Hospital Week postage accounts

We have featured Hospital Week many times at the museum and in our blogs. This is because the week of fundraising events and carnival was a major annual happening for local residents and produced an important means of support to those in need of medical care in the years before the National Health Service. It was well organised and its records have survived and been accessioned into Market Lavington Museum’s colllection.

For photos of the fancy dress parades and information about many of the other activities, check out the links at the bottom of this entry.

Tucked away in one of our storage boxes, we find this page of accounts related to postal costs. The costs are typed or in black ink. The pencil figures are a running total as the various costs were totted up.

Although a typewriter was available, it comes from an era long before computers and e mails. Contacting people to make arrangements for their support and participation was done by letter as we can see by the number of postage stamps purchased. This account is not dated but we know that it cost 1 1/2d (one and a half old pennies) to post a letter between 1922 and 1940.

We see that quite a lot of mail was sent arranging music for the events. Letters went to bands, drums, Wiltshire Regiment, bandmaster, Moonrakers’ band, Calne band and another hard to read band.

With all this written communication, it was necessary to purchase a writing block, some foolscap paper and envelopes.

Many letters were written to individuals including Lord Warrington, a judge who spent his retirement at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington.

Another letter went to Edward Oliver Pleydell Bouverie. He was the son of Edward Pleydell Bouverie (lord of the manor at Market Lavington and a member of parliament).

Other mail went to businesses such as the Midland Bank and Wadworths, the brewers in Devizes.

For a speedier delivery, telegrams were required. These were much more expensive, at 2s/6d (half a crown, so an eighth of a pound sterling). It looks as though Mr G Pike footed the bill for this ‘wire’ (telegram) to Swindon. He was a butcher in Market Lavington. (See George Pike advertises.)

So here we have yet another scrap of paper, saved for best part of a century, which casts light on village life in the past.

Do look at some of these links to get a flavour of local fun in the 1920s and 1930s. The proceeds of Hospital Week 1924, Event details for 1924 Hospital Week, Preparing the 1924 Hospital Week events, A drinks bill for the hospital week committee, Hospital Week Plans, 1923 Hospital Week, 1921 Hospital Week,At the 1931 Hospital Week, A Hospital Week poster, Another Hospital Week gathering, At a Hospital Week Carnival in the 1920s, Hospital Week – mid 1930s, Hospital Week and Hospital week children in 1927.

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