A Merritt float

Here we have another new image given to the museum this month and this is one we particularly like. It shows a carnival float, no doubt in a trade class, entered by Merritt Brothers. We don’t have a date but we estimate it to be the 1920s.

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Here we see a simple and pleasing four wheeled waggon drawn by horse power. There is some decoration with branches and a goodly collection of horseshoes.

The identity of the float

The identity of the float

The Merritts were farriers and smiths as their badge says. Their premises were the former smithy at the edge of Broadwell

Let’s take a look at the people.


The man on the left is wearing a bandsman’s cap. More than one member of this family was active in the Lavington Prize Band. John Merritt was its leader for 60 or more years.


Another bandsman’s cap. The Merritts were rightly proud of the band.


Sadly we have no positive names to put to these people.

In the background there is another waggon which belonged to the Spencer family at Halstead Farm in Easterton. So we would assume the photo was taken locally but we cannot identify just where.

And help with identities would be much appreciated.

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4 Responses to “A Merritt float”

  1. Norman merritt Says:

    I am certain the young lad in the cap in the third photograph is Alfred Merritt his father was Thomas who I’m sure is in there somewhere
    The man in the fourth photo holding the hammer I am certain is
    My grand father James Merritt who had the farm at easterton sands

  2. Norman merritt Says:

    Just had an email from my nephew David about the horseshoes on
    The cart. He said he always thought they went up the other way to
    Catch good luck…that’s blown that theory right out the window.

  3. Jim Spencer Says:

    We used to live over the road from Norman’s grandfather, James Merritt, and he used to amaze us lads by testing cattle electric fences by touching the wire with his tongue!
    We always used a long piece of grass. Thats as close as we would get…

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