Lord Warrington and Friend

November 27, 2014

Judge, Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington was the owner of Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington in the early part of the twentieth century. He was elevated to the peerage on his retirement and took the title of Lord Warrington of Clyffe. He left no heirs or successors and so he was the one and only Baron with this title.

We do not know much about what he did in Market Lavington although he was a church goer and employed local people as gardeners and around the house. We are not aware that he got involved in any really active way in village life. But he clearly had friends and this photo shows the noble lord with a young gentleman.

Sir Thomas Rolls (Lord) Warrington with young Simon Latham at Clyffe Hall - 1930s

Sir Thomas Rolls (Lord) Warrington with young Simon Latham at Clyffe Hall – 1930s

His lordship and the lad are outside Clyffe Hall and we understand the boy is Simon Latham. Web guess the photo dates from the early 1930s. Of course, we’d like to know more about young Simon and his connection with the Warringtons.

An old school photo

November 26, 2014

We don’t know much about this photo.

A school photo which includes Rose Polden. But which school is it?

A school photo which includes Rose Polden. But which school is it?

What we do know is that the girl, third person from the left in the back row is Rose Polden. Rose was born in 1892 in Chitterne but seems to have been raised by her aunt and uncle in Market Lavington. But the first documentary evidence we have of that was in 1901. This photo might date from about 1901.

Can you help us? We don’t recognise the location or any of the other people. Could this, in fact, be Chitterne?

Rose Polden is marked with a rather fancy cross.

Rose Polden is marked with a rather fancy cross.

It is, though, a lovely picture of Rose who set up her dressmaking business in Parsonage Lane whilst still a teenager. Later she married Andrew Poolman and the couple had two Market Lavington born children before moving to the Warminster area.

We feel the photo is worthy of a place in our museum – but it may be of interest elsewhere as well.

Woodbine Cottage

November 25, 2014

We are happy to receive digital copies of photos, but it can be good to get originals for then we have the ability to scan at a much higher resolution than is often used. So we were delighted to get an original copy of Woodbine Cottage in Easterton – the long-time home of Samuel Moore and family. That’s Samuel of the jam factory.


Woodbine Cottage – probably about 1910

Of course, high resolution images make little difference on a blog – but we can zoom in to see detail and this picture has some interest which is hidden at the low resolution. We can start with the people.


Picking fruit from the hedgerow

These two characters, out in the lane and picking something are now potentially recognisable – although as the photo must be more than 100 years old it may be unlikely that anyone will know them. But we can hope.

Note the adverts. Woodbine Cottage was a shop at this time.

Note the adverts. Woodbine Cottage was a shop at this time.

The man with the rake could be Samuel so it could be his wife at the door. And this clearly dates from a period when the Moores also kept shop at the cottage. The right hand side is well covered with adverts. Certainly in 1911 Samuel was described (by himself) on the census as a fruit grower and preserver AND grocer. We can also see that the roof was covered in corrugated sheeting. That high res scan certainly makes a difference.

Pond Farm again

November 24, 2014

We looked at Pond Farm back in 2013 and you can click here to see that post.

Pond Farm was one of the hill farms up on Salisbury Plain. It was up above Easterton and the area remains in the Easterton parish. Although used for agriculture, until 1910, Pond Farm land was also used for summer camps by reservist soldiers for some years prior to 1910.

But as the Edwardian era ended the War Department decided that areas of Salisbury Plain in both Market Lavington and Easterton should become a part of a permanent military range. This scene, showing a farm, was to become history.

Pond Farm in Edwardian days - the loneliness of Salisburyn Plain is clear to see

Pond Farm in Edwardian days – the loneliness of Salisburyn Plain is clear to see

This postcard was recently acquired – an EBay purchase then donated to the museum. The card seller dated it as 1905. We’ll just call it Edwardian. It shows the isolated farm, with its shelter belt of trees.

Close up on the farm

Close up on the farm

We can see there is more than one dwelling – a house and a cottage at least. There are sheds and a large barn and a very neat and well thatched stack up on the hill.

A farm was sited here because it was possible to access water in this little valley. That also made it suitable for an army camp and Pond Farm took that role again in 1914 when Canadian soldiers were stationed in the tented encampment whilst training for front line duties.

But by then the farm had gone. It was used as a target by training UK soldiers and no trace of it remains today.

Sadly, too, the location is not now accessible to the public.




