The brickworks balustrade

November 29, 2015

The balustrade at the front of the old brickworks has featured before on this blog but here we have a particularly fine photo of it.

Sylvia at the brickworks - clearly showing the balustrade.

Sylvia at the brickworks – clearly showing the balustrade.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a date but the back of the photo tells us that the little girl was called Sylvia.

The balustrade is the main focus here. This had been designed by Mr Box, when he owned the brickworks, for use at Market Lavington Manor, built in the 1860s. There is a possibility that a dispute arose between Box and Pleydell Bouverie – who was having the Manor built and it is possible that Mr Box was not properly paid for the Manor’s balustrade.

Anyway, he decided to use the same pattern and make a similar balustrade for his own house, by the brickworks on Broadway.

Pleydell Bouverie was incensed by this. He claimed that a promise had been made that this pattern would only be used at his grand Manor House. Box was ‘invited’ to remove the balustrade from around the brickworks. Box refused.

The result was a court case which found in favour of Mr Box who thus kept the balustrade.

Sad to say, it is no longer there. But photos keep its memory alive.

Ivy Lodge

November 28, 2015

Ivy Lodge is a fascinating house at the Easterton end of High Street, more or less opposite the old Congregational Church. It is a listed building and the listing citation reads:

House. Late C17 and 1832. Greensand rubble with brick side elevations, slate roof. Two storeys, reducing to single storey and basement on right. Three bays. Central stair hall plan with kitchen to right, parlour to left, and rear wing on left converted to drawing room and second entrance in early C19. Re-entrant angle infilled with dairy, now general purpose room. Central half-glazed door within wide arched porch. Twenty-paned sashes, the upper floor having brick patching from an earlier scheme of fenestration.

Right front added early C19, windows etcetera said to come from Erlestoke Manor, re-erected here approximately half metre in front of original end. This has central door within metal lattice porch, and flanking large 12-paned sashes and arched brick lintels. Roof hipped. Interior remodelled 1832 (new dwelling extension referred to in deeds). Left room of earlier work has angle stack and binder with stop and scoop chamfer stops. Main chamber above has similar beam with double leaf shaped stops, bar and pellets. Stair split to upper and lower levels, with high early C19 drawing room with cornice. Front has butt and threaded purlin roof.

That’s not the easiest reading so let’s see the building in a postcard recently acquired by the museum.


Ivy Lodge, Market Lavington on a postcard sent in 1908

The fascinating feature of the house is that the designer had a real desire for symmetry from the outside, made hard by the sloping conditions. To overcome this, the window to the left of the porched entrance is actually on two floors. The top half of the window is at the bottom of an upstairs room whilst the bottom of the window casts light into a downstairs room.

The house is still there and still looks much the same.

The card was posted in 1908 by a visitor who was staying at the house. The house was occupied then by Dr Lush.

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

The recipient was Mrs H B Strofton, a lady who was born in New York but who was British by parentage. Her husband Herbert Bernard Strofton was a commercial traveller working in Drapery.

The card as is often the case, is little more than the equivalent of a modern text message, but May, who sent it, comments on the ‘sweet little house’ and the ‘nice garden’.

A great addition to the museum’s collection.

Big Brother watches over the Vanishing Past

November 27, 2015

An interesting title for an interesting photograph

Northbrook in the late 1970s

Northbrook in the late 1970s

This photo shows a scene on Northbrook in the late 1970s. It was taken by our curator’s brother in law, Bill, on one of his visits to Market Lavington from his Sussex home. Bill was a very keen amateur photographer and a member of his local camera club. This photo was entered in competitions where it won prizes. The title for the blog is the one Bill wrote on the back as the title of his photograph.


The past is no longer vanishing. It vanished quite soon after. That was ‘The Tudor Cottage’ on Northbrook which was erased from this world in a single day amid much anguish from local folk. It has to be said, though, that whilst the old cottage looked an absolute delight, it wasn’t well suited to late 20th century needs. If you asked people upset by its demolition if they would have lived there, the invariable reply was, ‘oh no!’

