Posts Tagged ‘1930s’

Three working men

October 5, 2015

This photo is in the collection at Market Lavington Museum. It shows three men, very much dressed for work.


We know the names of the three men for they are on the back of the photo.


They are Perce or Percy Notton, Albert Cooper and Stanley (Stan) Cooper.

We believe the location could be at Fred Sayer’s bus depot which was in the Market Place.

Perce Notton was born in 1900. His father was a Baker and shopkeeper on High Street. It looks as though Percy lived at home until at least 1939. When he died, in 1958, the death was registered in the Marlborough area.

Albert Cooper may well have been born around 1878. He was married to Annie and worked at the brickworks as shown on both 1901 and 1911 censuses. He died in 1940.

Stan Cooper was not an immediate relative of Alberts although they may well have been some kind of cousins. He was born around 1914 and in adult life he lived with his sister. He died in 1997.

On that basis we think the photo dates from the late 1930s.

As ever, we’d love to know more.



Dauntsey’s School Group

September 24, 2015

We have seen this photo before on this blog. It shows the boys and staff of Dauntsey’s School at some point in the 1930s. Now Dauntsey’s School is in West Lavington, but by the time this photo was taken the school had purchased the former Market Lavington Manor and had it in use as a boarding house. This photo was taken at the Manor.

Dauntsey's School group in the 1930s. Click to enlarge

Dauntsey’s School group in the 1930s.
Click to enlarge

When we showed this picture before we had no names. We should have had one for we clearly recognise the school bursar who was Jack Welch. He was father of our museum founder, Peggy Gye and also features in a separate blog featuring his World War One letters and Diaries. You’ll find it at .

And here he is in that photo.


He’s the middle man in that part of the picture.

Let’s zoom in on others.

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It would be good to get some more names of some of these men and boys. But of course, this was 80 years ago.

The Alban Estate

August 29, 2015


The Alban Estate dates from around 1926 -28. We could say it was the first modern housing estate built in the village with houses along The Spring and also on Park Road which was, for many years, known as Estate Road. Twenty six houses were built which must have had quite an impact in Market Lavington, more or less joining our village with neighbouring West Lavington. When built, at the end of the twenties, the houses were built for rental but in 1939 the estate was sold off with sitting tenants getting a favourable price.

This photo dates from the 1930s

The Alban Estate in about 1930

The Alban Estate in about 1930

At the extreme left of the photo is the former cricket pavilion which is now the site of a much newer and smaller housing estate known as Pavilion Gardens. Then we get the row of ‘villas’ as built by George Bishop and known as the Alban Estate.


This estate saw houses built on generous plots. Recent householders have all, it seems, found space for cars off the road and this view, for most of the day is still devoid of parked cars.

Here’s a 21st century photo.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

Homestead Farm – pre-war style

July 30, 2015

The Homestead Farm of 1936 no longer exists. It was replaced a few years ago by a building more suited to 21st century living. The new building still carries the Homestead Farm name which we at the museum are delighted about.

Back in the late 1930s the old building was more a large detached cottage than a fully-fledged farmhouse. And here it is.

Homestead Farm in the late 1930s. Homestead Farm is on Drove Lane

Homestead Farm in the late 1930s. Homestead Farm is on Drove Lane

It looks homely enough and maybe the ivy covering helped to reduce the penetrating damp. From the fact that the building had a slate roof we imagine it was a Victorian building. Slates are not found in this area and probably were rarely used in Wiltshire, except by the very rich, until railways could transport them cheaply.

The family who lived at Homestead Farm in the late 1930s were a branch of the Gye family. Two of them can be seen in the photo.

The photo isn’t sharp enough to positively identify just who the man and small child are. Almost certainly, though it is James Gye who ran his market garden here and his daughter Elizabeth.


The Teddy Tail League

July 23, 2015

Teddy Tail was a cartoon mouse featured in the Daily Mail newspaper from 1915. It was discontinued in 1926 but then revived in 1933 when the club for youngsters, the Teddy Tail League was founded. To join the league and get an enamel badge, and learn Teddy Tail’s secret sign six ‘seals’ from the Daily Mail had to be collected. The league soon had about 750000 members.

