Posts Tagged ‘1925’

Hospital Week Plans

June 3, 2016

The new season has been underway for a month and so far has gone well. Visitor numbers are good and comments on enjoyment and satisfaction are good too. So far so good and that means our curator is well under way with plans for this year’s Museum Miscellany event which will take place on Saturday 8th October in the Market Lavington Community Hall at 7.30pm.

One topic to be included in the eclectic mix we have got used to is ‘Hospital Week’. Now if that sounds a bit of a drab topic rest assured it is not. For Hospital Week was also carnival week. The profits made from people having fun and enjoying themselves was ploughed into health care.

This extract from the minutes of the committee for the 25th July 1924 tells us just what was planned for the event that year.

Plans for the 1925 Market Lavington and Easterton Hospital Week

Plans for the 1925 Market Lavington and Easterton Hospital Week

Before looking at the content, let’s look at the method. This document has been spirit duplicated. The best known firm involved in the equipment was called Banda. You typed, or hand wrote onto a master sheet which had a piece of waxed paper behind it. When you made an impression on the master some of the wax was transferred to the back of that master sheet. By the time you had finished a wax version of your document was on the back of the master. This was then put on a roller and it was slightly damped with what amounted to meths. A piece of paper was fed into the roller and some of the damp wax transferred to it. You got a copy and that’s what we have here. The whole process, of course, has been killed off by laser printers.

Now to the content. Well, there was something for every day of the week starting with a band concert at The Old House and a sacred concert in the evening at Clyffe Hall. Week days, of course, were working days and so there were evening events – whist drives, film shows and a dance.

The big day was the Saturday which was carnival day. The population would be told just what was on by poster, but one can imagine excitement building as the week wore on and people made sure their carnival entry was ready. This really was the big event of the year and not to be missed.

The final event on the last Sunday was a united church parade. If more excitement was needed bowling for a pig took place through the week at The Green Dragon and the Volunteer Arms and there was a grand raffle – called a tombola.

The big event of the year was well photographed so you can expect lots to be seen at the Miscellany – which should whet your appetite for our famous museum food. As ever, the Miscellany is an event not to miss.

License to Slaughter

January 17, 2016

Life used to be more ‘in the raw’ than it is these days. At any rate in rural areas food production was local in all aspects. The premises behind the butcher’s shop were used as a slaughter-house. Locals must have got used to the sight of live animals arriving at the premises and then of the sights, sounds and smells of the slaughtering business.

But premises used to slaughter meat for public consumption required a license and that required renewing regularly. Here is one of Butcher Doubleday’s licenses for the year 1925.

Slaughter-house license for Mr Doubleday's premises - 1925

Slaughter-house license for Mr Doubleday’s premises – 1925

This, of course, was for the premises more or less opposite the Market Place. It remains a butchery business but slaughtering is done elsewhere.

Interesting that this was in use as a slaughter-house and not as a knacker’s yard.

This may be seen as a bit gruesome, but that doesn’t stop it being a part of our village history.

The Farmer’s Guide of 1925

April 13, 2015

Commercial companies exist to sell their products or services. The Farmer’s Guide was really an advertising magazine produced by Carters, the seed company. It was quite lavish back in 1925 with a colourful front cover designed to imply that you’d get prize winning crops if you used Carter’s seeds.

The Farmer's Guide - a Carter's seed catalogue for 1925

The Farmer’s Guide – a Carter’s seed catalogue for 1925

That’s a fine picture of Carter’s pedigree roots – awarded the premier prize at the London Dairy Show of 1924.

Inside the pages are all black and white, but still well illustrated.


One of the joys of this 90 year old farm magazine is the reminder that farming was very different back then. In 1925 the horse still reigned almost unchallenged and the scene of the farmer loading his trailer with enormous cabbages seems like something from a near forgotten country idyll.

Apart from the reminder of just how many horses there were, modern people would do well to realise that grass is a major farm crop and may have cost a considerable amount to plant.


One more page – the autumn harvest!


Here we have horses and children at work, harvesting the oats

This is a lovely item. Sadly it is a tad fragile and so doesn’t come out on display very often.


A Hospital Week poster

March 1, 2015

We are really fond of our Hospital Week posters at Market Lavington Museum. They remind us of so many things.

First and foremost they were charity events for both villages – Easterton and Market Lavington. The procession on Carnival Day always started in Easterton and marched to wherever the fete was held.

Secondly we are reminded that we are so lucky to live in the age of the National Health Service which means the whole demeaning business of having to beg for money when ill has been abolished.

And thirdly we are reminded of an age when communities were much more reliant on self-made fun.

Here is one of the posters – this one is less bright than some being black printing on white.

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925. Click to enlarge

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925.
Click to enlarge

The most annoying thing about these posters is that they don’t give the year. We believe this dates from the 1920s and the only Saturday August 15th in that decade was in 1925 so we expect this poster advertises an even that took place 90 years ago.

The gates opened at 2.30 and adults had to pay 6d admission. Sixpence, in 1915, had the purchasing power of about £1.25 today but we are all richer these days. In the time taken to earn those six old pennies, a typical worker will earn over £6 today. So a 6d entrance fee was really quite a significant sum to have to pay.

But prizes can be similarly upgraded. The guinea (£1-1-0) prize for best horse and harness in terms of income would be much the same as £260 today.

And what entertainments you got for your money – many provided by the 6th Field Brigade of the Royal Artillery. Musical Chairs on Horseback sounds like a sight to behold and we are assured that Nobby the Clown and his Human Horses are worth the entrance fee all on their own.

