Slop pails

Many of the home comforts we take for granted were not available, even within living memory, for older inhabitants of Market Lavington and Easterton. Electricity came to Market Lavington in 1927, mains water in 1936 and mains sewerage in 1958.

To have a wash before bed or in the morning, water would have been brought from a well in the garden or carried in buckets from the pump at Broadwell or the dipping well at Northbrook. Warm water would have been heated on the range or in a copper and taken upstairs in a wide mouthed jug, called a ewer. The water would have been poured into a bowl placed on a washstand in the bedroom. (See Wash ewer here!)

Without drainage, the dirty water was not able to flow away through pipework as nowadays. It would have been collected in a slop pail. We have two of these in Market Lavington Museum.

This white china slop pail has a carrying handle for taking the soiled water downstairs in the morning.

The contents could be covered with a china lid, with convenient lifting handle. (The view from our museum windows shows that we can be found at the edge of St Mary’s Churchyard.)

If you find the white pail a little mundane, you might like our elegant rose patterned version.

This too has a carrying handle and a lid.

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