Archive for the ‘Museum’ Category

Another Jacob Cooper?

September 4, 2022

In Market Lavington Museum we have two trade boards (one possibly from a wagon) with the name Jacob Cooper on them.

We know that this Mr Cooper was a coal merchant in Market Lavington.

For more information about him, see Jacob Cooper and Jacob Bolter Cooper. This latter blog entry includes census information, which implies that he was a farmer, so maybe it was one and the same Jacob Cooper who took out a seven year lease on the farm at Easterton Manor.

At the museum, we do have a legal document about this, drawn up in 1882.

John William Morgan Williams, acting on behalf of his father, John Williams, was renting out the farm land to farmer Jacob Cooper of Market Lavington for £105 a year.

If anyone is able to confirm whether Jacob the farmer was also the coal merchant, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Grannie’s striptease

September 3, 2022

We have previously featured a performance of a Market Lavington Red Riding Hood pantomime from over seventy years ago.

Although our blogs, Little Red Riding Hood and Red Riding Hood – cast photo. suggest a date of 1943, we now think this took place in January 1945 as we have some handwritten notes for the performers with a date at the top.

These two pages outline the progress of the story, which is divided into four scenes, each comprising four acts.

However, it is the page written specifically for Grannie, which provides us with more detail and evidence of the humour. Grannie was played by a man, the pantomime dame.

For now, we will just look at what he/she was up to in act two of scene four.

Grannie starts to undress by removing hairpins and putting on a night cap. Next the dress, petticoat and corsets come off and Grannie is reminded to have a good scratch. Some propriety is maintained as Grannie goes behind a screen to remove her knickers, which she throws over the screen before coming out in her nightie.

We’ll look at more of Grannie’s antics another time.

Not just a photographer’s shop

September 2, 2022

Market Lavington has been extremely fortunate in having photography businesses from the end of the 19th century and through the 20th century.

Alfred Burgess, followed by two of his sons, had their premises on High Street. As well as their photography work, they also sold china ornaments, of which we have Quite a collection in the museum.

Later, Peter and Bessie Francis ran a photography business on Church Street.

They also had a sideline, being an agency, providing some financial services for the village.

This definitely included Royal Insurance, as this paperwork names P Francis as the agency.

We also imagine that they may have been the agency providing access to the Halifax Building Society in the village, but we have no evidence of this. Do please tell us if you know whether the Halifax was part of the Peter Francis photographer’s business or if it was hosted elsewhere.

Tucked inside the Bible

September 1, 2022

Market Lavington Museum is in the School House, just behind the Old School and beside the churchyard. We take an interest in the previous occupants of our building and have various artefacts connected to the Burbidge family who lived there for most of the first half of the 20th century.

Mr and Mrs Burbidge were involved with the local church in many ways as can be seen in these excerpts from their obituaries in 1954.

Unsurprisingly, then, there were many books in their home reflecting this.

Some of these belonged to their daughter, Florence, including her Bible, which has been given to the museum.

Throughout her life, she had tucked many little tracts and cuttings in there.

We do not have dates for most of these, but the Mothers’ Union order of service is from 1947, when Florrie was almost forty years old.

Paying the rent

August 31, 2022

We are pleased to have this unprepossessing little book as part of our museum collection. It has found its way home, for it is the rent book for the building which now houses our museum.

The Burbidge family lived in the school house from 1907 until Mr and Mrs Burbidge died in 1954.

The rent book covers the last 12 years of their time here, after the daughters Florrie and Dorrie had married and left home.

Although not lived in by school staff, the school house belonged to the school and we can see that the vicar, Reverend Sturton, signed for the receipt of many of the payments.

We see that the rent remained constant throughout the period covered in this book – three pounds and five shillings every three months.

Payments ceased in 1954, the year in which both Mr and Mrs Burbidge died.

In this family photo, we see Mr Alfred and Mrs Louisa Burbidge with their grown up daughters, Florrie and Dorrie.

After Mr and Mrs Burbidge died, the school eventually took over the building for extra classrooms and, in 1985, it became the museum.

A spin drier

August 30, 2022

At Market Lavington Museum, we have various artefacts from the times of Laundry before the washing machine. Having washed the clothes, it was necessary to be Drying the washing sufficiently for Airing the children’s clothes and other garments inside during times of wet weather.

Nowadays, most households have an automatic washing machine which washes then spins the clean clothes. Some people also have a tumble drier to remove even more of the dampness if they are unable to dry their clothes outside.

There was, of course, an in between stage when clothes were washed in an early electric washing machine, but still needed to be put through a mangle to remove most of the water. Some folk bought another electric machine – a spin drier – to do this job. We have recently been given the documents regarding the purchase of one of these, locally.

From this, we can see that spin driers were bought for use in the mid 1960s.

The pictures on ‘The Hoover Guide to Washing’ show that spin driers could be bought as stand alone items (sometimes bouncing themselves across the kitchen floor!) or as part of a twin tub, with a washer and drier in the same unit.

We do not have a spin drier at the museum, nor the room to display one at present, so the paper reminder of that stage in the history of home laundry is very much appreciated.

Easterton fete

August 29, 2022

It’s August Bank Holiday Monday and Easterton will be holding its Summer fete. Kooky the Clown lives in Easterton. He is not only a children’s entertainer, but also writes rhymes about local happenings. He has given the museum a collection of these and one is entitled Easterton Fete. It describes the last pre Covid fete, held in 2019.

Do come to the museum to read more of Kooky’s writing. We not only have his poems but also his autobiography.

This is the face we are used to, but his book also includes the early days of his clowning career, before he had standardised his make up look.

And do also visit the museum gazebo at the fete today. We will have photos of old Easterton, local royal events (as it’s a jubilee year), Fiddington Asylum and carnivals.

A driving licence

August 28, 2022

In recent years, the driving licence has changed from a printed green document to a plastic photocard. Those of us with longer memories might be able to think back to a small red booklet, which was in use until 1973. We have been given one of these for our museum collection.

A new page was stuck in each year and, later, every three years. There are so many pages stuck on top of one another in this little booklet, that is impossible to read them all.

There are certainly pages dating back to the 1940s and into the 1950s.

A 1943 identity card

August 27, 2022

Britain does not have a system of identity cards in peace time. During the second world war brown identity cards were issued to adults and children from 1939. However, the colour of the adult’s card was changed to blue in 1943. We have been given one of these to add to the Market Lavington Museum collection.

The owner of the card had to carry it at all times and show it if requested to do so by the police or a member of the armed forces.

This card belonged to Mrs Florence Shore, who had been born, as Florence Burbidge, in our museum building.

From 21st February 1952, it was no longer necessary to carry an identity card.

Another official document

August 26, 2022

Last time we looked at a medical card from 1949, which would still be recognisable nowadays. However, we have also been given some similar sized cards, which we do not need today.

One of these is a certificate of registration for the armed forces.

Bert and Flo Shore lived at North View, The Terrace, Market Lavington following their wedding in 1940 so, presumably, he was issued with this card soon after the outbreak of the second world war.

The reverse has not been filled in.

He did not change his name or his address, until well after the war. Maybe he didn’t join up as a volunteer either.