Posts Tagged ‘1900s’

The top end of High Street

December 21, 2013

This postcard dates from the early days of such cards, when only the address appeared on the back. A small space has been left underneath the image for a message to be written.

Market Lavington High Street in an Edwardian postcard

Market Lavington High Street in an Edwardian postcard

On the left we have the Police House – still there although no longer used by the local constabulary. We look up Market Lavington’s High Street in the direction of Easterton. The Congregational Chapel is more or less central.


Vehicles are horse drawn

The vehicles are, of course, horse drawn.

Over on the right hand side of the road some of the properties retained thatched roofs.


There is thatch on some of the roofs.

There is thatch on some of the roofs.

This, as we can see, is not the most sharply printed card but the view is not the most usual and it reminds us of the early days of postcards.

A tin of varnish

December 17, 2013

Once again we give thanks for the hoarders. An item, that might have been of no interest 100 years ago, becomes interesting when re-found some 70 years later. And here we have just such an item – a tin of varnish.

A varnish tin dating from around 1900 at Market Lavington Museum

A varnish tin dating from around 1900 at Market Lavington Museum

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this tin which we think dates from around 1900 is not in tip top condition and its interesting paper label has certainly  suffered from the ravages of both time and usage. But there is enough there for us to read it so we know that this tin of best white oil copal varnish was made by Henry Matthews and Co Ltd, Premier Colour and Varnish Works. They had premises on Lewins Mead in the centre of the city.

Copal is a naturally occurring tree resin that was found to help produce a hard varnish.

We know very little of these works but a 1912 photo found whilst searching online for Lewins Mead shows the premises and a truly bustling urban scene.

The tin, which has been in the museum since we opened in 1985, is a lovely reminder of past times.

You Dirty Boys!

November 1, 2013

Today we have one of our more delightful photos. It shows Mrs Marion Burgess and two of her sons, Alan and Charlie. The photo was taken by Marion’s husband, Alf Burgess in around 1900. Alf earned his living as a professional photographer at the time

Marion Burgess and sons - Market Lavington, early 20th century

Marion Burgess and sons – Market Lavington, early 20th century

The picture was taken in the back garden of 13 High Street, Market Lavington. This was where the Burgess home was and also included the shop and Alf’s studio. It is clearly a posed photo for Mrs Burgess would surely never have scrubbed her boys with a brush as harsh as that one. It has to be said, too, that despite the caption which Alf has added, the boys look clean.

The garden is fascinating, looking more like a yard for heritage bricks, tubs and barrels than a garden. But no doubt all was as the Burgesses wanted and whilst it certainly looks like a bygone age, it also looks charming.

William George Elisha

July 24, 2013

The best known Elisha in Market Lavington was probably ‘Mrs Elisha’. She was the village infant teacher from the 1920s to the 1970s and she could still be found doing occasional supply teaching into the 1980s. But Mrs Elisha was, of course a Miss May Potter by birth.

Her husband, Bill Elisha was almost as well known. He had a very long term involvement with the local football club (hence the village playing field being named after him) and was, at times, chairman of the Parish Council.

It is his father, William George Elisha, we concentrate on today.

William George was born in Reading in about 1866 and he lived in the Reading area for the first 44 years of his life. It was there that he learned his trade as a tailor. It was also in the Reading area that he married Kate Burrows, the couple having two children. Emily Gladys was born around 1899 and William Edward in about 1902.

Kate’s death was recorded in the Reading district in 1910 and in 1911 we find William George with his children at 7, High Street, Market Lavington. William George made a common error on his 1911 census form and recorded the number of children born to his late wife so we know there was a third child who died. We have done no further research to identify that child.

William George may have struggled to cope with running his business and raising his two children, but by the end of 1911 he had re-married. His new wife was Sarah Anne Davis. They married in the Salisbury area.

William George Elisha died in 1924 and is buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

Emily Gladys, his daughter, married William S Mundy in 1920. William was the son of Emma Mundy – a Market Lavington grocer. They had two daughters in the early 1920s – their births were registered in the Devizes district but they did not live in Market Lavington.

And William Edward (Bill) Elisha, of course, married Helena May Potter in 1929 and this couple, who had no children, devoted their lives to the service of Market Lavington.

Recent visitors to the museum brought a photo of William George and family and here it is.

William george Elisha and family. William was a tailor in Market Lavington from 1911 to 1924.

William George Elisha and family. William was a tailor in Market Lavington from 1911 to 1924.


