they took around the village on bicycle handlebars.

Down below the house and to its left are various sheds which were also part of the farm.

This whole site is now where the Community Hall and car park stands. This new building has done much to maintain and revive community spirit in the area.

Those corrugated iron roofed sheds lined the road and opposite them, the brick and white building was the garage set up by Eddie Haines. Later it became Shires Garage and then that, too, was swept away and became the little housing development now called Shires Close.

Not all changes are for the worse. We might and do regret the passing of farm and garage which offered employment to people within the village. But it can’t be denied that the newer arrangements are neater and tidier.




Jam Factory Workers

September 16, 2014

Karen recently let us copy a collection of photos in the Easterton area that included many jam factory workers. Karen and her brother visited us at Easterton Country Show. They are great grandchildren of Samuel Moore. Inevitably, they couldn’t name the people in the photos of workers, but we knew a couple who might be able to. John and Pat had both lived in Market Lavington and Easterton and Pat had been one of the jam factory workers. The couple emigrated to Australia in 1976 but they keep well in touch with the old home.

We sent copies of the photos to them and have answers. So here we have some jam factory workers.


Jam factory workers at Samuel Moore’s of Easterton – believed to be 1960s

In this photo we have Genie Guntrip and Maureen Wiltshire. The photo rather fades away in the distance so we’ll probably not get the third lady.

Genie, in the hefty rubber gloves, must be picking up filled jam jars to put them in the wooden crate. We love that crate with its message of S. Moore & Sons Ltd Easterton, Wilts. And does it say 1/- after the Wilts? Does that mean there was a one shilling deposit on the crate?

Just what Maureen is doing is not clear for she just seems to be holding a jar. Maybe Genie had to take the crate away and Maureen took over the packing job.

Guntrip is an unusual name so we can be fairly sure that Genie lived on High Street in Easterton. Wiltshire is a more common name and there were several families around in the 1960s. And of course, not all jam factory workers were from Easterton or Market Lavington.

If you were a worker have you any stories you could share with the museum? We’d love to hear from you.

Merritt Brothers – Farriers

September 15, 2014

Today we show another of our receipts kept by Holloways of West Lavington and now findable at Market Lavington Museum. Today we look at a receipt issued by Merritt Brothers who were farriers and general smiths.

Merritt Brothers receipt from 1924

Merritt Brothers receipt from 1924

We can see that the Merritt brothers were J. H. and T Merritt and each had smithing or farriery qualifications. We can also see that they operated in Cheverell as well as in Market Lavington.

The year for this receipt was 1924 and the Merritts clearly relied on word of mouth for trade. No phone number is given, probably because the blacksmiths didn’t have one at that time.

The Merritts had premises alongside Broadwell which no doubt gave them a plentiful supply of water for quenching red hot iron.

It looks as though it was quite expensive for Mr Holloway to keep his horses shod. We don’t have any farriers at the museum but we think that most of the work done had been ‘removes’ and ‘shoes’. Removes have been charged at 1/1½ each and shoes at twice that – 2/3. In decimal money this equates to about 6p for removes and 12p for shoes. But of course this was in 1924 and the equivalent cost today would be about £9 for removes and double that for shoes.

Mr Holloway spent £6-15-0 (£6.75) in this quarter. That’s about £1000 at today’s rates.

We love these receipts at the museum. They provide a link to past times, to businesses long gone and to skills no longer practised in the village.

120 ways of using bread

September 14, 2014

Back in the early 1930s a little bit of colour was needed in austerity  Britain. But many people were desperately short of money and needed to make the most of what they had.

Bread was a staple foodstuff, but it was important to ensure none was wasted. So here we have a 1930s cook booklet, devoted exclusively to bread.

120 ways of using Bread is a recipe book at Market Lavington Museum

120 ways of using Bread is a recipe book at Market Lavington Museum

It’s called 120 Ways of Using Bread for tasty & delightful dishes. The book cost 6d (2½p). That was quite a lot of money for you could have bought a couple of large loaves for that. But no doubt the lovely colour picture of an up to date kitchen tempted people, along with the idea that any stale bread could find a use.

