Posts Tagged ‘1890s’

Ada Hopkins

July 10, 2016

This photo comes from an album of mostly Victorian photos which we have at the museum at the moment. The vast majority of photos are of members of the Durnford or Dunford family. They were south Londoners although one of their number married into a local family. We may well seek a more suitable home for this album at some point.

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s - but which Ada Hopkins

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s – but which Ada Hopkins

The picture clearly has a Market Lavington connection for the photographer was our Mr Burgess of Market Lavington.

This is a cabinet sized photo with the whole card measuring some 6½ by 4¼ inches. The album carries the name, probably added by our founder curator, Peggy Gye – ‘Ada Hopkins’.

Now this presents us with a problem for there were two Ada Hopkins locally. One was born in about 1870 as Ada Dark. She was born in West Lavington. In 1894 she married Sam Hopkins of the building firm. This could be her.

The other Ada Hopkins was born Ada Mullings in 1873. She was a part of the basket making family and she married Edward Hopkins in about 1903. So the picture could be her.

I wonder if anyone out there can help. If so, do get in touch. If not, enjoy a fine photo of a local lady, we think in the 1890s.


A poem by an unknown person

May 21, 2016

Parish councils don’t always get it right. Back in the 1890s improvements were made at Broadwell. One unknown local was clearly not pleased with the changes and turned to verse to make her point.

We have a typed version of the poem, transcribed below. Enjoy!

This is about improvements carried out at Broadwell in 1890s, by the Parish Council.

Since writing these lines my William I’ve wed,
Be the path rough or smooth it together we’ll tread
And we’re helped by dear children a son and a daughter,
Who heap up the wood and carry us water.

It happened one day I was left all alone
With William whose rheumatiz racked every bone.
I wanted some water to draw from the well

Which the new Parish Council have done up so well.

So off with my bucket so lightly I ran,
The water to get to make spick and span
The home where my William and I now reside,

To the steps of the well with the swift flowing tide.

Alas : for a tragedy I now have to tell,
My balance I lost and I fell in the well.

I fell on my face and in less than a crack,
The icy cold water was over my back.

No one was near my discomfort to see
But a Warminster schoolboy (who is no friend to me).
When he saw my sad state he started me to tease.

But ’twas no laughing matter, I was wet to chemise.

I pray for the Lavington Council so dear
And will use all my efforts in the oncoming year
To get the whole lot, bag and baggage, rejected

And pull down the swell new fence they’ve erected.

The fire engine jack

November 8, 2015

The nature of a fire engine means that even an old wooden wheeled Merewether engine has weight. Of necessity, there is a hefty pump on board. After all, pumping water onto a fire has long been a function of the fire engine. So if, for any reason, a wheel needs attention, the engine has to be jacked up. The jack from the old engine is something of an unlikely survivor. And here it is.

Market Lavington fire engine jack dating from about 1890

Market Lavington fire engine jack dating from about 1890

This is nearly all wooden in construction. There is a stand and a long lever which pivots around a sturdy metal pin, the height of which can be adjusted. This end of the lever has a leather top and could be placed under the frame of the fire engine. A collection of strong men could then push down on the other end of the lever to raise a wheel off the ground.

The jack dates from around 1890. Both wooden parts have a mark of ownership stamped into them. This is on the lever.


Both wooden parts have this mark stamped into them

At a guess it stands for Lavington District Fire Engine. The same mark is on the stand.

What a lovely item – a survivor from the Victorian era.

Mr Duck’s class of the 1890s

April 9, 2014

We know a little about John Duck who was a local lad who became headmaster of the village school. We have dealt with his life in a piece called ‘Ducks in the Churchyard’ and you can click here to read it.

This picture shows John Duck with his class of boys.

1890s photo of the Boys' School in Market Lavington

1890s photo of the Boys’ School in Market Lavington

Back in the 1890s the village school operated as two different seats of learning. Within the building there was a boys’ school and a girls’ school.

Amongst the boys we believe there are J A Gye and S Merritt. We also believe there is a member of the Potter family. All three families were well known in the village at that time.

We could point out here the dangers of old photo mounts which have caused staining at the corners. In this case it is only to the card mount.

We can also point out that the photos from 120 years ago had real quality by looking at some enlargements.

John Duck - school headmaster

John Duck – school headmaster

There is John Duck – who looks to be the most relaxed person in the photo.


And there we see a couple of his charges.


These images can be digitally altered. The original has faded over 120 years and here we see a part re-rendered in black and white and given a tad more contrast.

It’s a very long shot that we’d ever identify who the lads are but we can always hope.

Vapo-Cresolene Vaporizer

March 19, 2014

Let’s begin with an image. This is a Vapo-Cresolene Vaporizer.

The Vapo-Creolene Vaporizer at Market Lavington Museum

The Vapo-Creolene Vaporizer at Market Lavington Museum

What a work of elegance! There is a simple paraffin burner designed to heat a substance to produce a vapour. The vapour was said to be health giving and, as the somewhat worn box says, ‘to cure as you sleep’.


The burner has a small glass paraffin tank.


But having the box for this item really makes for interest.


We can see that the manufacturers claim effectiveness for treating whooping cough and got their device registered in various countries towards the end of the 19th century.


Some science to tell us that using Vapo-Cresolene is the only way!

Look at all these ailments the device treats.


This device and original packaging probably date from around 1900.

High Street – 1890s

March 18, 2014

This photo certainly looks to be one of the oldest we have of Market Lavington High Street.

