The Bread Charity

August 28, 2016

It may surprise people to know that the ancient charities, set up in the distant past by village worthies, ran until comparatively recent times. The Sainsbury Bread Charity was set up in 1795/96 with the aim of providing some bread for the poor of the parish. The items we show today date from 1980.

A list of names was drawn up – potential recipients of the charity. Some were included because of their pensioner status, others because they were widows or widowers and some because they had children in need. This was a church based charity so Vicar, churchwardens and a small committee drew up the list. Each person was issued with a ticket.

Sainsbury Bread Charity ticket

Sainsbury Bread Charity ticket

The instructions are simple. Your usual baker will exchange a loaf of bread for this ticket. The baker may or may not have put a mark on the ticket but this one has a shop stamp on the back.

This ticket has been stamped by the Mcormacks at the Spar shop on Church Street

This ticket has been stamped by the Mcormacks at the Spar shop on Church Street

Ah! A reminder, here, of the former Spar shop in the village at 7 Church Street. In 2016 we have the Coop for groceries. Back in 1980 there were the two shops and back into history there were others.

The McCormacks put their bill in to the charity – presumably with the requisite number of tickets.

The McCormacks put their bill into the charity

The McCormacks put their bill into the charity

We can see that the local Spar shop received 10 tickets exchanged for loaves at 36p each. They will have received their money from the charity.

These days the old charities have had their small sums of money merged so that best use can be made of what, really, are very limited funds.

But it is good to be able to recall these old days.

In the Volunteer Arms

August 27, 2016

A couple of days ago we looked at the outside of the Volunteer Arms, affectionately known as the Volley. That picture dates from 1967 and for the old amongst us who think that was only yesterday let’s remember that it is all but fifty years ago. And today’s images, showing the inside of the pub, also date from 1967.

Here is the bar.

The bar at the Volunteer Arms in 1967

The bar at the Volunteer Arms in 1967

We seem to be looking at a real bit of past life, albeit with not a person in sight. Our photographer has found a spot where he looks over the bar billiards table. And what a great game that was. It didn’t require a huge area because all the cueing action took place at one end of the table. We also see the dartboard which no pub would have been without at one time.

The bar itself is quite compact but crowded with drinks and mugs.


That looks to be a very elegant shell shaped uplighter at the far end of the bar.

Now let’s look at what might be called the customer area.

The seating area at the old Volley

The seating area at the old Volley

Once again we see that bar billiards table on the right, a fruit machine beyond it and an almost edge on dart board on the left.

But it is the tables and chairs that take the eye. They are so period and might be quite collectable these days.

These chairs could be collectable these days.

These chairs could be collectable these days.

We feel so lucky that these photos have turned up so suddenly, out of the blue. They will bring back memories for many older residents in Market Lavington.

A Merritt float

August 26, 2016

Here we have another new image given to the museum this month and this is one we particularly like. It shows a carnival float, no doubt in a trade class, entered by Merritt Brothers. We don’t have a date but we estimate it to be the 1920s.

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Here we see a simple and pleasing four wheeled waggon drawn by horse power. There is some decoration with branches and a goodly collection of horseshoes.

The identity of the float

The identity of the float

The Merritts were farriers and smiths as their badge says. Their premises were the former smithy at the edge of Broadwell

Let’s take a look at the people.


The man on the left is wearing a bandsman’s cap. More than one member of this family was active in the Lavington Prize Band. John Merritt was its leader for 60 or more years.


Another bandsman’s cap. The Merritts were rightly proud of the band.


Sadly we have no positive names to put to these people.

In the background there is another waggon which belonged to the Spencer family at Halstead Farm in Easterton. So we would assume the photo was taken locally but we cannot identify just where.

And help with identities would be much appreciated.

The Volunteer Arms

August 25, 2016

Yesterday we looked at a view from that former pub, The Volunteer Arms which had once been known as The Angel. Today we see the pub itself.

This photo of the pub is captioned just ‘1967’.

The Volunteer in 1967

The Volunteer in 1967

The pub is on Church Street but the view beyond is into High Street and even then, all but 50 years ago, there were cars parked outside the Post Office.

Yesterday’s photo was taken from the pub’s porch. Today we see that porch clearly and also, of course, the sign board hanging from its bracket which still exists.

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

We can see the old ‘Volley’ was a Wadworth’s pub.

We’d like to thank former Market Lavington resident, Sue, for donating a goodly collection of Volunteer photos to the museum. This particular pub had been under represented in our collection.

This one makes a then and even longer ago comparison.


The Volunteer – 1911



A view from the Volley

August 24, 2016

The old Volunteer Arms was known as ‘The Volley’. It was on Church Street, close to the crossroads. In fact a present day view would still show the bracket that the pub sign used to hang from.

We have recently been given a large collection of photos of people and events at this former pub which closed some thirty or so years ago. This one, however, was a record of history about to pass taken by an unknown photographer from the Volley’s porch.

View of Reid's house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

View of Reid’s house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

Like many a colour print of its era, it has a red hue. Modern technology makes it easy to make changes and our curator reckons the colour rendition below looks better but he emphasises that colour decisions are often subjective and others might disagree with him.