A Merritt in the Home Guard

November 23, 2014

Two years ago we first looked at this photo of a young man in the Market Lavington Home Guard. His name is Albert W Merritt

Albert Merritt in the Market Lavington Home Guard during World War II

Albert Merritt in the Market Lavington Home Guard during World War II

The person who gave us this photo simply said he was one of a large family of Merritts in Market Lavington.

We have just been sent new information so this post updates and replaces our guesses made back in 2012

A Correction…….This is my Uncle ‘Bert’. I also have this photo. His birth was registered in Devizes, incorrectly spelt as Merrett. His parents were James Merritt and Elizabeth (nee Fitch) and he was born 1914/15. Two older siblings were Frances Helen, my mum, born 1910, and Robert James 1912.

In 1911 James was a gardener, fruit grower and jam maker and lived at Mount Pleasant in Market Lavington. He had been born in Market Lavington. His wife, Elizabeth came from Littleton Panell.

The Museum Miscellany

November 22, 2014

We are looking back about 6 weeks today – to the evening of 4th October 2014 – the evening of our Museum Miscellany. This is the evening when Rog, our curator, does one of his talks. Rog always says he can’t talk for all that long about any single subject which is why the idea of a miscellany developed. Talks are prepared, with many museum photos, on a variety of themes with some lasting about five minutes and others, perhaps twenty minutes or so. There’s something for everybody. This year, the First World War featured but the mood was lightened with Harry Hobbs shop adverts. There are always (this was the fifth miscellany) photo tours of the village and this year Rog only used photos given to the museum since the miscellany in 2013.

Rog always says the best part of the evening is the interval. ‘Our wonderful stewards’, he says, ‘have made delightful food using recipes we have in the museum. We literally get a taste of the past’.

We make the interval a bit longer than might be expected to allow plenty of time for people to eat, fill their glasses at the bar, and to chat. It makes it a wonderful social occasion.

The museum team are usually too busy to think of photographs but other folks manage some.


The hall is set out and ready – except that more chairs were needed.


An old gramophone is ready. The record is a very old one from the collection of Charlie Williams, formerly of Easterton. It pre-dates the First World War but is a piece of martial music to set the tone.


Food begins to appear and is set out alongside the recipe that is used. There will always be items made to suit people with varying dietary requirements.


The hall fills but there’s still time for a chat.


And there’s Rog explaining something during the show.

We are lucky that we have such a fantastic hall. It is equipped with a superb sound system, a fantastic screen not to mention a bar and a kitchen. It is always warm enough. It’s a wonderful venue and heavily used. That turned out to be to our advantage on this occasion for we had arranged with users earlier in the day to leave the chairs in place.

Preparations are in hand for next year’s event – the date isn’t finalised yet but it’s likely to be at the start of October.

We’ll look forward to seeing even more of you there next year.


The Community Hall is a fantastic venue and centrally placed within Wiltshire. It’s ideal for Wiltshire wide gatherings and events. The Wiltshire Buildings Symposium is held in the hall each year and we open the museum during their lunch interval. This year (November 8th), the outcome was truly memorable with 76 generous visitors coming into our small cottage museum. It’s an example of the knock on effect that the hall can have – benefitting the wider community. It certainly made a great end to the open season for us.

Herbert Pinchin

November 21, 2014


The recent Easterton Remembrance Lunch was a truly lovely affair. The local chefs had produced a wonderful array of curries and other dishes for the main course and a truly sumptuous assortment of desserts to follow. The Easterton hall was packed to capacity and, although the day is sombre in that we are remembering those who died as a result of war, the chatter was all jolly and cheerful.

The special diners were members of the Pinchin family who live in Staffordshire. They had brought along some memorabilia related to Herbert, their relative, who was the first person from our parishes to die in World War One. He has already featured in the first of Lyn Dyson’s monthly reports which you can read by clicking here.

Let’s start with a photo of Herbert which the family found. It’s a newsprint photo so lacks some quality.

Herbert Pinchin who was raised in Easterton

Herbert Pinchin who was raised in Easterton

Herbert had been a professional soldier and the photo shows him with medals from his time in South Africa.

A small report was issued alongside the photo.

Newspaper report concerning Herbert's death which followed injuries at Mons in France

Newspaper report concerning Herbert’s death which followed injuries at Mons in France

The fact that Herbert received his fatal injuries at Mons was noted by a recently arrived Easterton resident who had been living in that French town. He was wearing a French blue cornflower which is their remembrance symbol along with his British poppy. He felt Herbert should have the cornflower and this was added to Herbert’s little case.

