Posts Tagged ‘1905’

Church Street – framed

May 28, 2016

This framed photo was recently donated to the museum. We did have an original postcard of this view which we featured back in 2013. The enlarged one is easier for folks to see. We think this dates from around 1905.

Framed photo of Church Street - about 1905

Framed photo of Church Street – about 1905

This is Church Street, looking towards the crossroads. It has all the hallmarks of an Alf Burgess photograph.

Despite being behind glass we were able to get a relatively reflection free straight on photo.

Just the image

Just the image

The middle of the photo is dominated by a donkey cart. We believe, from what Peggy Gye always said, that this was Billy Davis. He operated as a rag and bone man in the area, collecting what was essentially rubbish and scratching a living by selling it on.

Down at the far end we can see Mr Walton’s shop. The large writing, were we able to see all of it, would say, ‘Lavington Supply Store’.

A handy bicycle is more or less outside what was Mr Merritt’s cycle store. A lady with another bike is just to the right of Billy Davis outside the building which at one time was Potter’s Store, later a Spar Shop and Mr Dempsey’s shop before becoming a private house.

This can’t have been a school day. The street seems to be filled with children. It is another lovely image.

The Reverend Frith

February 11, 2016

Also some Coleman Family History

We have seen this photo before – or rather this composite photo which shows the Market Lavington Vicar with a wonderful name (The Reverend William Blackstone Cockayne Frith) hovering over St Mary’s church in the village.

The Reverend Frith and Market Lavington Church on a card posted in 1905

The Reverend Frith and Market Lavington Church on a card posted in 1905

It’s a lovely image and we rather expect Alf Burgess enjoyed putting it together.

What makes this card different is the family history contained in the message.

The back of the card

The back of the card

The card was sent to Miss A Coleman and was posted in Chippenham at 10.45 pm on May 27th 1905. Although posted in Chippenham the writer has given his address as Chapel Gardens, Easterton and he has sent this card to ‘Dear Sister’.

‘Just a line wishing you many happy returns of the Day’

With the speed of postcards in 1905 it’s a fair bet that Miss A Coleman’s birthday was the next day – 28th May.

After a quick ‘hope you are well’ the card is signed by ‘your loving brother Charlie’

What is effectively a PS then goes on to say that ‘Stephen and Alice had a son this morning.’


Alice, Charlie and Stephen are three of the children of William Coleman, a shoe maker and one time Town Crier for Market Lavington. Alice was in service in Kensington, working as a cook. Charlie, as we saw, lived in Easterton where he was a Baker. Stephen was living in Market Lavington where he worked as a groom and gardener. The son born that day was also Stephen – the father of the person who has let us copy the card but understandably, with so much information he wishes to retain the original for the family.

The class of 1905

September 23, 2015

School photos and class photos have always been popular. It was always a good way of remembering classmates and now, with photos of this age, it just may be possible to identify some of the youngsters.

Market Lavington School boys in 1905

Market Lavington School boys in 1905

Three things have been positively identified about this picture. One is that it is at Market Lavington School. The second is that the teacher is Miss Lilian Hopkins and the third is that the year is 1905.

Maybe somebody out there will recognise a grandfather or maybe a great grandfather from other photos they have seen.

Lilian Hopkin was born around 1885 and she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth. At the time of the 1901 census they occupied 21 Church Street. Just possibly they could have been the people who lost the old ha’penny we featured a few days ago.

By 1911 William was a widower and living in West Lavington with a couple of his daughters – one of whom was Lilian who was described as an elementary school teacher – probably at Market Lavington School.

In 1913 Lilian married Joseph Jordan. We believed they lived in the Midlands for a while and had at least two children – Harry and Elizabeth

In 1926 the couple lived on White Street in Market Lavington. They were still there in 1939.

Lilian was still on White Street in 1955. The probate record for her in 1957 still gives White Street as the address and names the two children.

Tickets Please

July 21, 2014

We seem to have had a bit of a railway theme on this blog recently, what with goods wagon labels and a brand new Hornby West Park Dairy tank. Now we add a ticket to the collection.

