Posts Tagged ‘1911’

The Volunteer Arms

August 25, 2016

Yesterday we looked at a view from that former pub, The Volunteer Arms which had once been known as The Angel. Today we see the pub itself.

This photo of the pub is captioned just ‘1967’.

The Volunteer in 1967

The Volunteer in 1967

The pub is on Church Street but the view beyond is into High Street and even then, all but 50 years ago, there were cars parked outside the Post Office.

Yesterday’s photo was taken from the pub’s porch. Today we see that porch clearly and also, of course, the sign board hanging from its bracket which still exists.

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

We can see the old ‘Volley’ was a Wadworth’s pub.

We’d like to thank former Market Lavington resident, Sue, for donating a goodly collection of Volunteer photos to the museum. This particular pub had been under represented in our collection.

This one makes a then and even longer ago comparison.


The Volunteer – 1911



The church in colour

August 8, 2016

Collectors of postcards often seem to dismiss the images which have been colour tinted. However, they give us an idea of what places actually looked like, 100 or more years ago. It reminds us that it wasn’t a black and white only world. Here is a view of St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington.

We can get a rough idea of the date of this image from the postmark – but it is always worth remembering that such a mark shows the date the card was posted, not the date the original photograph was taken.

St Mary's Church in about 1911

St Mary’s Church in about 1911

We can see it was posted in Market Lavington on July 25th and we think the year was 1911.

Posted in Market Lavington

Posted in Market Lavington

The big difference in that south side of the churchyard is that the path shown has now entirely grassed over. Now we use the cobbled path, unseen in this image, which heads up to the porch.

The church itself is comparatively unchanged. We can see this in a snowy view from February 2009.

The church in 2009

The church in 2009

The bus company in Market Lavington

July 19, 2016

Just recently charabancs and bus companies have featured quite a bit on this blog. Yesterday we featured a ‘lost and found’ button which may have belonged to Mr Fred Sayer. Today we bring you the history of motor bus operations as written by WI members in the mid 1950s. This also features Mr Fred Sayer.

image002 image004 image006Let’s transcribe the text.

Motor Bus Services

In 1911 the Bath Tramways Motor Company of Bath stationed two motor buses at Market Lavington, together with two drivers. The buses were garaged in the “King’s Arms” yard. After a few years however, they decided that they did not pay and so decided to withdraw them. Mr F. H. Sayer, one of the drivers, however, who apparently had foresight of the possibilities of motor buses in the Market Lavington district, purchased the buses from the Bath Tramways and set up on his own to run services.

Sayer’s buses began to pay and early in the 1920’s a company’ was formed which called itself the Lavington & Devizes Motor Services Ltd., and by 1934 the Company had extended to 37 buses and coaches – or rather “char-a-bancs” as they were called in those days. Services were running to all the principal towns and villages in the district, including Bath, Salisbury, Trowbridge, Pewsey, Chippenham etc.

About one-third of this fleet of 37 vehicles were charabancs which were only licensed during the summer months for running trips and day outings to the sea-side and places of interest. The charabancs were much different to the present day luxury coaches which carry out these trips. They were open with a canvas hood which was pulled over the seats when the weather was unkind. The seats went right across the vehicle, with a separate door to each row of seats. They had large brass head lamps lit by acetylene (later with bulbs and a battery), and up to about 1927-8 they all had solid tyres.

The buses too, were very different to the present day ones which serve the village. They were very high, fitted with solid tyres, and most of them were fitted with a carrier on the back, and sometimes on the roof, for carrying large parcels and crates of poultry etc., to and from the various markets.

All repairs and maintenance (body-building and painting etc) was carried on at the Company’s depot which was Oatley’s Yard and the garage now owned by Messrs. Wordleys. Wages for some time were 7/6 per week for conductors and £2.0.0 for drivers!

Mr. Sayer by this time was quite a well-known figure in the district as Proprietor of the Lavington & Devizes Motor Services: also because he was an exceptionally big man – at one time his weight was Just over 32 stones!

In 1934 the Lavington & Devizes Motor Services Ltd., was sold to the Bath Tramways Motor Co. Ltd., and a few years later they in turn were taken over by the Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co., but the Bath Tramways still retained their title, which still holds today.

In 1935-6 great changes took place: the Company built a large new depot comprising Garage. Booking office and waiting rooms etc., at Devizes which became the company’s headquarters for the district. More modern and up-to date vehicles were operated and services on practically all roads were made more frequent.

Although Devizes was made the centre for the Company’s operations Market Lavington was not entirely neglected as now a very frequent service is running between Market Lavington and Devizes, and the buses on the service are modern double-deckers. Some of these double-deckers are not much higher than some of the very early single deck buses were, especially when they had crates of livestock in the racks on the roof!

