A Paper Bag

Museum folks must be odd. What else can explain the excitement we feel about a paper bag? But actually, the bag concerned is special. It was recently offered for sale on an internet auction site. A supporter of the museum bought it and the seller very kindly waived postage and packing charges. It didn’t cost very much – but as a museum we do not purchase items. We rely on donations.

Here is the bag which has, almost inevitably, been folded so a crease mark shows.


A J Sheppard of Easterton paper bag

For those who like sizes, the bag is about 24 cm square – slightly too wide for an A4 scanner so the edges have been missed here.

We can see straight away that the bag came from the bakery in Easterton which belonged to J Sheppard – but let’s look first at the cartoon in the middle – which is delightful.

Cartoon on the Easterton bakery bag

Cartoon on the Easterton bakery bag

The scene, on a bus, is from a past age as far as rural buses are concerned. The conductor/ticket seller on a bus has long vanished. All our buses are driver only vehicles.

The dialogue is, of course, simply charming.

Now let’s turn to the baker – J Sheppard. His daughter still lives locally and she describes a family move from Market Lavington to Easterton when she was aged one in 1927. The family home was at Jubilee Cottages, Easterton and bread was made and sold from there.

James Sheppard was clearly quite a high class baker and in her oral history, which we have at the museum, his daughter recalls him winning the competition for lunch cake in 1932. We suspect the bag dates from soon after that event which was organised by Hovis and the cake – some kind of fruit loaf, had to be made with Hovis flour. Apparently James won a gold watch which a descendant still has.

We need to do a little further research for we do not know when James shut up shop but we suspect it would have been by 1960.


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6 Responses to “A Paper Bag”

  1. webbav Says:

    I think it’s amazing that someone actually kept the bag instead of tossing it in the trash like so many people do nowadays! Such a cool gift!

  2. Jo Heffernon Says:

    I am Jim’s Great Grandaughter. I will be sure to show Grandma, she will be thrilled, as will the rest of our family…it’s amazing!

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      I think this is one of the loveliest items we have had recently given to the museum. Of course, Jim still has a daughter alive and I believe she is amazed as well. What we need to go with it is a photo of Jim…..



  3. Jim Says:

    There are photos of both Mr & Mrs Sheppard on the Village Hall Committee photo on this blog Sept 2012.

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