Posts Tagged ‘1908’

Pond Farm Camp in 1908

May 30, 2016

We have quite a few photos of Pond Farm Camp in the years prior to World War One. Here we have a plan of the camp as it was laid out in 1908.

Plan of layout of Pond Farm Camp in 1908

Plan of layout of Pond Farm Camp in 1908


This plan was copied from The Cavalry Journal (III) for 1908. Water for the camp was pumped from the well at the bottom left which was adjacent to the farm buildings. We can see just how important the horse was then with a large area set aside for grazing and rows of troughs. We can see the Field Post Office from which the men sent postcards back home and we can work out just where the camp was.

This document also shows the programme for the soldiers enjoying their summer camp.


The activity programme for the men

This is a bit brief, but we can picture a lot of men coming down into the villages on those half holidays.


A Hopkins Bill

May 18, 2016

We love our bills and receipts at Market Lavington Museum. This one, from Hopkins and Co was made out to Mr Heggie who was the agent for the Holloways of West Lavington. It was dated May 18th 1908 and was clearly paid for on the day. That’s 108 years ago on the day we publish this post.

Hopkins Bill - 18th May 1908

Hopkins Bill – 18th May 1908

We are not sure what the items were. It appears to say linen but it is being sold by the ounce. Any ideas anybody?

We particularly like the list of items featured as possible purchases from Hopkins – tile register grates, mantel registers, kitchen ranges, portables, cottage grates, furnace pans, sash weights, builders’ castings, locks, latches, hinges etc.

These items speak of a long gone past when solid fuel was king and used for all purposes. We can also note that there is no phone number, let alone email or anything like that. Instead people are advised on how to address a telegram – also now something from the long ago past.

It makes for a lovely item.

St Mary’s Church to Imber

April 20, 2016

It’s easy to forget now that once upon a time and still within living memory, real people lived in Imber and carried on real and very normal lives. One of our postcards of St Mary’s Church was sent to a recipient in Imber so we see not only a part of our own village but also get a reminder of our lost neighbour.

Lavington Church interior before the organ was moved

Lavington Church interior before the organ was moved


This is the village church here in Market Lavington in a colour tinted card. We know it is an early postcard because we can see the organ in its old place at the right of the church rather than behind the choir stalls where it is now. But actually, if you didn’t spot that this could have been a taken recently image for little has changed. The font cover, in the foreground is still the same. The pews haven’t altered. As is often the case the village church is unchanging or very slow to change.

Now let’s turn the card over.


Card reverse – sent to Mrs Meaden in Imber

We can see this was a Walton’s series card and it was posted in 1908 and it was sent to Mrs Meaden of 32 Imber. The message is what we’d send by text or some other electronic form these days. Annie is telling her aunt she’ll be home on Saturday evening.

We think Mrs Meaden was Anna the widow of Jack and that Annie, her niece was Annie Collins. But Meaden was about the commonest surname in Imber so we could be wrong there. But Anna Baker Meaden (née Sainsbury) was related to the Baker family who were white smiths in Market Lavington. Ida Baker of Market Lavington lived with her at the time of the 1911 census. She had become an Imber school teacher.

Famous folk at the Green Dragon

April 4, 2016

Today we are quoting from a book called ‘Forever England – The Life of Rupert Brooke’ by Mike Read. This was published in 1997 by the Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd ISBN 185158 995.

For those not familiar with Rupert, he was the poet who wrote ‘The Soldier’.

IF I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field  that is forever England.
There shall be in that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air, 
Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away, 
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less 
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; 
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

The sad fact is that Rupert became a victim of World War One in 1915 – a death due to a mosquito bite rather than enemy action. His corner of a foreign field is on the Greek Island of Skyros.

However, we can be cheered a little by knowing that Rupert experienced the pleasures of The Green Dragon in Market Lavington. Here’s an extract from the book.