But in fact it seems this book was given by an Easterton based baker, Percy Bullock. He gave it to occupants of Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington. We do not know if he used it to welcome new residents and remind them that his business existed, or whether it was a thank you for making use of his firm.

It was given to residents of Clyffe Hall by Percy George Bullock of Easterton

It was given to residents of Clyffe Hall by Percy George Bullock of Easterton

But for whatever reason, it was given with his compliments.

Interesting to note that you got a bit more than you bargained for – 127 ways of using bread.

You’ll be able to sample recipes from this book if you buy a ticket and come to our Museum Miscellany on October 4th. Tickets are on sale in Market Lavington Post Office.

Four young Gyes

September 13, 2014

It is not surprising that we have quite a lot of Gye memorabilia at Market Lavington Museum. The Gyes were a prominent local factory and would have had the interest, inclination and money to be involved, one way or another, with photography. There is a goodly collection of Gye photos going back well into the nineteenth century.

However, today’s charming family snapshot dates from the 1920s and shows a little collection of children.  They are four of the children of Joseph Edward Gye and his wife Ethel who lived on White Street and ran the many faceted building, carpentry, smithing etc. business from the area now known as Gye’s Old Yard.

The four youngsters are, Ena Gye at the back, Bessie Gye on the left, Sally Gye on the right and young Tom Gye astride the horse.

Four young Gyes of Market Lavington

Four young Gyes of Market Lavington

Tom was born in 1920 (and still lives on White Street) and that helps us to date the photo to around 1922.

The Gye family were well blessed with quality toys, no doubt made by dad or members of the work force. The wooden horse looks solid and dependable.

The scene around is very much of the era. Buckets were absolute household essentials. Gathering water from Broadwell would still have been a major task when the photo was taken. The bucket in shot looks to be enamelled which would be easy to keep clean for drinking water. Almost hidden alongside is a second bucket which may be galvanised and more suited to water not intended for human consumption.

The children, of course, look just as happy as the children of today although we doubt that modern children would look content in the boots and sandals that these young ones are wearing.

The Army Temperance Association

September 12, 2014

With the 100th anniversary of the First World War, one rather imagines that many a soldier felt in need of a stiff drink, to relieve all sorts of symptoms – fear, pain, utter discomfort and, at times, a goodly dose of boredom.

However at some time in the past there was an Army Temperance Association and this medallion, found by local metal detectorist, Norman, is for that organisation.

Army Temperence Association medallion found in Market Lavington

Army Temperance Association medallion found in Market Lavington

We know very little about this organisation, beyond the obvious. Presumably members of the army could join. And the association was anti-alcohol. The Fusilier Museum, London has more information which you can see by clicking here.

We believe this item was a 6 month medal and we guess this was given to members who stayed dry for 6 months. 1889 was, presumably, the year in which it was issued and that may have been about the high water mark for association membership.

As ever, we’d love more information on this item which was, of course, found in Market Lavington.

Water Biscuits

September 11, 2014

What do many of us like at the end of a meal? Well, for some of us a bit of cheese goes down well – with a crispy biscuit to hold it. Harry Hobbs obviously sold water biscuits in his Market Lavington High Street shop for amongst the adverts we now have there is this one.

Advert for Carr's Table Water Biscuits from Harry Hobbs's shop - about 1953

Advert for Carr’s Table Water Biscuits from Harry Hobbs’s shop – about 1953

This is for table water biscuits by Carr’s of Carlisle and it shows a variety of cheeses and a platter of water biscuits.

The slogans say, ‘The perfect biscuit with cheese’, and ‘Set the seal on a perfect meal’.

It’s a large advert and one wonders how space was found to display it in a smallish shop.

This particular ad has an actual clue as to its date.

By appointment to the late King George VI.

By appointment to the late King George VI.

King George VI died in 1952 so this dates from after his death.

It’s another lovely advert to remind us of past times.

The bridge in Easterton

September 10, 2014

At Easterton Country Show, last month, we were visited by great grandchildren of Samuel Moore of the jam factory.

Samuel had two sons, Wilfred and William. The two younger men continued to run the jam factory after their father retired. William, who had a house on The Sands in Easterton, was the grandfather of our visitors and they brought an album of his photos for us to see and copy. William had not been all that good at labelling his photos and, not surprisingly, our young adult visitors couldn’t help all that much on dates. We are trying to work out names and dates of jam factory workers at the moment.