The family have other items which may well appear on this blog in the future.

A bill for bricks

November 20, 2014

Bricks were made in Market Lavington for at least 200 years and were made up until the Second World War. In the twentieth century, the ownership of the brickworks had passed to the Holloway family at West Lavington. What we have here is a bill for bricks, purchased by one of the Holloway brothers. It is dated February 1924.

A bill for Market Lavington bricks in 1924

A bill for Market Lavington bricks in 1924

Interesting to see that 90 years ago 600 best hard bricks cost £1-19-0 (that’s £1.95 in present money). For the same amount today you might, at best, get about 4 bricks.

The billhead is interesting, partly for what is not shown. It’s 1924, a big company, but no telephone number seems to be available. Huge reliance was placed on a next day postal service.

But it is also interesting to note that hollow partition blocks were a speciality. These were blocks or bricks with a hole right through them. They have been plain versions of the plinth brick we showed earlier this month.

Most interesting, though, is the roundel at top left.

The mark of the National Scheme for Disabled Men

The mark of the National Scheme for Disabled Men

We were only 6 years after the end of World War One and there were many disabled men in the country following that conflict. It seems that Holloway Brothers did their bit to help such men – or at least they were part of a scheme to do so. This scheme was announced, by the King, in 1919 and actually, the roundel is topped off with a crown. This is hidden under the stapled fold on our document.



Floss Welch

November 19, 2014
Floss Welch of Market Lavington

Floss Welch of Market Lavington

Floss, as she was known, was born Florence E Page

She was born in Brighton in Sussex in about 1892. Her father, Henry, was a house painter. In 1911 she was a servant in Brighton.

In 1912, on holiday in Weymouth, she met Jack Welch and a relationship developed. The Great War intervened, taking Jack away for more than three years and he returned injured. The couple were not able to marry until 1920. They set up home in Market Lavington where they had two children. Marjory was born in 1921. She was known as Peggy. Tony followed in 1924. The family lived at two different cottages – Meadow Cottage and then Spring Villa.

Sadly, Floss’s life was to be too short. She died in 1933, aged 40 and was buried in St Mary’s, Market Lavington.

Reverend Allsopp’s children

November 18, 2014

The Reverend Allsopp was the first Vicar of Easterton. He was appointed in 1876, arriving with wife and the first of what grew to be a large family. We have a photo of Richard Allsopp’s youngsters.

Children of Reverend Richard Allsopp, first Vicar of Easterton

Children of Reverend Richard Allsopp, first Vicar of Easterton

This picture was taken outside the Vicarage which was on Vicarage Lane and is now called Easterton House. The children are (in age order and with years of birth), Frederick George (1874), Richard (1876), Marian was born in about 1877, Margaret in 1878 and Jerome in 1880. Next came Dorothy in 1881, Robert in 1883, Francis in 1885, Agnes in 1886 and Joan in 1887.

The picture dates from about 1889.

We think Jerome is the lad in light clothes in front of the cart. Jerome, sadly, was killed in World War One. In 1901 his dad had become Vicar at West Lavington so he is recorded there, rather than in Easterton where he spent his childhood.

The following comes from Richard Broadhead’s book, ‘The Great War – Devizes and District Soldiers’.

Regular soldier Jerome was the third son of the Rev. Richard Winstanley Allsopp the vicar of West Lavington and Harrietta Baker Boileau Allsopp. He was educated at Stubbington House School where he was a keen cricketer. He was training in engineering at the outbreak of the South African War when Jerome joined the Imperial Yeomanry where he was given a commission and was severely wounded at Philippolis and received two medals with five clasps.

In May 1902 he was posted to the 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment and served with them in India until November 1916. While in India he married Gertrude Hilderbrand at Bombay and served as Adjutant of the South Lancashires from 1912 to 1915. He was given command of a company in March 1914 and promoted to Major and was sent to the Western Front in January 1917. In April 1917 he was given command of the 8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment and led them at the Battle of Messines in June 1917 and the Third Battle of Ypres in August 1917 where he was mentioned in dispatches three times.

He was wounded during the latter and returned to the Front in November 1917 and in February 1918 he was transferred as commanding officer to the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment with whom he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in April 1918.

Jerome was killed in action on Monday 27 May 1918 near Bouvancourt, northwest of Reims, France, during the Third German Offensive.

He is remembered on the Soissons Memorial and has no known grave.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 234 other followers