Market Lavington High Street in the 1890s

Market Lavington High Street in the 1890s

There’s a square section in the roadway on the left, just this side of the very darkly dressed man. Does anyone know what that was?

Actually, despite being taken some 120 years ago, the photograph shows a left hand side of the street which is little changed. We are looking at what is now the front of the take away, then Kite’s Cottage and we can clearly see the sign for The Kings Arms. Beyond that is the Red House and the view on into Church Street looks much the same.

On the right we have what is now the Co-op but the extreme right hand part of the building has been demolished. The street curves, taking other buildings out of sight.

We do not have a photographer’s name but the photo has the style of an Alf Burgess photo.

How splendid to have such an early image.


Market Lavington Band in the 1890s

January 15, 2014

Recently, we looked at Market Lavington band in the 1880s. We’ll move on a decade here and look at the band in the 1890s

Market Lavington Band in the 1890s

Market Lavington Band in the 1890s

What a fine and handsome sight they make in their impeccable uniforms. We’ll concentrate on three people.


This is John Merritt. He’d have been in his twenties at this time but he was already the band leader, a position he held for 60 years. He worked as a blacksmith – a family business. He had married Annie Wiltshire in 1890 and would certainly have been a dad when this photo was taken. The marriage, like the band, was to last for more than 60 years.

Our next musician is one we don’t have the name of.


He is wearing an instrument we no longer see. It is (we think) a helicon and these were once popular brass band instruments. Maybe somebody out there can tell us more.

We have no name for our third, ‘wannabe’ musician.


But how could we resist this cute little chap from 120 years ago?

It is always a long shot when looking at such old images, but do get in touch if you have any knowledge of any of the band members.

A Trivet

April 12, 2013

These days most people would have no idea on how to cook on a kitchen range. It was a work of skill getting things to the right temperature with judicious addition of fuel and control of dampers. And of course, at the same time you actually had to manage the food as well. It’s so different from our ‘touch of a button’ life with technology managing the heat leaving the cook free to deal with the food.

Back in those old days all sorts of extras were available. What we are looking at today is called a trivet. This one could be clamped onto a range and used to keep a pan warm in front of the stove.

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see this is quite an ornamental piece of cast iron. A utilitarian item could quite happily be cast into something which was ornament as well as useful. The underside, with the clamp, is more complex.

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

There’s a wing nut to enable adjustment to be made. The trivet could be held at varying distances from the fire.

This trivet is believed to date from the late 1800s and had been used by the Gale family of The Spring in Market Lavington. Presumably, it had been unused for some time when it came to the museum back in 1987.

Wilsons at the Vicarage

February 19, 2013

We have already learned of the Wilson family who lived with the Reverend Frith and his wife at Market Lavington vicarage. Mrs Frith was the Wilson family aunt and she took care of the children following the death of their mother.

We now have photos of some of these Wilsons.

Let’s start with just one girl.

Violet Dottie Wilson who lived at Market Lavington Vicarage from about 1878 to 1900

Violet Dottie Wilson who lived at Market Lavington Vicarage from about 1878 to 1900

This is Violet Dottie Wilson. Sadly, her mother died giving birth to her and that resulted in the move to Market Lavington. It was a long move, for the Wilson family were based in India. But in 1881 we find Violet, the youngest of the Wilson clan, at the Vicarage in Market Lavington.

Violet was still with her uncle and aunt at The Vicarage in 1891. This census also lists a daughter, adopted by the Reverend Frith called Catherine and a Frith niece known as May but properly, Agnes. Violet’s older sisters were still present as well.

Violet was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin, Agnes May Cokayne frith which took place at Market Lavington in 1897. Perhaps the photo dates from about that time.

We think Violet married Harold Jones in 1900. Such a marriage was registered in the Devizes district. The couple lived in Camberwell, South London for the 1901 census. They had a six month old son called Donald.

Our correspondent in Richmond Virginia is keen to know more about this family and the other Wilsons. We’d love to know more about their life and times in Market Lavington.

Mrs Allsopp – a Vicar’s Wife

November 13, 2012

Harriett Baker Boileau Dawson was born in about 1846 in Jubbulpore, India.

In 1851 she appears to be in the Bath area under the care of a governess.

We have not located Harriett in records until she married Richard Winstanley Allsopp in the third quarter of 1873. The marriage ceremony took place in the Farringdon district of Berkshire/Oxfordshire.

A first child, Frederick George was born in Buscot, Berkshire in 1874 or 5.

In 1876 Richard was appointed vicar of Easterton and the family moved to a house on Easterton Sands. Easterton was a new parish and Richard was the first vicar. His house became known as The Vicarage and is still there on what we now call Vicarage Lane, although the dwelling is now called Easterton House.

The second child, Richard must have been born soon after the family arrived in Easterton.

Further children followed. Marian was born in about 1877, Margaret in 1888 and Jerome in 1890. Next came Dorothy in 1881, Robert in 1883, Francis in 1885, Agnes in 1886 and Joan in 1887.

Robert, Harriett and the youngest 8 children can be found living at The Vicarage, Easterton at the time of the 1891 census. This photo of Harriett dates from around that time.

Mrs Harriett Allsopp, wife of the first Vicar of Easterton in about 1890

By 1901 the family had moved to West Lavington. Richard was now 68 and Harriett weas 55. There were still eight children at home, the youngest  being 14. Home was now The Vicarage in West Lavington.

Richard died in 1907.

In 1911 Harriett was boarding, along with a couple of her daughters, at a house in the Marylebone area of London.

Harriett died in 1918 with the death being recorded in the Devizes district.