Posts Tagged ‘1914’

A Difficulty for Samuel Moore

September 29, 2014

The jam factory in Easterton has feature fairly often on this blog since the end of August when we were able to copy photos in an album which had belonged to William who was old Samuel’s younger son.

But this document, also received in the last few months, came from that collection of bill heads and letters from Holloway of West Lavington.

This letter came to the executors of Mr Holloway’s will from the Capital and Counties Bank Ltd. It is dated December 29th 1914 and reads


Dear Sirs

You are doubtless aware that the late Mr H J Holloway guaranteed the account the account of Samuel Moore of Easterton for £50 and charges, the total now due being £52-10/4. There appears to be no prospect of our reclaiming the amount from our debtor and therefore have to make application to you for payment and shall be glad if the amount can be cleared off by the end of the year to avoid having to…


…bring it forward into our new ledgers.

So back in 1914, Samuel was in debt to the tune of over £50. That’s equivalent to at least £5000 at today’s rates.

It seems that Mr Holloway’s executors did their duty and paid up for another letter was received on 4th January.


Samuel’s business obviously grew and he’d have become tolerably prosperous. It just shows that start-up companies can all do with a helping financial hand.


Six of the best!

August 22, 2014

6 Peeps at Market Lavington

Alf Burgess was nothing if not entrepreneurial. He was quick to see opportunities for additional trade and the arrival of Canadian soldiers in the area was clearly a chance to sell additional post cards for all would have had loved ones back home and a need to send snappy messages back to them. We know that Alf produced cards especially for the Canadians. This one may have been made with a more general audience in mind as well. It shows six views of the village.

Six views of Market Lavington. A 1914 postcard by Alf Burgess.

Six views of Market Lavington. A 1914 postcard by Alf Burgess.

We wonder if this was quite an early effort for Mr Burgess which he entitled ‘6 Peeps at Market Lavington. This card was posted in 1914 but his other multiview cards, definitely produced for WWI,  are much more complex and have a more artistic layout.

What we see here is a view from the hill, High Street, The Workmans’ Hall, The church – exterior and interior and Church Street. No doubt all would have been available as individual cards as well.

A Hopkins Post Card

August 18, 2014

Hopkins who was general builders and builders’ merchants in Market Lavington 100 years ago had their own postcards for quick and simple information transfer.

Here is one posted on 18th August 1914 – 100 years ago.

Hopkins postcard sent on 18th August 1914

Hopkins postcard sent on 18th August 1914

As we can see, plumbing and drainage seem to have been specialities, if we judge by the images on the address side of the card.

The reverse, of course, carries the message.

The message is a simple acknowledgement of an order

The message is a simple acknowledgement of an order

We now have to remember what conditions were like 100 years ago. The telephone was an established item, but most people and companies didn’t have them. Of course, there was no email or text messaging. The postcard was the equivalent of its day.

It was a fortnight since Britain had declared war on Germany when this card was sent and no doubt many a young man was away from home, receiving training or was even overseas. But rural life still went on – as it had to, of course.

How lucky we are to have reminders of this time in Market Lavington Museum.

The arrival of the Commemoration Stone

August 2, 2014

One of the ideas that the First World War Commemoration Group had was to place a stone, which could be used as a seat on the green just outside the church. In the fullness of time the stone will have a suitable inscription to mark the centenary of World War One and there will then be an official unveiling ceremony.

At the museum we decided the arrival of the stone was history in the making and we were there to record the scene.

Here comes the stone – into the Community Hall area.

image002 Mike Bridgeman watches, ready to tell the driver where the stone is to go. The stone was very much Mike’s idea and he has done the organising that has meant the stone has arrived.


The stone is quite a beast!


Mike and driver discuss tactics.



The stone is transferred to the front loader for the journey up to the site.



Up the path…



…and onto the green.


The stone is lifted off the pallet



It is slowly edged into place


and when all is right it is lowered.


Spot on!


It seemed fitting that Mike should be the first person to try the stone as a seat

We know that the First World War Commemoration Group wish to thank Martin Bodman for all he has done to help them get the stone into place.


Henry Hussey requires information

July 23, 2014

This is another in the collection of letters and bill heads received by Mr Sainsbury of West Lavington Manor although perhaps in this case it was his wife.

This is a letter, dated April 20th 1914.

A letter from Hy Hussey of Easterton in 1914

A letter from Hy Hussey of Easterton in 1914

‘Madam’ is being requested to send a large waggon to collect her chairs. We do not know if Henry Hussey made them or refurbished them, but he sounds very pleased with them.

