Tiny oil cans

March 3, 2021

At Market Lavington Museum, we have a range of artefacts linked to trades in the village, alongside many items used in local homes. These three oil cans were definitely for domestic use.

They came from the home of Flo Shore, the lady whose childhood home is now our museum building. We believe they were used for oiling garden tools.

A cobbler’s bench mount

March 2, 2021

At Market Lavington Museum, we are fortunate to have many items from Ken Mundy’s shop, where he sold and repaired shoes in the village. See Memorabilia from Ken Mundy’s shop, Ken Mundy’s Shop, Ken Mundy and A cobbler’s last.

Ken had a selection of lasts, to support the shoes he was working on, and these needed to be held firmly, while he hammered on new soles and heels.

Here we have a mount, which would have been screwed to the workbench, and a selection of lasts to fit onto it, according to the size of the shoe.

These items date from the early twentieth century.

Another paint muller

March 1, 2021

We have already considered one of these former tools of the painter’s trade in A Paint Muller but, at Market Lavington Museum, we have another such item, larger and heavier.

It was used on a flat stone for grinding pigments to a smooth paste, ready for making hand mixed wagon paints.

The Gye’s business in Market Lavington, on White Street between Broadwell and the High Street crossroads, employed the Burnett brothers from Easterton. Bert was a blacksmith and farrier and Charlie, a wheelwright. See Wheelwright memories, Wheelwrighting and The Wheelwright at work – fitting a tyre. or type Burnett into the search box on the blog front page for even more information about these talented brothers and their family.

Up until the 1950s, their work was required for repairing farm carts and, no doubt, it was important to produce exactly the right shade of paint to suit the customer and to match the rest of the paintwork on a wagon being restored.

The costs of running a band

February 28, 2021

We have recently looked at a little diary from the 1930s, sold to boost the funds of Market Lavington Prize Silver Band. But Tuppence for the Band was obviously not enough to keep the band up and running. Our blog Band Account Book features some accounts from the 1920s, but was later used as a notebook for copying down rules on the tuning of brass instruments.

However, at Market Lavington Museum, we do also have an account book from 1947-58.

Here we are informed of some of the means of acquiring income. Some of the performances were paid for, such as playing at the Church fete and for Poppy Day. There were donations from individuals, such as the vicar, and fund raising enterprises such as a collection in the Market Place and the sale of some games.

Of course, there were expenses too. Much of the income from fetes was paid to the band members. There were other expenses connected to performing. Bus drivers had to be paid for transporting the band to places such as Avebury and Wilsford.

Some of the instruments belonged to the band and, when a new slide was needed for a trombone, that cost £3.1s. 0d. A new head for the side drum and return postage in 1958 cost £2. 6s. 6d. An apron for the drummer set the band back by £1. 2s. 10d.

The band would have had a range of music, which needed adding to from time to time, with parts for each player and a score for the bandmaster. In 1948, two marches came to 8s and six waltzes cost 6s.

More mundane costs included paying for electric light and oil for the heater (presumably in the practice room near Broadwell). There were also phone calls and postage to be paid, probably for arranging performances. A new 2 way switch cost 3s.

Prior to decimalisation in 1971, there were 12 pennies (d) in a shilling (s) and 20 shillings in a pound (£)., so 240 pennies made a pound.

The black cat diary again

February 27, 2021

In our blog post, Tuppence for the Band, we have already seen this delightful tiny diary.

It dates from 1935 and was sold for 2d (less than 1p) to raise funds for Market Lavington’s Prize Silver Band. As well as providing dates for the year, and a small space to write in for each date, it holds a fund of interesting information, some of which we have seen before.

We also learn that the taxation per head in 1933 had been £16.8s.0d, which is compared with considerably lower charges in various other European countries.

The back page features two rhymes, one on the rule of the road at sea and this one for land travellers.

The Rule of the Road is a paradox quite.

For in driving your carriage along,

If you bear to the left you are sure to go right,

If you bear to the right you go wrong.

But walking the streets ’tis a different case,

To the right it is right you should steer,

On the left should be left enough clear space

For the people who wish to walk there.

Bandsmen’s hats

February 17, 2021

Market Lavington had a band for many decades and, at the museum, we are fortunate in having many photos of them in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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Of course, photography in those times produced black and white pictures, so we are delighted that we have some items of their uniforms, so we can see their true colours. The uniform jacket was a burgundy colour, which also featured in the cap.

This sported a lyre motif at the centre front.

This style was worn by Market Lavington Prize Silver Band in the 1920s and through to the 1950s. By the 1960s, a new hat was introduced and we have one of these in our collection too.

A James Neate beer bottle

February 16, 2021

At Market Lavington Museum we have a number of items connected with a brewery in the village. It was run by James Neate and, later, by his son Norman. You can find more information about this family enterprise, including pictures of their wine flagons and a beer barrel, by following the links to JAMES NEATE (1829 -1920), A Neate Barrel, James Neate of Market Lavington and The Brewery Tap.

We also have a beer bottle from their business.

It has J Neate. The Brewery, Market Lavington embossed on its surface.

It is thought to date from about 1900.

An old boot

February 15, 2021

An old boot is a derogatory term for an older woman, but we have the real thing in Market Lavington Museum. This one is as tough as old boots, as it is now over a hundred years old, dating from the early twentieth century.

It is a black leather lady’s boot and would have been threaded with a long lace to tie, once the foot was inside.

Behind the lace is a long tongue, to protect the stockinged leg from discomfort from being rubbed by the eyelets.

This boot was not made by a local bootmaker, but mass produced as we can see by the label inside.

A little research (from https://buildingourpast.com/2016/04/05/the-public-benefit-boot-co-and-lennards/) has shown that this philanthropic firm had been formed in 1875 as the Public Benefit Boot Company. The aim was to produce more affordable footwear to the working class by cutting out middlemen, refusing credit and through bulk purchasing.

The owner of our boot had done their best to extend its wearable life. The sole has been repaired using parts of a worn leather belt.

The boot was found in a loft space, presumably put there for good luck, a habit that usually involved children’s boots. (See Boots as good luck charms.)

Shoe display stands

February 14, 2021

We have met Ken Mundy before and seen pictures and information about his shop and work as a cobbler and shoe seller in Market Lavington. (See Ken Mundy’s Shop, Memorabilia from Ken Mundy’s shop and Closed.) Amongst the objects from Ken’s shop, now in Market Lavington Museum, we have these bell shaped items.

They are copper alloy stands, used for displaying ladies’ shoes and date from the early twentieth century, though our curator can remember buying a pair of red shoes from Ken in the early 1970s.

A fireplace pot hanger

February 13, 2021

In Victorian times, cooking in a cottage was often done in a three legged cooking pot or cauldron. This could be stood in the ashes of a fire or suspended over the flames. An iron bar was built into the chimney and a pot hanger could be hooked over it. This had a hook to support the cooking pot.

The pot hanger had a ratchet, so that the pot could be suspended at the required distance from the flames. This hanger was found in a cottage on Russell Mill Lane, now in Littleton Pannell, but formerly part of Market Lavington. See Russell Mill, Russell Mill and Russell Mill for information and pictures of this area.