Extract from book, Forever England

Extract from book, Forever England

This was in 1908 – and what a gathering it was. For a while, The Green Dragon was the place to be for people of a philosophical bent. It must have been some get together with Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, E M Forster, G E Moore and Desmond MacCarthy. Oh, and young Rupert Brooke, as well. The flies on the wall, if there had been any, must have had a fascinating time.

Some things change and others don’t. Visitor to ‘The Dragon’ will still get similar views and who knows, it could be bitterly cold outside. But the food certainly will not be ghastly.

For the record, Rupert fell out with this rather Bohemian group and suffered a breakdown as a result.

He was just 27 when he died, His poetry, or some of it, lives on.

Opening the Parish Room

March 6, 2016

Our old, wooden parish room had its life terminated some twenty years ago – long enough ago to be fading into history. Its demise was met with sadness, but we think it was fair to say that it had had its day and our 21st century Community Hall is a more than fantastic replacement. The old hall had nowhere sensible to park cars, a stepped entrance, a teeny kitchen and was getting on a bit for it was almost 90 years old. And here we look back to the opening with a typed copy of a report.


We learn that the room was officially opened on November 27th 1908 although somebody seems to have changed that to 1907 on this document. There was music and mind reading by Alfred Capper. We are told he was well known and indeed he is well enough remembered to have a web entry at .

The Vicar (Reverend Sturton) made a short speech and the official opening was done by Lady Warrington. My Bouverie gave a vote of thanks.

A repeat performance, followed by a dance, was held in the evening.

The document ends with a statement of accounts – laughably cheap by today’s money standards.

Now I’d like to be able to say click on the picture to see a larger version but the service provider for this blog appears to have put a stop to that oh so useful facility. If you are using Windows then you should be able to hit CTRL and + to magnify the view. Other formats may allow magnification by use of finger and thumb.

Hopefully, you can read it.

Ivy Lodge

November 28, 2015

Ivy Lodge is a fascinating house at the Easterton end of High Street, more or less opposite the old Congregational Church. It is a listed building and the listing citation reads:

House. Late C17 and 1832. Greensand rubble with brick side elevations, slate roof. Two storeys, reducing to single storey and basement on right. Three bays. Central stair hall plan with kitchen to right, parlour to left, and rear wing on left converted to drawing room and second entrance in early C19. Re-entrant angle infilled with dairy, now general purpose room. Central half-glazed door within wide arched porch. Twenty-paned sashes, the upper floor having brick patching from an earlier scheme of fenestration.

Right front added early C19, windows etcetera said to come from Erlestoke Manor, re-erected here approximately half metre in front of original end. This has central door within metal lattice porch, and flanking large 12-paned sashes and arched brick lintels. Roof hipped. Interior remodelled 1832 (new dwelling extension referred to in deeds). Left room of earlier work has angle stack and binder with stop and scoop chamfer stops. Main chamber above has similar beam with double leaf shaped stops, bar and pellets. Stair split to upper and lower levels, with high early C19 drawing room with cornice. Front has butt and threaded purlin roof.

That’s not the easiest reading so let’s see the building in a postcard recently acquired by the museum.


Ivy Lodge, Market Lavington on a postcard sent in 1908

The fascinating feature of the house is that the designer had a real desire for symmetry from the outside, made hard by the sloping conditions. To overcome this, the window to the left of the porched entrance is actually on two floors. The top half of the window is at the bottom of an upstairs room whilst the bottom of the window casts light into a downstairs room.

The house is still there and still looks much the same.

The card was posted in 1908 by a visitor who was staying at the house. The house was occupied then by Dr Lush.

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

The recipient was Mrs H B Strofton, a lady who was born in New York but who was British by parentage. Her husband Herbert Bernard Strofton was a commercial traveller working in Drapery.

The card as is often the case, is little more than the equivalent of a modern text message, but May, who sent it, comments on the ‘sweet little house’ and the ‘nice garden’.

A great addition to the museum’s collection.

