When Mr Walton’s Empire spread

Mr Walton was once well known in Market Lavington for having a department store which spread from High Street, round the corner onto White Street, across to the other side of that road and round the corner onto Church Street. But seemingly, Mr Walton wanted to spread his empire and he also acquired one of the shops in Easterton as seen here.

Mr Walton's shop in Easterton - early twentieth century

Mr Walton’s shop in Easterton – early twentieth century

The shop is now a private house with Mr Kiddle’s car repair works behind it.

But what a lovely photo this is, capturing what a shop looked like in the earlier years of the twentieth century.

The enamel signs are particularly lovely.


They just name products with no other attempt to tell us our lives would be so much better if we used them. The supposed power of these adverts was just to get words into the heads of potential shoppers.

They have real collector’s value today. We note a similar Sunlight Soap sign on offer at £220.


The shop windows, then as now, displayed products. Of course, there was no self-service back then. Your requested purchases were selected by the shop keeper from shelves behind a counter.


Village shops were general stores so we can see crockery displayed in the other window.

Back in Market Lavington Mr Walton had a separate department for china, glassware and fancy goods. Easterton just had a window.

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4 Responses to “When Mr Walton’s Empire spread”

  1. Rosemary Gillespie Says:

    Thrilled to see these photos, as this was the shop my grandfather , Robin, Godfrey, owned from the early 1920’s to his death in early 1940’s when my father, Robert (Bob) Godfrey, took it over. I lived here from birth (1952) until aged two, when the shop was sold and we moved away. I remember a couple took it over, I knew the wife as Aunite Freda. I wonder if my grandfather purchased the business from Mr Walton?

  2. Jim Spencer Says:

    I think the couple that took over from Bob Godfrey were Douglas and Freda MacBeth. Douglas was known to the village simply as old Mac! They ran the shop as a grocery village shop. It also acted as a tuck shop for jam factory workers.

  3. Rosemary Gillespie Says:

    Thanks Jim for this info about theMacbeth’s

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