There were races to be run, and won by somebody who would have felt suitably rich. Fairground type rides and side stalls had been brought in. Excisable (alcoholic) beverages were provided by Mr Greetham of The Green Dragon and the good old Ladies’ Committee were serving teas.

The venue was the Home Field – behind Shires Close which was regularly used as the village recreation ground.

This lovely poster is something like A1 size

Lady Warrington and the Mothers’ Union

December 17, 2014

Lady Warrington was the wife of Sir Thomas Rolls (later Lord) Warrington. The couple owned Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington and lived there during the 1920s and 30s.

Just recently, our curator received a Mothers’ Union certificate in the post.

Lady Warrington joins the Mothers' Union

Lady Warrington joins the Mothers’ Union

The chain around this certificate contains the names of places in the British Empire – presumably places with Mothers’ Unions.

But of course it is the names in the middle which interest us most.

Admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington

Admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington

Here we see that Lady Warrington was the enrolling member and was admitted by J A Sturton who was the Vicar of Market Lavington which was and is in Salisbury Diocese.

There is some hand written information on the back of the certificate – notably the year in question.

Lady Warrington rejoined in 1925

Lady Warrington rejoined in 1925

So Lady Warrington renewed her membership in 1925.

Now Lady Warrington, it seems had agreed to the following clause. (Or maybe not as she didn’t sign the certificate.)

One paragraph on the certificate

One paragraph on the certificate

We were not aware that she had any children and certainly when Thomas, Lord Warrington, her husband died he had no heirs to pass the title to and it was extinguished.

The certificate was sent by Linda who told us the following.


We discovered this in a drawer of a Victorian chest that my father bought in an auction in, I believe, Devizes over 30 years ago. Since it is in connection with an old local family, I thought it might be of interest to your museum. I also thought it rather unusual.

Yes, we are certainly interested. We think it is a fascinating item and we rather hope it might lead to yet more information coming our way about the Warringtons.

We’d assume the Victorian chest had been an item of furniture at Clyffe Hall and we think it would have been sold off before the house and grounds were sold off in 1938.

Lady Warrington moved away from Market Lavington after the 1937 death of her husband and died in Berkshire in 1948.

Lavington and District Poultry Show

August 31, 2014

Time was when many a householder kept poultry who could be fed, to some degree on food waste and thus form a vital part of the cottage economy. And, as well as that, there were commercial poultry keepers. No wonder there was a local poultry show.

These days we call it sponsorship and we have two examples of it in one document here. A chicken feed company have sponsored the letter heading – and very pretty it is too.


Letter to Mr Holloway from The Lavington and District Poultry Show

These days we call supporting events like this sponsorship and we have two examples of it in one document here. A chicken feed company have sponsored the letter heading – and very pretty it is too.

Compant logo for Chamberlain and Pole

Company logo for Chamberlain and Pole

Now isn’t that sweet!

The content of the letter tells us that Mr Holloway of West Lavington made a donation to the show, presumably for 1925 as that’s the date on the letter.

We see the chairman of the show was Arthur Walton who, in addition to his department store in Market Lavington also owned a poultry farm.

The secretary who wrote the letter was William Edward Elisha. He’s better known as Bill and he was a stalwart of Lavington in many, many ways.

Bill Elisha was the show secretary

Bill Elisha was the show secretary

The letter is another from the Holloway collection. These bills and letters make a very interesting addition to our museum.

Nursery Rhyme Characters

August 19, 2013

This photo dates from about 1925/6 and shows local children dressed as nursery rhyme characters.

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

This photo comes from the memories of Sybil Perry who was a Market Lavington resident from 1924 to 1994 and who continued to be a village enthusiast until her death in 2010.

Standing from left to right we have: Bessie Gye, Connie Case, Iris Burgess, John King, Philip Phillips, Edith Potter, Ted Drury, Victor Gibbons and Joan Bullock.

In front from the left we have: Mary Notton, Hubert Francis, Henry (Harry) Cooper – he’s the one lying down), Tom Gye and Sybil Baker – who became Sybil Perry.

As this is a long, thin photo we’ll split it into two so that we can see the youngsters that bit better.



Any of these people still alive will be well into their 90s by now. Maybe there are descendants who could tell us more about them.

Mr and Mrs Potter

June 14, 2013

Potter has been a common surname in Market Lavington. Mr Edwin Potter, who ran the horse bus service to Devizes, had a large family. Here is one of his sons, also called Edwin and his wife. The photo was taken at Easter in 1925.

Mr Edwin and Mrs Mary Ann Potter of Market Lavington - Easter 1925

Mr Edwin and Mrs Mary Ann Potter of Market Lavington – Easter 1925

Edwin was born in around 1875 in Market Lavington. By 1891 he was helping his father in the bus trade and, no doubt, also on the Potter farm.

Edwin married Mary Ann Pike in 1903. Their first born daughter was Helena May Potter who was to become that enormously long time infant teacher, Mrs Elisha.

In 1911 Edwin was described (presumably by himself) as a farmer’s son working on farm.

Later, we know he worked as a gardener at Clyffe Hall and also as a groundsman for Dauntsey’s School. He constructed the up and down footpath (not public) that linked Market Lavington Manor with Lavington lane. Older residents still refer to the path as ‘Potter’s Steps’.

Edwin and Mary Ann lived on Parsonage Lane, next to the Racquets Court. The topiary in this garden has featured before on this blog. You could click here, here or here to see that grand bit of clipper work.