We couldn’t take every bit of personal memorabilia at our small museum, but some items belonged to a special enough person that we feel we’ll squeeze them in. This little book is a case in point. From the outside it might look a bit special with its pocket and handles. It looks rather like a small handbag.
If we look at the spine we see it is a Book of Common Prayer along with Hymns Ancient and Modern.
It is the name inside which adds real interest to this item.
This copy was the property of M A Potter who attended St. Mary’s Church, Market Lavington and is dated twice. The fancy hand has marked it July 1926. A more prosaic date just says 19-7-26.
But who was M A Potter? She was Mary Ann and she had been born around 1881 in Milton Lilbourne near Pewsey. In 1903 she married Edwin Potter, a Market Lavington man whose father operated a horse bus between Market Lavington and Devizes and also served as a carrier and had a small farm on which Edwin worked.
The Potters were blessed with a number of children. The first was Helena May born in 1904 at their home on Parsonage Lane. Helena May went on to become a teacher and in 1929 she married Bill Elisha. This made her Mrs Elisha the hugely long term infant teacher in the village.
So Mary Ann joined a well-known local family and then gave birth to perhaps the best known of them all. We are pleased to have this small memento of her life.
Mary Ann died in 1951, just making her three score years and ten