Even so, the old cottage went with much regret and has been replaced by a modern house offering a modern family the space they need in a dry and comfortable building.

Even ‘Big Brother’ has altered – by getting even bigger. When the photo was taken this house, built on a slope was little more than a bungalow with a garage and utility room underneath. Since then it has sprouted an upper floor as well.

Here’s the similar modern view.

21st century Northbrook

21st century Northbrook

Thanks to Bill for taking such a stunning photo and producing the large print of it. It will bring back memories for many.

William and Elizabeth Potter

November 26, 2015

William was born in 1848 in Market Lavington – registered in the first quarter of the year. His father, John Potter, was a butcher, also a Market Lavington man. John’s wife, Martha came from Cricklade. In 1851 the family lived on Church Street, Market Lavington. Our William had an older and a younger sister.


Elizabeth Plank was born in Easterton in 1853 – the birth registered in the third quarter of the year. Her parents were James, a farm labourer and Maria who had both been born in Easterton. The 1851 census shows that James and Maria had several children before Elizabeth was born.

In 1861 William was still with his parents. Father John was now an agricultural labourer. William, aged 13, was also classed as an ‘ag lab’. The family lived on Northbrook

Elizabeth, with her parents, had now moved to The Hollow, White Street, Market Lavington by 1861. Seven year old Elizabeth was a scholar. Her father was a farm labourer.

In 1871 William was living with his widowed mother, Martha, on Church Street again. William, now aged 23, was described as an agricultural engine driver. Elizabeth was still with her parents on White Street, described as an agricultural labourer’s daughter.

William Potter married Elizabeth Plank in the spring of 1876. By 1881 they had three sons, Enos, John and Albert. The family lived at number 3 Stobbarts Road (next door to Richard Park). William was an ‘ag lab’.

Between 1881 and 1891 the family grew – Sarah, William and Harry having joined the three older boys, all now living on High Street. Our William has become a groom. Both Enos and John are in employment and no doubt helping the family finances.

In 1901, just the three younger children were at home with William and Elizabeth – now living on White Street.

Elizabeth died on July 21st 1904 and was buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

Grave of William and Elizabeth Potter in Market Lavington churchyard

Grave of William and Elizabeth Potter in Market Lavington churchyard

The youngest son, Harry, died on March 21st 1911.

In 1911 William and a daughter lived on White Street in Market Lavington.

William lived a long (for those days) life, passing away on April 17th 1934.

Tug of War in 77

November 25, 2015

There was a Tug of War competition as part of the Jubilee Sports in 1977. This celebrated the queen’s 25 years on the throne and now is some 38 years ago.

After the more formal competition, the kids took over and had fun and here’s a photo of them.


1977 tug of war. Boys v …

The flared trouser fashion of 1977 is there to be seen as these youngsters desperately try to pull a similar team . Except the other team was all female.



History has not recorded who won this particular battle of the sexes.

Nor, sad to say, has it recorded the names of any participants. Maybe you can help there.

John Smith

November 24, 2015

John Smith was a composer of psalms and anthems for country choirs. He was based in Market Lavington and was composing in the 1740s. This makes him, roughly speaking, a contemporary of Handel and Bach.

His music is for singing with two to four part harmony.

We have met him before on this blog when a local resident and friend had been able to borrow a combined volume of all three of his works. Actually, surviving copies are almost as rare as hen’s teeth, but a very lovely web site at have digitised the three volumes and made them available for download. We have taken advantage of this at Market Lavington Museum to produce our own 21st century reprints of these 18th century Market Lavington pieces of music.

This is the front cover of volume two.

Music from the 1740s by John Smith of Market Lavington

Music from the 1740s by John Smith of Market Lavington

Let’s see a bit of his music.