Pond Farm – then and now

March 21, 2015

Pond Farm is one of the lost farms on Salisbury Plain. It was an active farm until about 1910, albeit its piece was disturbed by the summer regimental camps which took place there.

Then it became part of the artillery range on a permanent basis. Occupants moved out and farming ceased.

Here we merge two pictures. One dates from the Edwardian era and is, of course, black and white and shows the farm in its remote setting.

The second dates from 1977 which at 38 years ago is hardly now, but these days there is no public access to the area. Back then it was possible to recognise the area as the same. The 1977 picture is in colour and no doubt it looks much the same today.

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The pictures should merge, one into the other, every few seconds. There are arrows to click if you feel a need to speed things up.




A Bird’s Eye View

July 14, 2014

Messrs Tomkins and Barrett of Swindon, who published this colour tinted photo of Market Lavington have captioned it as Bird’s Eye View, Market Lavington.

Bird's Eye View of Market Lavington

Bird’s Eye View of Market Lavington

I think we’d call it a view from the hill. The image just has the church on the extreme left. The printing process employed is certainly not the sharpest. If the colours are anything like correct we can certainly see why roads leading up onto the downs were called White Street.

This card was posted in Market Lavington.

Message and address

Message and address

It was posted on March 9th 1908 and as was often the way with Edwardian postcards, the message is written in a different orientation from the address. It made it that bit harder for a postman to read.

The sender was M Baker – This could have been one of three sisters, Margaret, Mabel or Mollie. Their father, John, had held the ironmongers shop and we have had many artefacts given by members of that family. These three sisters all emigrated to Canada.

A Bill from Alf Mullings

July 2, 2014

The Mullings family came from Devizes. William settled in Market Lavington in around 1870 and set up his basket making business which his son, Alf, continued and then Sid, Alf’s son also carried it on until around 1960.

Recent evidence suggests that the Mullings or Mullins tribe of reed and cane workers became more widely spread. Well we know there had been one in Easterton in the 1850s, but others can be found in East London and Suffolk in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

We recently had a chance to copy a bill sent by Alf Mullings. It dates from 1908.

Receipted bill from Mr Mullings, basket maker of Market Lavington dated 1908

Receipted bill from Mr Mullings, basket maker of Market Lavington dated 1908

This is a fascinating document giving an insight into prices and information about a lost local craft.

We can see that Alfred had made and sold two potato baskets for half a crown. In modern money that’s about 6p for a basket. However, a square hamper cost six shillings or 30p in present money.

A hamper was deemed worthy of repair as well for just a shilling or 5p.

These prices sound absurdly cheap and we don’t think Alf Mullings made much money on the deals.

Of course, the bill head is interesting, indicating that Alfred did cane work of all descriptions and giving a mention to baskets, hampers and sieves. A basketware sieve by Mullings would make a fine addition to opur collection. Has anybody got one?

The purchaser in this case (as with a large collection of local bills and letters) was Mr Holloway of West Lavington.

What a great item and our thanks go to Tim for making this and the other bill heads available to us.


Pond Farm

October 1, 2013

Pond Farm was one of the hill farms of our parish. These days it is in a part of Easterton which the military authorities on Salisbury Plain have completely closed to the public. Our old photo, taken in the Edwardian era, shows the bustling farm, with house, cottages and associated buildings and a really well used track across Salisbury Plain.

Pond Farm, Easterton in about 1908

Pond Farm, Easterton in about 1908

Our second photo shows the same scene before it was closed to the public but long after the farm had vanished.. It was taken in 1977 and it portrays the bleak emptiness of the Salisbury Plain landscape. The trackway was still clearly visible, but no longer bore the hallmarks of heavy use.

The site of Pond Farm in 1977

The site of Pond Farm in 1977

Let’s take a look at the photos  as a kind of two shot slideshow.

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It would be good if the path across to Pond Farm could be re-opened, like the re-opened Jubilee Path in Market and West Lavington.