The red hue is toned down a bit

The back of this photo is captioned, Mr Reid’s before alteration. Sadly no year is given but we think it is about 1977. The car in the garage is an original ‘C’ registration which dates it to 1965 but it doesn’t look to be in the first flush of youth.

Mr Reid’s house had come to him from his wife’s family. These were the Merritts and photos dating from 1910 show this as a bicycle shop. As time moved on the shop started to serve the needs of motorists and had pumps for petrol. These can be seen clearly in the photo.

Showing the petrol pumps

Showing the petrol pumps

By this time the building was no longer a shop and the pumps had long been out of use and it was time for them to go. It is good to have the reminder – and in colour as well.

This is the same building in the 21st century – clearly after the alterations.

The house today

The house today


Opening the Davis Field

August 23, 2016

These days the name ‘Davis Field’ is all but forgotten. The field is just called the football field. It’s the one at the top of Northbrook. This field was given to the football club and then volunteers made it fit for football. It was officially opened on August 23rd 1952. It’s good to say it is still needed and loved now it is 64.

We were recently given a copy of the souvenir programme for the opening to go with a photo we had of the opening party.


We see that the lucky number programme cost 6d (there were 40 of them to the pound). This is number 226 which sounds like a big attendance but back in 1952 we were before the age of mass TV ownership. Village events were a much appreciated diversion from post war austerity.


Here we get a brief history of the Lavington and Easterton United club and the programme of events including music by the band, speeches, a couple of matches and other competitions. There was a tea break and then a square dance in the Parish Room in the evening.

And here we have the main protagonists of the day – the players.


What a lovely document, to remind us of what was clearly a special day.

An undated school photo.

August 22, 2016

We are fairly sure this is the 1960s but we have very limited information on this Market Lavington School photo.

An infant class at Market Lavington School with Mrs Elisha in charge

An infant class at Market Lavington School with Mrs Elisha in charge

Mrs Elisha is at the back – right end. She retired in 1968.

The only captions with the photo say ‘Front row, 3rd from left – Withers’ Also ‘4th from left S Ayliffe’.

The venue is definitely outside Market Lavington School.

Once again we hope our readers can tell us more.

Agnes Bertha and Emily Sarah Bolter

August 21, 2016

A Bolter family in Market Lavington

Bolter grave in Market Lavington

Bolter grave in Market Lavington

In loving memory of Agnes Bertha Bolter who died 14th March 1950 aged 86 years
I know that my redeemed liveth
Emily Sarah Bolter who died 18th January 1979 aged 83 years.

Agnes Bolter or Boulter was born on the 4th January 1864 to John and Sarah Bolter. Agnes was baptised at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on the 27th March 1864.

In 1871 Agnes lived with her parents, John and Sarah on Church Street, John, her father, was an agricultural labourer.

In 1881 Agnes lived with her parents, John and Sarah on Church Street in Market Lavington. John was an agricultural labourer. Agnes, whose age was given as 17 had been born in Market Lavington and she had three younger siblings at home.

John Bolter died in 1888 and was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 31st March of that year, aged 82.

By 1891 Sarah Bolter was a widow and she was receiving parish relief. Agnes and a younger brother were with her on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Emily Sarah Bolter had her birth registered in the Devizes district of Wiltshire during the last quarter of 1895.

The 1901 census gives Agnes’s birthplace as Market Lavington. At this time she was living with her 69 year old, blind mother, Sarah who was described as a charwoman. Agnes’s daughter, Emily also lived with her mother, Agnes, and grandmother, Sarah, on Church Street in Market Lavington.

In 1911 the same three generations of Bolter ladies were living on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Sarah died, aged 80, in 1912. She was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 31st October of that year.

Agnes Bolter was buried on 17th March 1950. Her address was given as Church Street, Market Lavington.

Emily Sarah Bolter joined her mother, being buried by Reverend Norman Miller on 23rd January 1979 from her address at 29, Church Street, Market Lavington.


A nightdress case

August 20, 2016

Once upon a time all ladies kept nighties in a little ‘case’ and this is one of them.

Nightdress case at Market Lavington Museum

Nightdress case at Market Lavington Museum

Such items gave an opportunity to show off the needlewoman’s craft so often had a variety of styles of work.

This one is in linen with a lace border. A crocheted circle design has been applied to the centre and a purple ribbon has been threaded through. We don’t have a date for this nightie case but it belonged to a White Street (Market Lavington) lady.

Church and Grove – 1920s

August 19, 2016

Some photos capture the quiet and rural nature of a place and we think this one did just that.


St Mary’s Church, Market Lavington – 1929

We are looking at the west end and north side of St Mary’s church. We think this was taken in 1929. The photo is in an album we acquired from an internet auction site and other photos in the album are captioned with the year 1929. We do not know who the photographer was but on this occasion they have got a truly pastoral view across fields to the unchanging church.

By the way the church is the Church of England and that is why St George’s Cross – the English flag – flies over the tower. It looks as though there was quite a strong westerly wind blowing that day.

This area has been reshaped to allow for an access road to the Community Hall but it has not been built on. Here’s a similar modern view.


The church – 21st century



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