This is one of the photos, taken where the road up to the now gone factory crossed the little stream in Easterton and looking back down to Easterton Street.

On Easterton Bridge

On Easterton Bridge

Our visitors weren’t sure that this photo had anything to do with our area, but to us it was clearly Easterton. We think the man with the bucket is William (or Billy as locals seem to have called him) Moore. But we are not by any means 100% certain.

Is that Billy or William Moore?

Is that Billy or William Moore?

However, we are 100% certain that the house behind the man’s left shoulder is The Homestead. When this photo was taken it was thatched but that was replaced long ago.

The lovely barn on the left of the photo is long gone.


Apparently a past owner was looking at the barn and pondering on what to do with regard to its derelict state and the roof fell in before his eyes. And that was the end of the barn. A modern house now sits high up on the slope behind it.

The current owner of The Homestead had not seen a photo of the barn before so what a great addition to our collection.

Thanks to Karen for bringing this for the museum.

The Headmaster’s Story

September 9, 2014

Our blog story today comes from an unlikely magazine.


Yes, it is the National Savings News Letter for July 1965

One article in it was by Mr Pickering who was headmaster of Market Lavington School.

Mr. F. Pickering, headmaster of Market Lavington Primary School, Devizes, Wiltshire, decided that the school bank system best suited the aims he had in mind for his pupils. In The Headmaster’s Story he gives an analysis of these aims and of the method of running .the bank. His clear, factual account could be a valuable blueprint for any headteacher thinking of setting up savings facilities of this kind, as it emphasises equally the bank method’s simplicity and educational worth.



To foster the habit of regular saving through appeal to children’s imagination and interest.
To obtain the maximum educational effect from the system.
To make the saving as permanent as possible.


The bank is a regular Wednesday institution, opening at 8.45 a.m. and closing at 9 a.m. It is specially set up and takes the form of a bank counter, with cashiers using deposit and withdrawal forms. The children are found to enjoy this situation and imagine themselves as adults.

The school has a House system, with three Houses, St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick. Each House has its own cashier, its own cashbox, pens and forms. This again is an incentive to help to win the savings flag, which is presented weekly to the House that gains most points (amount multiplied by subscribers).

The savings books, brought in on Wednesday, are returned on the following Tuesday by the cashiers, thereby creating a memory factor for the next day’s savings.

The children become used to a bank routine of cashier, deposits and withdrawals and have to fill in their own form to hand over the counter. The smaller children are helped by the older ones and so get first-hand knowledge of the system, which, after six years of routine, becomes second-nature.

The hours of opening, before school commences, bring the children to school eager to participate in the scheme, arriving well before the official time of commencement. They have the motivation for coming to school even more willingly than usual.

It also makes a minimum of interference to normal timetabling.

The cashiers obtain the maximum benefit from the system, having to balance their registers correctly, before handing it to the headmaster.

Assistant cashiers sometimes take over and they, too, are taught the methods of cross-checking.

The subscribers’ books are brought up to date and checked and any withdrawals are requisitioned.

The practical application is most beneficial. They get a real sense of responsibility, actually handling the register, money and books.

The subscribers all have personal savings books with name and house clearly shown. New entrants to the school are given letters for parents to return, if they wish to join the bank. The children bring any amount from 3d. upwards. As soon as they get £1, a form is sent to the parent, asking whether they wish to change this £1 for a Certificate, or transfer to the Trustee Savings Bank.

Very few requests are made for cash – less than 2% over the past three years. This makes a very satisfactory background for permanent savings and no possible chance of loss, as with loose stamps.

Any books mislaid can be duplicated without any difficulty. The weekly amounts are handed to the local Trustee Savings Bank and adjustments made.

Interest from this account is transferred, by general consent, into the school fund.


The apparatus for setting up the bank consists, primarily, in the structure for the board holding the name. This was printed and mounted on a wooden plank. It is supported by two uprights, drilled to take two bolts for the name-board and two more bolts to fix them to the desk legs which also had to be drilled.

Two desks, old-fashioned type, put end-to-end form an adequate length, with another desk at right-angles, for subscribers to use.

