A Hospital Week poster

We are really fond of our Hospital Week posters at Market Lavington Museum. They remind us of so many things.

First and foremost they were charity events for both villages – Easterton and Market Lavington. The procession on Carnival Day always started in Easterton and marched to wherever the fete was held.

Secondly we are reminded that we are so lucky to live in the age of the National Health Service which means the whole demeaning business of having to beg for money when ill has been abolished.

And thirdly we are reminded of an age when communities were much more reliant on self-made fun.

Here is one of the posters – this one is less bright than some being black printing on white.

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925. Click to enlarge

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925.
Click to enlarge

The most annoying thing about these posters is that they don’t give the year. We believe this dates from the 1920s and the only Saturday August 15th in that decade was in 1925 so we expect this poster advertises an even that took place 90 years ago.

The gates opened at 2.30 and adults had to pay 6d admission. Sixpence, in 1915, had the purchasing power of about £1.25 today but we are all richer these days. In the time taken to earn those six old pennies, a typical worker will earn over £6 today. So a 6d entrance fee was really quite a significant sum to have to pay.

But prizes can be similarly upgraded. The guinea (£1-1-0) prize for best horse and harness in terms of income would be much the same as £260 today.

And what entertainments you got for your money – many provided by the 6th Field Brigade of the Royal Artillery. Musical Chairs on Horseback sounds like a sight to behold and we are assured that Nobby the Clown and his Human Horses are worth the entrance fee all on their own.

There were races to be run, and won by somebody who would have felt suitably rich. Fairground type rides and side stalls had been brought in. Excisable (alcoholic) beverages were provided by Mr Greetham of The Green Dragon and the good old Ladies’ Committee were serving teas.

The venue was the Home Field – behind Shires Close which was regularly used as the village recreation ground.

This lovely poster is something like A1 size

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