Posts Tagged ‘1911’

Sergeant’s Mess

February 1, 2014

This post is really about Market Lavington photographer, Alf Burgess. Alf was not only a photographer, he was very much a business man and he always had thoughts on what would make money.

The summer camps that territorial regiments held, up on Salisbury Plain, were clearly a chance to make some money for Alf. These camps were like holidays with training for the men. They had left parents, wives and sweethearts back home for a week or a fortnight. They needed to write home and what better than a postcard which showed them or maybe their camp.

Many of Alf’s photos are of Pond Farm Camp which is above Easterton. Today’s photo may not be taken within our parish for it bears a postmark of West Down North. This camp was within spitting distance of the Drummer Boy Post which is in the parish of Market Lavington but the camp itself was just outside.

Let’s look first at the back of the card.

Card sent from West Down North Camp in August 1911

Card sent from West Down North Camp in August 1911

It says very little, but we can see the postmark. The card was sent on August 5th 1911.

We can also see that the publisher has credited himself on the card.

 

The card was published by A Burgess and Sons of Market Lavington

The card was published by A Burgess and Sons of Market Lavington

It is interesting to note that even by 1911 Alf was crediting his sons as part of the business.

And now to the picture which shows a collection of sergeants relaxing on the bleak downland which is Salisbury Plain.

The front of the card shows a group of sergeants

The front of the card shows a group of sergeants

Apart from the chef they all have a cross on their arms, above the stripes. Presumably these could be medical NCOs.

 

They appear to belong to the Royal Army Medical Corps

They appear to belong to the Royal Army Medical Corps

The cap badges certainly look like those off the Royal Army Medical Corps.

But now let’s think of Alf Burgess, or his sons. Transport for them was the bike. To take the photo the hefty equipment of the day would need to have been lugged up Lavington Hill and then taken some three miles across the rough, rutted tracks to the far reaches of the parish, and then just that bit further. With pictures exposed the whole set of clobber would need to get back down to the Burgess premises on High Street in Market Lavington for the dark room work – developing the exposures into negatives and then printing off each image as a postcard. Perhaps these were then hauled back up to the army camp to effect actual sales. Or, maybe, soldiers were able to escape to purchase their images at the shop and also sample the bright lights of Market Lavington.

It’s a far cry from life 100 years on. These days photos like the one above would have been taken on somebody’s smart phone and almost instantly posted so that friends, family or, indeed, anybody could see it, all over the world.

Marching to Pond Farm Camp

June 8, 2013

One of our displays at Market Lavington Museum for this year is ‘Pond Farm Camp’.

Before the First World War different regiments took summer training camps at Pond Farm, which is in Easterton parish, but approached from the top of Lavington Hill.

Trains brought soldiers to Lavington Station (It had been Patney Station before Lavington opened) and from there they marched through Market Lavington and up onto Lavington Hill. Local photographer, Alf Burgess, recognised that these soldiers could be a source of income and made postcards showing the men. Here is one of his series of men marching up Lavington Hill.

Marching up Lavington Hill in about 1909

Marching up Lavington Hill in about 1909

This is another of the cards we have that was sent to Alice Hiscock in Winchester. We gave a very brief summary of her life here.

The card was sent to Alice Hiscock, born and raised in Market Lavington

The card was sent to Alice Hiscock, born and raised in Market Lavington

This card carries a Littleton Panell post mark, dated Feb 20th 1911. We do not know who sent the card.

Do visit the museum for a display of photos at the camp – all dating from before World War 1.

Moving an organ

May 16, 2013

We have seen Hopkins invoices before on this blog.

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This one is the February 1911 account rendered to West Lavington Church. . For £1 – 8 – 6 Mr Hopkins cut along the floor, removed the organ forward and blocked up the level for temporary use in church. It was a 100% labour cost as nothing new was built or installed.

By 1911 Market Lavington born William Hopkins had moved to Littleton Panell but his firm was still based in Market Lavington.

One son, also a William, was running the acetylene works in Market Lavington at that time. Another son, Sam, was listed as a builder and employer in 1911. He, too, lived in the West Lavington area.

Postcards from around 1911 clearly show the HQ of the Hopkins business at 21 Church Street in Market Lavington.

Hopkins HQ - Church Street, Market Lavington

Hopkins HQ – Church Street, Market Lavington

The Church Lads Brigade Football Team

April 14, 2013

The England football team, despite an 8 –  0 victory, seem to be making slightly heavy weather of qualifying for the next world cup. I wonder how the local Church Lads would have got on.

This photo shows the lads – and some who might be more senior in the 1911/12 season.

Market Lavington Church Lads Football Team - 1911/12

Market Lavington Church Lads Football Team – 1911/12

Sad to say this is a ‘don’t know where, don’t know who’ photo. But maybe somebody out there will recognise some of the lads. That’s what we hope.

So let’s enlarge the team, bit by bit.

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As an added bonus we have the person peering out of the window.

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Please do get in touch if you think you know any of the lads.