Henry was born in Market Lavington in about 1868. His father was a master cabinet maker and Henry followed him into this business.

Henry, or Harry as he is called in the marriage register, married Agnes Andrews in 1893. The 1911 census tells us they had five children of which one had died. The census tells us that Henry was working as a cabinet maker at Fiddington Asylum, but he also ran a taxidermy business from home.

One of the sons, Walter, married a girl called Ellen Mullings which linked the furniture business of the Husseys with the basket business of the Mullings.

Husseys still live in Easterton today – descendants of Henry

Crossways Poultry Farm

July 6, 2014


Recently we looked at a memo from Mr Walton about the Wiltshire Down Poultry Farm. Today we have a strangely similar letter from another Market Lavington Poultry farm, this one at Crossways.

Letter from the Misses Chambers of Crossways Poultry Farm

Letter from the Misses Chambers of Crossways Poultry Farm

Here we have the misses F and E Chambers of Crossways Poultry Farm paying their rent and then, like Mr Walton, saying the roof is leaking and could it be dealt with. It looks as though Mr Holloway had decided this was a job for the Hopkins to do. So it would have been workers from that Market Lavington firm who made their way up to the crossroads where Parham Lane, Drove Lane and Kings Road all cross.

We don’t know much about the Miss Chambers. They were at Crossways and running a chicken farm at the time of the 1911 census. Florence and Eleanor were both in their upper thirties and single and the head of house was their father who was a retired solicitor. The family came from Yorkshire.

The two ladies were still running the business when they sent this letter, in 1914 but had left by the time the 1926 electoral roll was drawn up.

We asked Pat, one of our stewards who lived, until recently, at Crossways and he came up with a collection of photos he had (all poor photocopies which is not Pat’s fault – it is what he was given) and the collection included this one.

Poultry at Crossways

Poultry at Crossways

This could be a little bit of a poultry farm but it is the greenhouse which takes the eye. That looks massive. We think this is more probably a photo of the domestic fowl of a 1920s resident, Mr Fairbairn.

We wonder if anybody out there can tell us more about the Chambers.

100 years ago

June 24, 2014

May the luck be with us and perhaps we have good fortune here.

The bad news is the demise of the museum at Lackham – but at least other museums can benefit. Some may be able to take wonderful buildings like granaries. We stick rigorously to our ‘only Market Lavington/Easterton rule and have acquired just three agricultural show catalogues. We actually first bid for these items some time ago but were invited to collect them a couple of days ago. This one, we were reminded then, is about the show which took place 100 years ago.

Wiltshire Agricultural Association show catalogue for 1914

Wiltshire Agricultural Association show catalogue for 1914

Here we have the front cover of the catalogue for the Wiltshire Agricultural Associatioin show which took placed at Chippenham on June 23rd and 24th 1914. This was the summer before the war and just four days after the show was the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, an event which many people believed fired the trigger which started the war. That’s an event to be commemorated in Market Lavington on June 28th 2014 when we hold a First World War concert in our Community Hall. We, of the museum, will take our part in this.

But for now let’s find out what some of the folks of Market Lavington were doing 100 years ago. That cluster of book marks, seen at the top of the image above, show the local entries in the catalogue.

Arthur M Walton, who was best known for owning the department store in the middle of Market Lavington, had entered eggs in ‘the best dozen white eggs’ class – both the open and the members section. Mr Walton also ran the Wilts Down Poultry Farm. From the same farm, white Wyandotte hens and White Faverolle hens were displayed. Mrs Walton, Arthur’s wife, was showing bantams both hens and cocks. Her variety was Belgian Barbes d’Amvers and her address was given as Ivy Lodge in Market Lavington.

Also in the poultry section, a chap called Kenneth Seaborne had entered white Wyandotte hens and cocks. Can anybody tell us anything about him? His address was just given as Market Lavington.

Two local brothers were competing against one another in various horse shoeing competitions. The two were John Hampton Merrit and Thomas Merrit. One of their competitions was for ‘the smith who can exhibit most skill in shoeing cart horses’. They were also involved in similar competitions for different types of horse like roadsters and hunters.

Two local companies had trade stands, one of which was W H Hopkins


Hopkins was displaying his acetylene gas generators and lighting system.

T H White became better known as a Devizes company but in 1914 they still had their roots in Market Lavington. They not only had a stand, they took out adverts in the catalogue.


