Lady Warrington and the Mothers’ Union

December 17, 2014

Lady Warrington was the wife of Sir Thomas Rolls (later Lord) Warrington. The couple owned Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington and lived there during the 1920s and 30s.

Just recently, our curator received a Mothers’ Union certificate in the post.

Lady Warrington joins the Mothers' Union

Lady Warrington joins the Mothers’ Union

The chain around this certificate contains the names of places in the British Empire – presumably places with Mothers’ Unions.

But of course it is the names in the middle which interest us most.

Admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington

Admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington

Here we see that Lady Warrington was the enrolling member and was admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington which was and is in Salisbury Diocese.

There is some hand written information on the back of the certificate – notably the year in question.

Lady Warrington rejoined in 1925

Lady Warrington rejoined in 1925

So Lady Warrington renewed her membership in 1925.

Now Lady Warrington, it seems had agreed to the following clause. (Or maybe not as she didn’t sign the certificate.)

One paragraph on the certificate

One paragraph on the certificate

We were not aware that she had any children and certainly when Thomas, Lord Warrington, her husband died he had no heirs to pass the title to and it was extinguished.

The certificate was sent by Linda who told us the following.


We discovered this in a drawer of a Victorian chest that my father bought in an auction in, I believe, Devizes over 30 years ago. Since it is in connection with an old local family, I thought it might be of interest to your museum. I also thought it rather unusual.

Yes, we are certainly interested. We think it is a fascinating item and we rather hope it might lead to yet more information coming our way about the Warringtons.

We’d assume the Victorian chest had been an item of furniture at Clyffe Hall and we think it would have been sold off before the house and grounds were sold off in 1938.

Lady Warrington moved away from Market Lavington after the 1937 death of her husband and died in Berkshire in 1948.

An Oxo bottle

December 16, 2014

If we judge from past experience this post could be destined to be very popular. Many users of our blog check in every day but quite a lot of posts are found by people using search engines. As the ‘owners’ of the blog we at the museum can see just which pages are most popular. The home page wins that competition by a huge margin. That’s had over 100 000 views, mostly that will be by regular viewers. But amongst individual pages sought out by far the most popular is the one about a Virol Jar and the one about a Shippams Paste jar is catching up fast.

So we reckon a blog about an Oxo bottle, a late entry at this stage, will soon be sought out. People who find the blog may well have found or just own one of these items.

So here is our Oxo jar.

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

We think this elegant dark brown glass bottle (or jar) dates from the 1930s. It looks like similar bottles which contained Bovril, but there is no doubt that this is an Oxo container.


Vital information – moulded on the bottle


It says it very clearly on the bottle and also gives the quantity as 4 oz – 4 ounces or about 55 grams.

And really we have no further information – not even what Oxo in a jar looked like.

At the WI in 1944

December 15, 2014

1944 was 70 years ago so it is reasonable to assume that any surviving members of the Market Lavington branch, from that era, will now be in their nineties. The Second World War was still in full swing. In the second half of the year London came under attack from the V1 flying bombs and then the V2 rockets. But that probably seemed quite distant from rural Wiltshire, where the local WI still met. And here is the programme for 1944.

Market Lavington and Easterton WI programme for 1944

Market Lavington WI programme for 1944

The front cover gives us the year and tells us who the officers were and when the group met. The programme is on the inside.


Each month has an apt quote and then members were reminded of the day of the meeting, what the subject of a talk might be and any other vital information.

For January various local people were to form an impromptu brains trust. There was a mince pie competition and entertainment in the form of games.

In February, instead of a talk, there was a questionnaire on water and sewage. Members who competed were to have made an apron from an oddment.

In March, Mr Cyril Rose spoke on local wildlife and members competed over best daffodils.

April saw a talk on The Medieval Village and members brought in the oldest thing in their house for an exhibition.

May was internal business as the agenda for the National Federation was discussed. But our local members competed over a shopping bag.


In June the Reverend Basil Phillips spoke on India and Ceylon. Members competing made slippers.

July had a speaker but no topic given. Roses formed the competition.

The members held their summer flower show in August and the only information for September is appropriate to the era of rationing. The competition was for a dried egg dish.

October was called the Members’ Evening but in November there was another talk as president, Mrs Smethurst offered her ‘Aids to Beauty’. Members made a button hole.

December was for in house business with an exhibition of quaint household objects.

What a lovely record of how some of our ladies lived during the dark days of World War II.

Bell ringers of 1950

December 14, 2014

Bell ringing still goes on in Market Lavington but today we are looking at a slightly reduced team from 1950. There are six bells in the tower at St Mary’s and here we see five ringers taking a rest just outside the church.

Market Lavington bell ringers of 1950

Market Lavington bell ringers of 1950

Back then bell ringing seemed to be very much a male preserve and here we see a collection of men who seem a bit overdressed for the exertions associated with ringing. One chap has dispensed with the tie but perhaps it is the jacket which seems a singularly unsuitable garment for ringing.

The captioning for this image is another one that is not as good as it might be. The person on the left is just given the name Bailey. Then we have Jack Saxton and Tom Gye is sitting on the fence. Next is Melville Bailey and Bert Shore is on the right. He was married to Flo Burbidge who had been born (back in 1908) in our museum building.

Tom Gye was still ringing into the 21st century.

Just for the record here’s the team with some from Potterne at ringing the bells in November 2014.


