Christmas crinoline

December 5, 2022

It’s early December and Christmas cards are being written and the first few are being delivered. At Market Lavington Museum, we have a small collection of Christmas cards with a local connection and these will be on display for our two winter openings on 27th December 2022 and 1st January 2023 (2-4pm).

We have received various items from the family of past residents, Bert and Florrie Shore, and these include a few cards that Florrie had saved. This is one of them.

We have not yet succeeded in dating the card. Flo died in 1994, so it must predate that. Bert died in 1985, but we do not know if the card was sent to one or both of them. Florrie has cut off the section where the message would have been.

Cards with ladies in crinoline dresses were quite popular in the 1950s. However, the ‘see through’ section is made of a non woven fabric, like Vilene interfacing, and we do not know when that became available. The card itself has no maker’s name, though it does say it was made in the USA.

Whatever the date, we are pleased to have this older style Christmas card at the museum as it has a local connection, being sent to and treasured by a local lady, who was born in our museum building.

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Rolling the barrel in 2000 AD

December 4, 2022

We have featured barrel rolling in Market Lavington in many of our previous blogs. The tradition had been an inter pub competition but, over the years, the village pub total had dwindled to one, The Green Dragon, which would not provide a viable competition.

So, in the millenium year, any team of four rollers could enter in the Village Festival event.

Our newspaper cutting reminds us that only one team entered. However, members of the audience were invited to make up teams and the event went on to be a success.

Links to previous entries about barrel rolling include Barrel rolling – 1984, Barrel rolling – 1983, Rolling the barrels, Roll out the Barrel and Barrel Rolling,

Any old junk?

December 3, 2022

In Market Lavington Museum, the saved newspaper cuttings from 2000 remind us about a junk swap day. This was designed to help people find new homes for unwanted items and avoid them just being thrown into landfill.

It was a good idea and maybe worth repeating. We certainly are glad that records of all sorts of village events have been collected in our scrapbooks. Of course, if you have anything with a local connection that might be suitable for adding to our museum collection, do let us know.

Post it in December

December 2, 2022

It’s just December, at the time of writing, and, no doubt, many of us are preparing cards and packages to post, despite the current cost of stamps. Sadly, Market Lavington’s Post Office has closed recently and Easterton lost its post office many years ago.

However, looking back to December1999, the Post Office was available, in the care of John Noakes, a previous sub-postmaster. He is in the photograph in this Western Daily Press article, saved in one of our scrapbooks at the museum. But this had nothing to do with the Christmas post.

This box was to be kept in the Post Office, available for local folk to drop in notes containing information for the police. We do not remember how long this scheme lasted, but it and the Post Office at the crossroads in Market Lavington are both now consigned to history.

Do remember to come and find out more about local history at our special openings on 27th December 2022 and 1st January 2023, both at the slightly earlier times of 2-4pm, due to early nightfall at this time of year.

A new football clubhouse after the fire

December 1, 2022

Our previous blog featured the newspaper article, showing the Market Lavington Football Club house written off by fire. Their appeals for help received a great response, as we see in further saved newspaper cuttings from August 2000.

This report was printed in both the Gazette and Herald and the Star papers.

Over twenty years on, we see that the club is still thriving and has a clubhouse and goalposts in its grounds at the top of Northbrook in Market Lavington.

Fire at the football club

November 30, 2022

Our previous blog entry was about Early fire engines in Market Lavington and Easterton. Nowadays there is no local fire service, but there is an on-call fire station in Devizes, about six miles away, which involves paging their personnel, who have other jobs, when they get a call for help.

Our scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings remind us of a fire at the football ground in Market Lavington. There is a picture of the damage to the clubhouse in an article from 28th August 2000.

Sadly, a bonfire of rubbish spread to the clubhouse, causing a fire that needed 24 firefighters and six hours of dowsing to ensure it was safely put out.

We have further news cuttings that record the response to the ‘soccer club’s cry for help’. We will look at these next time.

Early fire engines

November 29, 2022

We have featured Market Lavington and Easterton’s early fire engines in previous blogs. See The Market Lavington Fire Engine in 1920The Easterton Fire EngineThe Easterton Fire Engine (two different blogs) and A fire brigade horse whip. Before the motorised engine, our appliances were pulled by horse, as in the 1920 photo.

We have also seen the little Easterton fire engine, which was formerly shared by Market Lavington and Easterton.

We do wonder how many fires were effectively quenched by such machines, especially if they had to make a horse drawn journey of a mile to another village, once they had received the message that there was a fire to deal with.

Our wonderful collection of newspaper cuttings informs us of even earlier fire provision. It was the responsibility of the churchwardens in every parish to have a hand powered engine and leather pipe available and these were often stored in the churches. In the scrapbook covering 2003, we learn that the Market Lavington Churchwardens’ accounts book, covering 1660 to 1865 is still in existence and contains details of the cost of buying a new engine and storing it in an engine house. We know that, eventually, there was an engine house in the Market Place, but we don’t know when that was first used.

Farewell to Grace

November 28, 2022

The Welch family has featured in several of our blogs. Our museum founder, Peggy Gye, was a Welch before her marriage. We have a lovely photo of her as a little girl with her brother Tony. (See Peggy and Tony.)

Tony later married Grace and they lived in Church Street in Market Lavington. Grace was an accountant and became the treasurer of the Darby and Joan Club, which provided company and entertainment for a group of older village residents.

Some of these folk were talented at needlecraft and produced various sewn items that won awards. Some of their efforts are now artefacts in our museum. (See A Quilt Award and A dodecahedron for a couple of these.)

In amongst our scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings, we have a photo and article about Grace Welch’s retirement from her position as Darby and Joan Club treasurer in 1997, after 25 years in the rôle.

The village map

November 27, 2022

Amongst our newspaper clippings, we have a reminder of the sewing of the village map. This was a huge project, involving many contributors and it had its first public viewing back in 1998.

We are reminded that it went on show in Lavington School at a craft fair. Although designed to be hung in the Community Hall, that was still in the planning. It finally had its opening ceremony in 2007. (See Community Hall Users.) The map now had a large enough home for its 24ft x 10ft dimensions.

And here we see the map wall hanging in pride of place at the 2022 Produce Show.

Costume jewellery

November 26, 2022

The donation of objects dug up in the garden of 21 Church Street in Market Lavington was of three items. We have already looked at Buried treasure – a livery button and our previous blog entry was about the ribbed and waisted bottle. The third thing was this item of costume jewellery.

It is not in good condition after its stay in the soil and we are not sure whether it was a brooch or a pendant as it has no fixings attached. It is a piece of black, faceted glass, which was framed by a patterned metal ring. This is detached from the glass and rusty. We do not know how old it is.

It has now joined the other items from this address, which were found under the floorboards of the building which, over the years, has been a family home and, at one time, the premises of Hopkins, the builders’ merchant’ s as seen in this postcard from 1914.

Just go to our https://marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com site and type Hopkins in the search box for lots of items about this family firm.