Sorry! The copy our visitors had was not very good quality, but we can see William George with his two children – Gladys and Bill. But who is the wife? We are not certain if that is Kate or Mary Anne.

Maybe a reader can enlighten us.

Mary Anne died in the 1940s and is also buried in Market Lavington churchyard, but her address was given as in Devizes.

Medical Supplies

July 17, 2013

Time was (and still is, no doubt) when households kept stocks of proprietary remedies for many ills and ailments. Here we see a small selection of bottles and tins of household medicaments.

Medicine bottles and tins at Market Lavington Museum

Medicine bottles and tins at Market Lavington Museum

The near bottle contains cresolene, a mixture based on coal tar which was used as a disinfectant or antiseptic. It was not to be taken internally but rather used as an ointment to clean wounds. It could be put in a special heater so that fumes could be breathed. It was manufactured between 1881 and 1950 and was probably, of limited medical value.

The blue bottle once contained blood mixture which was advertised as a cure-all. Again, it probably had very limited medical value.

The Green coloured bottle once held Eclectic Oil.  It was another cure-all. It claimed to cure toothache in five minutes and lameness in two days. Again, it was just about worthless as a medicine. An earlier name had been eclectric oil – a portmanteau word for what clearly claimed to be a portmanteau product.

The brown bottle bears the legend Hardy and Son, Chemist of Salisbury. As this company produced ‘aerated waters’ this is probably a fizzy drink bottle.

The tin contained mustard ointment which, supposedly, gave warmth and relief to aching muscles.

It is often said that ‘The lesson from history is that we don’t learn from it’ Most of our bottles are 100 years or more old. They didn’t do much then but people still persist in buying quack remedies. Your best bet out of this collection was probably the fizzy drink!

The Pond Farm Camp Ambulance

July 6, 2013

Pond Farm Camp was used for ‘summer holiday’ exercise camps by many different regiments. Huge quantities of men spent weeks or fortnights ‘enjoying’ the uncertain delights of Salisbury Plain. In amongst a large number of men there were bound to be illnesses and injuries (and the occasional death). Such events provided training opportunities for the medical staff and the ambulance brigade.

Today we are featuring the third Pond Farm Camp photo which came from a descendant of William Davies from Llanfihangel in Breconshire. William features in one picture. Another, of church parade shows men with Red Cross arm bands. This third one shows the ambulance.

Pond Farm Camp, Easterton in abouit 1909

Pond Farm Camp, Easterton in abouit 1909

Well there’s a reminder that in these pre World War One days we were also, largely, pre motorised transport.  The ambulance is powered by four horses with each pair having a driver. We can also get a feel for the bareness of Salisbury Plain.

It is almost inevitable that we don’t know the regiment or the soldiers.


image004 image005


It is a very outside chance that somebody will recognise any of the men – but hope springs eternal.

Do get in touch if you recognise regiment or men.

Edwardian Church Street in Colour

June 12, 2013

Postcard collectors seem to prefer ‘real photographic’ images and can fight just a bit shy of those photos rendered into colour by an artist. Certainly the true photograph gives a crisper rendition of the scene, but black and white photos paint a picture of a monochrome world – which it certainly wasn’t. So until the coming of satisfactory colour film, we are reliant on the artist to give an indication of what places and even people looked like – in colour.

If a tinted image was going to be made, the photographer would have jotted down a description of the colours. The artist – who may well have been the photographer could make use of the notes, The coloured image does bear some resemblance to the truth.

At Market Lavington Museum we have recently been given a colour tinted postcard of Church Street.

Church Street, Market Lavingtonj in colour - an Edwardian image.

Church Street, Market Lavington in colour – an Edwardian image.

We think this image is Edwardian and guess that the original photo may have been taken by Alfred Burgess, our resident photographer in Market Lavington. He could have sold the rights to the picture to Woodward’s in Devizes.

It’s good to see that the ladies at left and right, out working at the fronts of their houses, are wearing bright blouses. The more distant man in the middle of the road does look rather more black and white.

The scene is similar today. The pollarded trees have gone and the gap on the right just beyond the woman with the yellow blouse is now occupied by Milsom Court. Many of the other buildings have changed from being commercial to being residential, but most still look much the same.

Lavington Supply Store to St. Arbucks

April 21, 2013

The name Market Lavington is a bit of a giveaway. It used to be a market town and, indeed, it is still a minor centre for the local area with more shops and facilities than might be expected in a village. A new one, just started is the Saint Arbucks coffee shop in a building which was once a part of the Lavington Supply Store. Their web site is at . We already have paper artefacts like the flyer below, in the museum.