Bell ringers at Market Lavington – November 2014


A Postcard from the recreation ground

December 13, 2014

This card is another recent acquisition at Market Lavington Museum.

The Church from the Recreation Ground - possibly Edwardian

The Church from the Recreation Ground – possibly Edwardian

Market Lavington’s recreation ground used to be the field behind what is now Shires Close. It was clearly used heavily for football – the goal mouth area is very worn. The flock of lawnmowers (sheep, of course) are making sure that the field’s grass is kept under control.

Colour in this picture is, of course, artist added and may not always be a close representation of reality but certainly where plants survive in the old ‘rec’ it looks to be a floral area of grassland.

Behind the recreation ground we can see, at the left, Meadow Cottage under what appears to be rather mossy thatch. The other house below the church is Spring Villa.

Further round and under the spreading cedar tree we can pick out the tiled roof of the village school which is now, of course, The Old School

This is a high summer image. The pollarded trees which form the perimeter of the church land are in full leaf and a young man enjoys a siesta amongst the flowers on the rec.

A Walton's series card

A Walton’s Series card

This card was never posted but we note it is in Walton’s series. Mr Walton owned the department store in Market Lavington.

Printed in Belgium

Printed in Belgium

It is also interesting to note that the card was printed in Belgium. It is a cheap card. The board is very thin – hardly more than paper. Mr Walton would have been selling in competition with Mr Burgess and no doubt sought to be as cheap as possible.


December 12, 2014

Sulphur is a yellow substance – one of the element substances. It is sometimes known as brimstone. We have a bottle containing some at Market Lavington Museum.

Doctor Lush's sulphur bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Doctor Lush’s sulphur bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Here we see a glass jar with ground glass stopper and a label saying ‘sulphur sub’. Some of the yellow powder is within the jar. The jar was found in the attic of Doctor Lush’s old house. Doctor Lush retired from his role as local doctor in 1921 and had been very highly thought of. He’d have used the sulphur for the treatment of skin diseases or as a fumigant.

We have a blog about the good doctor. You can click here to see it.

As far as we know the ‘sub’ after the sulphur is short for sublimate. Our bottle is a good reminder of past medical practices.

The road to our home

December 11, 2014

This postcard has been horribly badly sellotaped into an album and has been given this caption.


The photo comes from Jean in Canada and she was a member of the local Merritt family. ‘Our home’, in the caption, refers to Vicarage Farm in Easterton. And here is the photo.


Postcard of Kings Road in Easterton


The road in the picture is often called ‘Sands Road’ which describes where it goes. Officially it is ‘Kings Road’ named after Reverend Gilbert King, a Vicar of Easterton who got the route surfaced.

We are looking down towards the Urchfont end of Easterton. Roughly in the middle of the view is Paxtons.


Paxtons is clearly visible


West View, home of Henry Hussey is at the left end of the row of high up houses on the left side. Below it is The Well House.

West View and the Well House

West View and the Well House

There looks to be a bee hive in the front of this bit of photo, Presumably bees were essential for fruit pollination.

It’s an unfamiliar view and as Jean has said – undated. We guess it could be the 1930s.

Commemorative Ware

December 10, 2014

A recent gift has added another piece of local commemorative ware to our collection. In this case it is a small dish with an image of Market Lavington Church.

Commemorative dish showing St Mary's Church in Market Lavington

Commemorative dish showing St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington

The dish – about 10cm across was made by Britannia Designs of Dartmouth. We estimate it to be mid to late twentieth century – that fits with the history of Britannia Designs. The church image may be loosely based on this earlier postcard.

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church


A knitting pattern

December 9, 2014

An old knitting pattern may not seem to be a particularly museum worthy item – but this one, recently donated, has a retailer’s name on it which gives it its real local provenance.

Knitting pattern sold at Mrs McKinstry's shop in Market Lavington

Knitting pattern sold at Mrs McKinstry’s shop in Market Lavington

We believe this knitting pattern dates from the mid twentieth century and it was clearly being sold by J R McKinstry, Draper, of Market Lavington. Interesting to note it cost just 6d.

Mrs McKinstry had the corner shop – on the corner of High Street and White Street. This shop had seen many uses over the years. Mr Walton had his drapery department there.  This became Mr Hayball’s shop during and after World War Two. Then for a short while, Mr Good sold motorbikes from the shop before it reverted to a drapery business with Mrs McKinstry. She passed the business on to a Mrs Saunders who was there in the mid-70s and for a long time now the shop has been Gemini – the hairdressers.

Now we know almost nothing about Mrs McKinstry.  A 1966 directory lists A McKinstry as living at The Studio on High Street. This had been the Burgess’s photographic shop and it had still been in the occupation of a Burgess for the 1964 electoral roll.

Perhaps someone out there could tell us more about Mrs McKinstry and her shop – please!

Unknown lady

December 8, 2014

This photo was in a collection of photos which arrived at the museum years ago. The source is unknown and this photo has never been accessioned. We simply do not know who the lady is.


Lovely lady - but who is she? Should she be kept at Market Lavington Museum?

Lovely lady – but who is she? Should she be kept at Market Lavington Museum?

The photo itself has no photographers name or anything to help identify it. It does not look like Alf Burgess’s studio in Market Lavington.

It would be sad to get rid of this lovely photo but space is at a premium and if we can’t identify any local provenance then it will have to go.

So do let us know if this lady means anything to you.


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