A Scratchley will

February 1, 2016

Wills can be very useful to genealogists. They invariably give some information about family, place of dwelling and possibly occupation. This will, actually, is lacking in some detail, for Charles Scratchley, who made the will, didn’t name his children.


Last will and testament of Charles Scratchley of Market Lavington

The will was written in 1898. It names Charles Scratchley as a plumber and his wife as Sarah Baker (Scratchley). He lived in Market Lavington and obviously had children.

The will may have been pre-printed with just odd words added. It has, of course, been signed.

Last Will of Charles Scratchley of Market Lavington

Signed by Charles and witnesses


The witnesses can remind us that there were others involved. Here we have Charles Edward Redstone of Easterton Wills and John Pinchen of Market Lavington, bricklayer.

Charles Scratchley was born locally and was a plumber and, often associated with that trade, a painter. The couple actually had four children and three survived at the time of the 1911 census which was the year in which Charles died.

For thirty years Charles and his wife Sarah had lived in the Workman’s Hall where Sarah was the caretaker.

A little more information can be obtained from the on-line probate record.

The Probate record

The Probate record

Charles was buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

1911 coronation in Easterton

October 9, 2015

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post in many ways. The coronation in 1911 clearly was not in the Edwardian era for it was near the start of the reign of George V. He came to the throne in 1910 on the death of his father, Edward VII and so technically it was a new Georgian era. But a photo of coronation festivities, in Easterton, in 1911 can be compared with the photo at Paxtons and we can see similarities in fashions.

Celebrating the 1911 coronation in Easterton

Celebrating the 1911 coronation in Easterton

We can see as clear as you like, men in straw boaters and women in big hats. The card is clearly captioned so we know this is 1911.

Having said that, the item which catches our eye is what looks to be a water dispenser at the far end of the table. Did this provide hot water for tea and if so what powered it?

Once again we can’t name people. Who knows, though, somebody might.

Crème de menthe

August 9, 2015

Crème de menthe may sound like some exotic alcoholic drink. The simple truth is that actually it is the French for mint cream and the name is used for sweets as well as for an intoxicating beverage.

It is a tin for such sweets that we have adorning a kitchen shelf in the museum.

Crème de menthe tin at Market Lavington Museum

Crème de menthe tin at Market Lavington Museum

Let’s deal with the spelling first. Messrs Keiller, who made the product, have clearly put a circumflex accent on the e in the middle of crème. Dictionaries, spell checkers and French speakers insist it should be a grave accent so that is what we have used here.

Keillers were well known for marmalade, made up in Dundee. Clearly they also made these sweets and sold them as a delicious after dinner sweetmeat but with a bottle to bring up thoughts of the drink.

The tin dates from around 1911. The sweets certainly won prizes at Turin in 1911. The tin tells us so.


It also tells us we can expect to find 60 sweets inside.


We think this is a lovely tin and any kitchen worth its salt has tins containing things so it is well placed in our kitchen.

The Elisha Family by their shop

August 5, 2015

These days people know the name Elisha because a playing field up Drove Lane is named, ‘The Elisha Field’. This honours Bill Elisha who had been a stalwart of the local football team as player and general organiser. He had also been a chairman of the Parish Council and had many other interests and hobbies.

His wife was May Elisha – the teacher who taught in the 1920s and was still doing occasional supply teaching into the early 1980s. She had been born Helena May Potter.

The first Elisha in the village, though, was Bill’s father – William George Elisha who opened his tailoring business on High Street in Market Lavington in 1910/11.

This photo probably dates from that time – 1910 or 11.

The Elisha family outside their shop in about 1911

The Elisha family outside their shop in about 1911

This is quickly recognisable as the building next to Chapel Lane. The current fish and chip take-away was once a Baptist chapel – hence that name.

William George Elisha stands on the steps. His second wife, Sarah stands in front of him. She was step mother to Bill who is holding the dog. One of the girls may be Bill’s older sister, Emily Gladys.

The Elishas were tailors

The Elishas were tailors

The shop name is clearly displayed and sewing machines could be purchased to order.

We can also see a bracket for a gas lamp underneath the larger Singer advert.

A gas lamp bracket on the corner of Chapel Lane

A gas lamp bracket on the corner of Chapel Lane


Three Post Office locations

February 24, 2015

When you move in to a place, be it village or town, you have a sense of timelessness. It seems that things are as they are and as they always have been. But this isn’t always the case. The Post Office in Market Lavington has been in many places and today we are going to look at three locations which all tell us they were (or are still) the Post Office.

