The 9th day of Christmas

January 2, 2021

Starting yesterday, with the maids a-milking, the true love has moved on to giving people as his gifts, rather than birds and rings. Today’s noisy present involves drummers. It so happens that, at Market Lavington, we are well endowed with drum connections.

Not only do we have an actual drum from our own prize silver band, until recently we had a pub in the village named The Drummer Boy. Typing drummer boy into the search box on our front page at will take you to several blog entries about the public house and about the Drummer Boy post on Salisbury Plain.

The 8th day of Christmas

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year. The true love found eight maids a-milking for his gift today. When putting together our museum book linked to the song, we found no milk related maids and settled for milking as the theme for this page.

We thought you might like to see a larger picture of the piglet suckling from a cow.

Our museum only has its amazing collection of diverse artefacts because of the kindness of our donors. Do let us know if you have anything relevant to the history of Market Lavington and Easterton that you would like us to consider for adding to our collection.

The 7th day of Christmas

December 31, 2020

Swans and swimming are quite well represented amongst our museum artefacts. In pre NHS times, Hospital Week was a big fund raising time in Market Lavington and Easterton and the carnival was much enjoyed and very well supported. If you type carnival into the search box on the front page of our museum blog, you will find some twenty items about Hospital Week carnivals. Perchance, among the many photographs of people in their costumes, we see a beautifully created swan on a push cart.

For more information about the Edwardian bathing costume, now over a hundred years old, and the lady who wore it, see Great Grandmother’s Bathing Costume.

The 6th day of Christmas

December 30, 2020

It might have been rather hard for the true love to find geese a-laying in late December. Spring would have been a better season for eggs and goslings. Of all the twelve gifts, this was the trickiest to match to artefacts in our museum collection, but we did come up with a few links.

The 5th day of Christmas

December 29, 2020

This was the day for the gift of five gold rings in the Christmas song. For our book, we have found a couple of rings, but not real golden ones. We have also linked the ringing of bells with the theme of the day.

Tom Gye, a village builder, was also a bell ringer and tower captain for many years. His wife, Peggy, was the founder and long time curator of Market Lavington Museum. (See Some Tom Gye memories and Peggy Gye – 1921 – 2010.) To celebrate their Golden Wedding in 1990, a quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles (taking about 45 minutes) was rung on St Mary’s Church bells. They also had the weathercock regilded to mark the occasion.

The 4th day of Christmas

December 28, 2020

On this day, my true love sent to me four colly birds. The page for this day, in our book of museum related interpretations of the verses of The 12 Days of Christmas, features various links to birds.

The title page of John Legg’s Discourse on the Emigration of British Birds contains ‘A curious, particular and circumstantial account of the respective retreats of all these birds of passage.’The birds that come to Britain ‘at the commencement of Spring and depart at the approach of winter’ include the cuckow (sic), stork, crane, goat sucker, willow wren and flycatcher. Our local naturalist also describes ‘A copious, entertaining and satisfactory relation of winter birds of passage, among which are the woodcock, snipe, fieldfare, redwing, royston crow, dotterel etc.’

For more information on this early ornithologist see John Legg – a Market Lavington Naturalist

The 3rd day of Christmas

December 27, 2020

Well, Market Lavington Museum doesn’t actually have any French hens, but we can do French and hens, so here’s our page for 27th December.

The 2nd day of Christmas

December 26, 2020

Market Lavington Museum has a collection of all sorts of objects and photographs connected to the villages of Market Lavington and Easterton. That enabled us to find items to link with all the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas song. Here is the page for Boxing Day.

Christmas greetings – 1945

December 25, 2020

In 2020, many plans for commemorating the 75th anniversaries of the end of World War II in Europe (8th May) and against Japan (15th August) were cancelled or adjusted due to Covid 19 restrictions.

By Christmas in 1945 the war was over, though many of the five million British servicemen and women would still have been waiting for demobilisation.

At Market Lavington Museum, we have recently been given a Christmas card from 1945. It was sent to Bert and Florrie. Before her marriage to Bert Shore, Florrie (née Burbidge) had grown up in the cottage at the edge of St Mary’s churchyard, which now houses the museum. This is the message on the back of the card.

The front of the card is very obviously just post war.

The verse alludes to the fact that church bells had been silent for the duration of the war and that people would know that, if the bells had rung, it would have been a warning of invasion or air raids. During the war, the German enemy was sometimes referred to derogatorily as ‘ The Hun’. Air raid warnings usually took the form of a siren. When the danger had passed, the siren call was reversed to descending tones, signalling the ‘Al Clear’.

Market Lavington Museum wishes our readers some Christmas 2020 ‘Joy and Cheer’ at the end of a difficult year.

The 12 Days of Christmas

December 24, 2020

In 2019, when Christmas was celebrated normally, Market Lavington’s neighbour village of Easterton had a Christmas tree festival in the church. The museum had a tree there, with a twelve days of Christmas theme. Our decorations were based on photographs of artefacts linked to the words of the song and we produced a book to go alongside the tree.

As Covid 19 has prevented many Christmas events in 2020, including the museum Christmas opening, when visitors could have seen the book, we thought we would share it in our blog posts this year.

We will have a sneak preview of the first day of Christmas, Christmas Day, now and then look at the other pages from Boxing Day onwards.

A Happy Christmas to all our readers and thank you for your interest and your support of Market Lavington Museum.