Each cashier has a cash box of the House colour, a register, two ball-point pens, also of House colour, one for the cashier and one for the subscriber, and a quantity of deposit and withdrawal forms.


To receive the cash and forms from members and check that they balance.
To help younger members to fill in their forms.
On closing the bank, to transfer the amounts paid in to the register, total and check.
To complete the running total for each child.
To balance the totals in the columns and enter them in pencil.
To add the balance column as a check.
To bring the register and cash for verification.
To fill in the individual books, making out forms for children who have saved £I.
To put the weekly total in the House Competition Book.
To report the savings complete.
On the following Tuesday, to hand back the subscription books to members.


To supervise the setting-up of the bank and to be generally responsible during the time of business.
To check the register and take the cash.
To obtain Certificates (subscriber’s number required), or transfer to Trustee Savings Bank (subscriber’s savings book required).
To check the Savings Competition Book.
To present the trophy to the clerk of the winning House.
To check the members’ books each term.
To make the annual return to the District Commissioner.


It is found that there is no complication of wasted lesson time in the classes, except when the books are returned to members on Tuesdays. This takes but a minute.

Over 60% of the school population are members of the bank, with very little persuasion or advertisement.

The House competition provides the greatest spur to regular saving.

The letter which is sent to parents of new pupils and, from time to time, to those whose children are not yet taking part in this particular school activity, is a friendly reminder that school is not a place apart and that teachers share with them an interest in their children’s welfare.

Dear Parent,

You will be watching with close interest, I am sure, your child’s progress in all the various activities of our school life. Lessons are being learned and habits being formed, both inside and outside the classroom; all helping to develop character and to broaden the outlook.

Among the lessons that can have most far reaching results is the personal practice of ‘thrift’ and all that this implies; self-discipline, self-restraint and self-respect.

The constant and regular practice of saving – the regularity is more important than the actual amount saved – will give your child a sound attitude to the use of money, however little he or she may actually handle, and this training will be a valuable asset in later life.

This is why we have a National Savings Group in our school and I am most anxious that all our pupils should, if possible, become members. If your child is not already a member and you would like him/her to join, would you kindly sign the slip below and return it to me.

Yours sincerely,

Head Teacher.

To the Head Teacher:

Please enrol my son/daughter . as a member of the School Savings Group. I will do my best to ensure that he/she will save regularly.

Signed .


We wonder if any ex- pupils have tales of the bank or maybe the youngsters of 1965 in the photos could be identified.

The William Cambridge Engine

September 8, 2014

Some findings for Market Lavington Museum are just a tad bizarre. This one is almost absurd in the manor of its finding. It dates from about 1973 and was in our curator’s own collection of slides. It shows a small steam beam engine which was made by William Cambridge in Market Lavington.

The 1830 Market Lavington made steam engine in about 1973

The 1830 Market Lavington made steam engine in about 1973

Our curator excuses his lack of memory with regard to this photo by saying, it was probably taken by my wife. She tended to take colour and I did black and white.

The photo dates from about 1973 and was taken at a rally in Seend. Rog, the curator didn’t live in Market Lavington then and had never heard of William Cambridge but clearly, one way or another, a photo was taken of this magnificent old engine which was actually working to drive some machinery.

The boiler, on the left is not original – boilers just don’t last for 140 years which would have been the approximate age of the engine at the time. The drive mechanism with the belt heading off to the right is probably a later addition as well so let’s concentrate on the engine itself.

William Cambridge designed and made this engine at his Market Lavington works

William Cambridge designed and made this engine at his Market Lavington works

What a little beauty that is. It was made in about 1830 in Market Lavington (Mr Cambridge had premises roughly where the Workmans’ Hall now stands and was first used in Chitterne. It was discovered in a barn in Shrewton in 1969 and put into working order. As far as we know it now resides in a barn, in pieces, and not that far from Market Lavington.

Well, we love this picture. We love it because it is now the best we have of this fine piece of local history. And the technically minded love it because it clearly shows the James Watt governor. That’s those balls on the left hand side which spin round as the engine goes. If the engine goes fast, the globes spin out further which makes an adjustment to slow the engine. Clever people these 18th and 19th century engineers!



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