2nd Day of Christmas – Two Turtle Doves


Wooden pigeons

At Market Lavington Museum we have two life size models of pigeons. We know that at least one of them was made by Norman Neate.

He was the last commercial brewer in Market Lavington, taking on the business and its outlet ‘The Brewery Tap’ on White Street, from his father James. The brewery and pub closed in the mid 1930s.

Outside work, Norman was one of many keen local shooters. In fact, he was disabled due to having been accidentally shot in the leg as a young man. He continued with his shooting activities by aiming his gun from a tricycle fitted with hand operated pedals.

Pigeons were among the target species, presumably to reduce the numbers of these seed eating birds damaging crops on farmland as well as to provide meat. Pigeons feed in flocks, so setting realistic decoys at a suitable distance from the guns, tempted real birds to join the models, putting themselves in the line of fire.



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