St. Arbucks Flyer - one of the newest items stored for posterity at Market Lavington Museum

St. Arbucks Flyer – one of the newest items stored for posterity at Market Lavington Museum

But we no longer have a department store spread over several buildings in the village centre but we do have reminders. On our stairway, and very hard to photograph we have a sign, similar to the one below but in better condition. This sign, which is in pieces, is in store. From time to time we unwrap the stored items to check for any signs of problems and the opportunity was taken to photograph this one.

A Lavington Supply Store sign dating from about 1900

A Lavington Supply Store sign dating from about 1900

The name, partly hidden, tells us that the proprietor of this business was A M Walton. Arthur Walton came to Market Lavington prior to 1891 with his wife Emily. We think this sign dates from the early 20th century. We cannot find a photo which features this sign.

But here is one which says ‘Lavington Supply Store’ on the building which is now St. Arbucks. This photo dates from about 1904.

1904 photo of White Street. The staff of Mr Walton's Lavington Supply Store stand outside what is now St. Arbucks, Market Lavington

1904 photo of White Street. The staff of Mr Walton’s Lavington Supply Store stand outside what is now St. Arbucks, Market Lavington

For the record, we believe it is possible that in earlier times this building was an inn – The Lamb. The name Lamb Corner still survives for the crossroads.

Hymns Ancient and Modern

April 1, 2013

On April 1st we play tricks on people in the UK. But there is no trick here. This page is as genuine and serious as all of the other posts on this blog.

The book, Hymns Ancient and Modern, is not of itself really a museum item.

This copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern is at Market Lavington Museum

This copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern is at Market Lavington Museum

These books have been printed in huge quantities and there needs to be something special for them to be kept in a museum. In this case it is the inscription on the fly leaf.

This inscription is the only item we have from the Marquess de Lavalette, former resident at Market Lavington Manor

This inscription is the only item we have from the Marquess de Lavalette, former resident at Market Lavington Manor

The top name reads G de Lavalette. This was Georgina, Marquess de Lavalette and we can find her on the 1901 census as the head of house at Market Lavington Manor. We knew she rented the house for when Charles Awdry purchased the manor in 1902 he took on Georgina as a tenant. We know little of Georgina although we have seen her car on this blog – a fine Mercedes (click here).

The 1901 census lists her as a gentlewoman who had been born in Edinburgh some 77 years earlier. She was a widow and the other nine residents were all servants.

Brian McGill, in his wonderful book about Market Lavington called Village under the Plain, suggests that Georgina died in 1907.

From the site we can find that

Georgiana Gabrielle de Flahault

Died 16 July 1907

Georgiana Gabrielle de Flahault was the daughter of Auguste Charles Joseph de Flahault, Comte de Flahault de la Billardrie and Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, Baroness Keith. She married Marquis de Lavalette on 2 February 1871.2 She died on 16 July 1907, without issue. He died 1881.
From 2 February 1871, her married name became de Lavalette.

We’d love some further information as to why this widow of a French Marquis ended up at Market Lavington.

The next name on the book’s flysheet is easier to know about. Anne P Bouverie was Anne Pleydell Bouverie, resident of The Old House in Market Lavington. She was born in about 1844 and lived to a good age. She died in 1940 so people still alive remember this old lady who became increasingly reclusive. Anne was the daughter of Edward who built the Manor House.  It is not clear if Anne ever lived at the Manor but by 1901 she was at The Old House where she remained – a spinster lady – for the rest of her life.

How she got the book, we don’t know but she clearly passed it to Elizabeth Fielder. We do not know who she was at all. We have no record of any Fielders in Market Lavington or Easterton.

More dressed (or partially so) Dummies

March 22, 2013

Our display of costumed people, sitting on the old 18th century settle is always liked by visitors to the museum. For 2013, we have a display which depicts a morning scene in the early 1900s. The scene depicts a family group rising and getting dressed. It is an opportunity to have on display some of our large and interesting collection of under garments.

Market Lavington Museum's display of costume for 2013

Market Lavington Museum’s display of costume for 2013

The display is not yet complete but there is a clear message in it. Undergarments were white.

Amongst items being modelled or displayed there is a 1910 cotton nightdress, a similar aged cotton stocking is decorated only up to the calf. No higher than that would have been seen.  There is a 1906 wedding petticoat and a 1910 child’s petticoat. Suitable accessories have been found to add flavour to the scene.

This display will be for one year only so make sure you visit in 2013.