The first one we look at was on the corner of the Market Place and High Street.

Market Lavington Post office - 1911

Market Lavington Post Office – 1911

The original postcard had been cropped to fit in a mount and frame and had suffered damage as well so it isn’t the best of photos but on the left we can see the building is labelled Post Office. The decorations allow us to date this photo to 1911. The street was decorated and bedecked with flags for the coronation of George V which took place on 22nd June of that year.

That Post Office occupied the plot which now has the chemist’s shop. It is not the same building. The one shown was demolished by the agricultural engineers to make parking space in about 1960. The building which houses the chemist’s shop dates from around 1990.

Alf Burgess, the photographer has managed, as usual, to bring forth a crowd of people, all hoping to be seen in the photo. We believe he spent some time organising them into apparently random groups.

Other points to note include the full width porch at the front of the Green Dragon – which had once been the posting house for Market Lavington itself and, of course, the fact that back in 1911 the street belonged to people rather than to vehicles.

Our next location for the Post Office is next to what is now Gemini hairdressers – almost on the corner of White Street.

Market Lavington P{ost Office - ca 1930

Market Lavington Post Office – ca 1930

We have used this photo before on this blog back in 2011. From what we know of the three young ladies – Clara Brown, Ella Ross and Mary Smith – we date the photo to about 1930. This shop which also advertises stationery, postcards and holdfast boots was a part of Arthur Walton’s department store.

Moving on just about 100 years from the first photo we have the Post Office of today and once again we have chosen an occasion celebrating a royal event – in this case the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Market Lavington Post Office - 2012

Market Lavington Post Office – 2012

This is an example of village life evolving and changing. Things certainly are not just what they used to be.



A Moore family group

November 15, 2014

This year we have been given quite a few photos with a Samuel Moore/jam factory connection. It is pure coincidence that these have arrived just as the old factory was being demolished. One of the nicest of the photos shows the Moore family.

Samuel Moore and family - of Easterton

Samuel Moore and family – of Easterton

We are not certain of the location. It doesn’t look like Woodbine Cottage which was the Moore family home, but it does seem to be an entire Moore family in about 1911. Let’s name them all.


Sam was, of course, the founder of the jam factory although he learned his trade from Cedric Gauntlett who in turn had learned it from Sam Saunders.

Jane was his second wife and in 1911 they had only been married a couple of years. We guess his first wife – the mother of his children – died as a result of complications after giving birth to Bertha.

The two sons, Wilf and Bill became active partners in the jam factory business.

Wilf, Sam, Bertha, Jane and Bill Moore. The donkey's name is not known.

Wilf, Sam, Bertha, Jane and Bill Moore. The donkey’s name is not known.

What a charming photo and many thanks to Karen, a granddaughter of Bill who gave us a copy of it.

It’s that band again

February 10, 2014

In times past, all entertainment was home produced. We are going back to those days when entertainment for the masses wasn’t beamed through the air for all to receive. No Internet; no TV; no radio although at the time we speak of here, that had been invented. So, too, had films but they were probably very rarely seen.

Some rich folks may have had gramophones to play the truly amazing records or phonographs which played cylinders. But for most, if you wanted music, you made it yourself – or knew somebody else who did. No wonder bands were so popular. And of course, Market Lavington had its own band. We are going to look at a photo which dates from June 2nd 1911.

Market Lavington Band in 1911

Market Lavington Band in 1911

Things have come together well on this photo. Apart from a precise date, quite a few of the men are named.

This photo is well captionned

This photo is well captionned

Very handily, the photo dates from just a couple of months after the census was taken. We can easily find a little about these people.

Bill Merritt, for example, was a gardener and lived at The Hollow on Lavington Hill. Finky Allen has had a mention before on this blog. He was a watch and clock maker/repairer operating on the High Street. Thomas Merritt was a blacksmith living on Church Street in Market Lavington. Tom Moody had been a miller but by 1911 he was a fruit grower living on the sands.

Sam Moore was the Easterton jam factory man – still very much a cottage industry in 1911.

We think Wally Ring must have had the name Harry. In 1911 he lived at The Bothy, in the garden of the Manor House and he was a gardener. John Merritt was already 20 years into his spell as band leader. He still had more than forty to go! At that time he called himself a cycle agent, living on Church Street, Market Lavington. Tom Haines was a hairdresser also living on Church Street. H Giddings, who has an instrument called a helicon, may have been Herbert, a brewer’s carter living on Stobbarts Road or Harry, a carter living on Northbrook.

Sam Axford was a cycle repairer living in the Market Place.

It’s a great photo!