This is just as things happen. These three items have all been given to the museum – quite separately – in the last week or so.

Take a look at the ticket – and then wonder why we have it.

Edmonson style ticket issued by the GWR and now at Market Lavington Museum

Edmonson style ticket issued by the GWR and now at Market Lavington Museum

There’s no mention of Lavington station. What we have is a ticket for a single journey between Bath and Westbury, travelling third class. The ‘via Bradford’ is, of course, Bradford on Avon. The fare of 1/4½ is very much at the old ‘parliamentary’ rate of a penny per mile. It is about sixteen and a half miles from Bath to Westbury. The company was, of course, the old Great Western Railway. We love the ticket inspectors S shaped clip mark.

The reverse of the ticket has the date of issue on it.

The ticket was issued on 24th May 1905

The ticket was issued on 24th May 1905

The journey was made on 24th May 1905. It was a Wednesday.

So what has this ticket got to do with Market Lavington? Well, it was recently found in a cellar at Clyffe Hall. It has, presumably, been there since 1905.

The cellar it was found in was converted to a cold room when Clyffe Hall was operated as a hotel. Maybe that helped to preserve the ticket.

But who used it? The most probable owner of Clyffe Hall in 1905 was Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington. He had become a High Court judge in 1904. We can’t believe that a judge travelled third class. So the simple answer is that we have no idea who used the ticket, but it has become Market Lavington history by virtue of its long sojourn in the cellar at Clyffe Hall.



Roseleigh School

July 11, 2014


A recent enquiry brought Roseleigh School to our attention. We have to confess to knowing nothing about it.

The enquiry began:

I don’t know if you can help with this, but I am doing some research into my grandfather (Frederick Sebastian Wrench) who was born in 1900 and was at Roseleigh School in Market Lavington when he was 5 years old.

The enquirer even drew our attention to a small news ad we had. This is it.

1906 newspaper advert for Roseleigh School in Market Lavington

1906 newspaper advert for Roseleigh School in Market Lavington

This was published in the Wiltshire Advertiser for November 26th 1906.

Roseleigh featured on an Alf Burgess postcard

Roseleigh featured on an Alf Burgess postcard

All sorts of questions were raised by this, some of which we can answer.

Where was Roseleigh? Well actually, where is Roseleigh? It is an end of terrace house next door to the Old Police House in Market Lavington. If this was the school, it seems quite small to be able to take boarders and have resident governesses. This postcard, which may date from the right era, shows the building.

Roseleigh is roughly in the centre of the picture – the left hand end of the terrace. The Police House was the next one heading up the street.

Roseleigh does have quite extensive outbuildings – two storey ones so maybe these were in use as accommodation or even school rooms.

Miss Hart would seem to have been Alice. She was a Londoner by birth, born around 1856. By 1881 she was with her parents in Market Lavington and described as a school mistress. By 1891 she was said to be retired. Her father had died by then. In 1901 Alice was a visitor in Woodborough described as a school teacher. It is quite irritating for us that she was away from home for census night. We don’t know where she lived. But we can guess that the family money had run out and she’d had to return to work again.

But we don’t know when the school opened or closed again, who the governesses were or, indeed, anything else about this school.

Can anybody out there help us?



The Story of Laura Hughes

July 9, 2014

Laura was one of the last people to live at Pond Farm on the downs above Easterton. By the time she was there it was no longer a farm and her dad was employed to operate the water pumping engine.

Laura Lavinia Hayward was born around 1905 at Ludgershall but we can find her at Pond Farm with Dad, Mum and little sister at the time of the 1911 census.

In 1995 Laura was 90 and was called Laura Hughes. She lived in Warminster but she was taken on a surprise visit to her old home. This was reported in the Warminster Journal for 1st September 1995.

It is their report we show below. The story is told by Laura’s son.

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These pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

What a delightful story – and what a strange life for Laura as a young lass on remote Salisbury Plain.

We’d love to hear from any descendants.