A sign of the times

Market Lavington Museum’s founder, Peggy Gye, collected postcards of the village, which provide wonderful snapshots of the area in times gone by. However, it is not always easy to put a date on the view and detective work is required. Sometimes the style of handwriting on the picture helps us to know which of the village photographers produced the card, which gives us a clue as to the likely range of dates. In this blog, we will focus on Lavington House, the one time department store on the crossroads in the centre of the village.

The various owners of this shop kept sign writers in business over the years. We do not need to worry about dating this one, as our records tell us it was about 1909.

However, this similar view just says undated on its record.

A closer look shows the words Up to Date Stores have been painted where the previous picture showed Lavington House. We have recently become aware of another copy of the same card, postally used. It has a postmark date of 1915, so we now know the image dates to 1915 or earlier.

But, we have clear evidence that in 1911 it did not have the Up To Date sign writing as there is an L on the edge of the coronation postcard.

Another view from the church we have recorded as about 1912 has Lavington House as on the 1901 picture, so maybe the Up To Date Stores was painted on Mr Walton’s shop between 1912 and 1915.

For more information on this store see Mr Walton’s Department Store and Brown Bros of Lavington House.

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