Psalm 25 by John Smith

Psalm 25 by John Smith

Back in 2010 we had one of John’s pieces performed at our Museum Miscellany. Maybe we can get some more performed in 2016

Clover Leaf Ice Cream

November 23, 2015

We have recently been given another advert from Harry Hobbs’ shop which stood more or less opposite the Green Dragon on Market Lavington High Street. This one is a metal sign on legs which could have been set in the ground or perhaps in a stand. It advertises a brand of ice cream which is not familiar to us.

Advert for Clover Leaf Ice Cream from Harry Hobbs' shop in Market Lavington

Advert for Clover Leaf Ice Cream from Harry Hobbs’ shop in Market Lavington

We understand that Harry Hobbs shut down his grocery business in about 1960 although he continued to be the newsagent for some time after that. This sign, battered as it is, probably dates from the 1950s.

There is an ice cream company trading in Reading in Berkshire called Lucky Clover Leaf Ice Cream. There’s an outside chance it could be the same company but the clover leaves shown on this advert sign are clearly three leaf variants and not the supposedly lucky four leaf clover.

Maybe there is somebody out there who can tell us more.

Building the chapel

November 22, 2015

Back in the 1880s the Congregational Church in Market Lavington felt it had outgrown the old Quaker chapel they had used for 80 years. Plans were drawn up and a new chapel was built just opposite the old one at the Townsend area of High Street.

Market Lavington had its own brick makers, run by the Box family so it was natural for the church to turn to that company for building materials.

Market Lavington also had its own photographer and he was able to get out and organise a photo of a brick delivery to the site.

The Box family, as we know, were enthusiastic users of traction engines. And so that was the motive power that transported the bricks to the site.

Bricks delivered to build the Congregational Chapel in 1891 or 1892

Bricks delivered to build the Congregational Chapel in 1891 or 1892

The engine is obviously of interest and we imagine the men near the engine were the crew.


Locomotive and crew

The bricks have already been offloaded and are stacked where the new chapel is to be.

Bricks stacked and ready for use

Bricks stacked and ready for use

The chapel opened its doors to the public in 1892.

It is interesting to note that the wall around the chapel appears to pre-date the building of the chapel. It is already there.

The chapel, of course, still stands but is now a private house. The church community now meet in the very convenient Community Hall.

At the 1931 Hospital Week

November 21, 2015

Photographs do only provide a snapshot – an instant in the life of a person or place. But we think we can be fairly sure in saying that Mabel Sayer, wife of bus company owner Fred, loved dressing up and taking part in the carnival known as Hospital Week.

We have a number of photos of Mabel in various different costumes and each taken in a different year during that week when Market Lavington and Easterton raised money to support hospitals and those people who could not afford medical care.

Here we see Mabel in 1931.

Mabel Sayer dressed up for the 1931 Hospital Week in Market Lavington and Easterton

Mabel Sayer dressed up for the 1931 Hospital Week in Market Lavington and Easterton

Mabel is dressed as a school girl. She carries a satchel over her shoulder and carries a notice to announce, ‘I have won a skollopship’.

These snapshots certainly give a feeling of fun. Hospital Week had a serious purpose, but was a week to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.

Mabel Weston had been born in Bath in about 1880. She married Fred in about 1900. The couple had one child. The family moved to Market Lavington in about 1912 and later retired to a nearby bungalow. We lose track of Mabel after the death of Fred in 1934.

Seed Pans

November 20, 2015

A couple of years ago we featured one seed pan on this blog. Today we look at three of them. They are all Victorian and all were made at the Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery works on Broadway. They date from the era when the Box family were in charge there.

Victorian seed pans at Market Lavington Museum

Victorian seed pans at Market Lavington Museum

Their purpose is really indicated by the name ‘seed pan’. They were for planting seeds in – the seed trays of their day.

Mostly, these days, we use rather flimsy plastic seed trays which have a short life. They are typical of today’s throw-away society.

These Victorian pans have done what they should. They have lasted a lifetime and more and whilst no longer pristine they could still do the job they were designed for.

Clearly there were different shapes, sizes and depths to suit different seeds and locations.

For those of us who like brick type products these are really lovely items.


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