Possibly the busiest Market Lavington person was James Welch. This was the grandfather of Peggy Gye, not her father although we know from his diary that he attended the show. James Welch senior was the secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association and no doubt as the paid employee he was enormously busy ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Yes, we feel very lucky to get this catalogue.

A grand start to a new year

January 5, 2014

The first donation to Market Lavington Museum, in 2014, is an entirely appropriate one for it relates to World War One. In this year, of course, we mark the centenary of the outbreak of that truly awful event.

Of course, nearly 100 years ago, the people did not know how awful the war was to become. Young men saw it as a superb chance for a bit of adventure and they volunteered in droves. The new gift lists all those men of Market Lavington who had volunteered for war service in 1914. It is in the form of a large poster and was produced by a local newspaper.

Market Lavington men who volunteered for war service in 1914 are remembered on this poster

Market Lavington men who volunteered for war service in 1914 are remembered on this poster

Those with memories will know that we already had such a list in the museum. Our first one was in rather fragile condition. This one is neatly framed behind a plastic covering which makes it altogether much safer for display. You can expect to see this new one if you visit any museum events this year.

We’d like to send thanks to Tessa for her fine donation to the museum.

Oh, and if anyone has a similar item for Easterton we’d love to see it and make a copy.


January 1, 2014

Yes, it is a New Year, always said to be a time for new beginnings. But 2014 is special and we have been planning and preparing for it, not by looking to the future, but by looking back 100 years. For of course, it was 100 years ago, in 1914, that the First World War started. We will be marking that event as will the whole village. In fact one imagines the whole country will be involved in some way.

Of course, a war – perhaps particularly that war – is not something to be celebratory about. Lives were destroyed and others were severely spoiled or ruined. Nobody was left untouched by that war and although we may not have seen actual conflict here in Lavington, many of our young men did. And many more young men spent time in the parish for Salisbury Plain was used as a training area for British and Empire soldiers. For many Canadians, in particular, their first home in the UK was a tent, pitched in deep mud near Pond Farm. Of course, things got worse for them when they reached Flanders or The Somme.

You can expect aspects of that war to feature in museum displays when we open for the season. You can also expect that talks and shows will feature the war too.

But let’s not be too glum now. Let’s mark the New Year with a calendar provided by the wonderful people at our village Post Office.

Front of a calendar for 2014 given by the good folks at Market Lavington Post Office

Front of a calendar for 2014 given by the good folks at Market Lavington Post Office

That’s a very pretty front but it is the back that makes this a museum item for the future.


Can we thank David, Julie and Charlotte for the service they provide for our community?

The calendar is now kept for posterity.



October 2, 2013

As our lovely 2013 summer season draws to a close (We shut, officially, on the 30th October) work is in hand, preparing for what we hope will be a very successful 2014. It might be fair to say that 1914 was not the most wonderful of years and we, in common with museums up and down the country, will be marking the centenary of the war we now call the First World War.

Amongst treasures we have at Market Lavington Museum are transcripts of letters sent home, right through the war, by Jack Welch. He was Peggy Gye’s father and he spent most of the war in India. He also took photos whilst there and amongst them is a rather faded one, simply captioned ‘Jack’.

Jack - a World War One photo in the album of Jack Welch of Market Lavington

Jack – a World War One photo in the album of Jack Welch of Market Lavington

We’d better try some jiggery-pokery to improve that.

We think this could be Jack Mullings, also of Market Lavington

We think this could be Jack Mullings, also of Market Lavington

That may be a bit clearer – and so that is Jack – but Jack who?

We don’t think it is Jack Welch for we have other photos of him. There were at least two other local Jacks who were out in India and who get mentioned in the letters home. One is Jack Kellaway and the other is Jack Mullings. We think this person bears a family resemblance to the Mullings family – the basket makers in the village. This is Jack’s brother, Sid.


Sid Mullings, the basket maker, was Jack’s brother

 Jack Mullings did not make it through the war. He was killed in Egypt (Jack Welch was seriously injured). This is Jack’s brief letter home.

April 13th 1918

My dear Mum & Dad

Just a few lines at the earliest possible date to inform you that I have managed to get wounded again on Wednesday, & my writing is consequently poor as I am on my back with a broken leg, & much hope to get to Cairo or perhaps to Blighty this time.
Please forward this letter to Floss, I have sent her a card.
Our Battalion has had an awful time, I am afraid poor old Jack Mullings was killed, also Doug  Joilliffe & many others.

Best Love & Kisses
Ever your Loving

If you are aware of the identity of Jack PLEASE get in touch.