Walter, William and the Workhouse

Walter James was a baker. His premises were at number 1 High Street in Market Lavington – where the Post Office is now. He probably started work there as an employee of the Sumner family before taking over the business.

Walter was born towards the end of 1879. Locally born father, John James was a carpenter. The family lived on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Walter married Elizabeth Gye in 1904. The marriage took place in Marylebone. He died in 1943

Our picture, which dates from the late 1920s, shows Walter taking his horses, used for the delivery round, along Church Street on their way to a grazing field.

Walter James leads his horses past a house rebuilt by William Hopkins. This house is on the site of the former workhouse in Market Lavington. The picture dates from the late 1920s.

The building behind has lettering in the brickworks. It reads 1884 W H and records the fact that William Hopkins rebuilt the house in 1884. William Hopkins was not an uncommon name in Market Lavington. The William who dealt with this house lived close by this building and was a bricklayer and builder.

He was born in about 1849 in Market Lavington. In 1869 he married Elizabeth Brown. They had quite a large family and later they became builders merchants as well as builders in their own right.

And what of a workhouse? When Market Lavington had possessed one of these institutions it was sited at the end of The Muddle – where the building rebuilt by William Hopkins stood in the photo and still stands today – although the bricks are now painted so the old message recorded in the bricks is hidden from view.

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