And we’ll assume one of them, at least, came from Market Lavington for our metal detectorist friend, Norman,  found a Teddy Tail League badge on the former recreation ground.

Teddy Tail League badge found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Teddy Tail League badge found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Much of the enamelling is missing but the legend ‘Teddy Tail League’ and ‘Daily Mail’ can be seen clearly as can the outline of the mouse himself.

Teddy Tail lingered on into the 1960s but we suspect the badge dates from the 1930s

Lost and found is very much a theme for 2015 but the display at the museum does not yet have any of the most recent acquisitions in it. So that’s something for the future.

Some High Street families

July 22, 2015

George Davis was part of the Davis and Co coal haulage company. They featured most recently in our post of July 4th 2015 when we pointed out they had a coal yard at Lavington Station.

Photos of this Davis family are few and far between but this one was sent to us by Annette and it does show George Davis and a couple of his daughters alongside members of the Huish family.

Davis and Huish families - about 1935

Davis and Huish families – about 1935

The Davis family were neighbours of the Huish family on High Street in Market Lavington in the 1930s and through into the 1950s

George Davis is at the left hand end and next to him are his daughters Renee and Jean. Then comes Olive and Harold Huish with daughter Pamela.

We have no idea where the photo was taken. It looks wild and windswept and would not appear to be Lavington. We think the photo dates from around 1935.

George was born in about 1899 in the Kings Cross area of London. By 1911 he was a scholar in Market Lavington living with his Uncle John who was then running the coal haulage business.

Harold Huish had been born in nearby Patney in 1907. His father was a platelayer on the railway.

Olive had been born in Pewsey as Constance Olive Hopkins. Her father was a farm labourer.

It is good to be able to show photos of some people not seen before on this blog.

Easterton Shop in the 1930s

July 11, 2015

This photo was sent to us by a descendant of the man in the photo.

Easterton shop in the 1930s

Easterton shop in the 1930s

She writes, ‘Easterton Post Office and stores with my father, as a young man, standing outside the shop door. Sometime in 1930’s I guess. He was born in 1916.’

The man is Robert (Bob) Godfrey and the sharp eyed will note that name on the side of the shop. We have stretched it out here to make it more readable.

Easterton's ghost sign was clear and up to date back then

Easterton’s ghost sign was clear and up to date back then

Godfrey’s Cash Stores. Refreshments provided. Simple and to the point.

Bob Godfrey’s father was Robin Godfrey and he ran the shop and Post Office at these premises from the 1920s to 1940. Robin was not a local man by birth but he married a local lass, Lilian Smith.

What a lovely photo and a reminder of Easterton’s vanishing ghost sign – as paint wears away older signs are revealed!

Ezra Price again

June 12, 2015

Our curator has been looking through his personal ‘stuff’ again and has come upon another piece of Ezra Price memorabilia. Regular readers may recall that Rog found one of his old records was in a sleeve which had the name E Price on it. Ezra owned a music shop in Devizes but he was born and raised in the Fiddington area. The Price family were well known in Market Lavington. Ezra’s brother, Enos, ran a coach service from Market Lavington to Hungerford when that Berkshire town was the railhead for our area. Now Rog has come across some sheet music which has been rubber stamped by E Price.

The moon has raised her lamp above - 1930s sheet music as sold by the shop owned by Ezra Price

The moon has raised her lamp above – 1930s sheet music as sold by the shop owned by Ezra Price

The moon may have raised her lamp above. But the workers at E Price’s shop have used that moon as the background for their rubber stamp mark.

E. price and sons Ltd have stamped on the moon!

E. price and sons Ltd have stamped on the moon!

So there we have it – E. Price and Sons Ltd of Handel House, Devizes who sold pianos, gramophones, records etc. We think this particular piece of sheet music dates from the early thirties which was long after Ezra’s death but the name of the old Market Lavingtonian lingered on via the business he founded. Interestingly, Rog recalls buying this music as a brand new item at the music shop in Devizes in 1971. ‘There were drawers laden with old sheet music’, said Rog. The cost was almost give-away. Rog recalls that Mr Oliver, who by then owned the shop, carefully converted the sixpence price into the new decimal currency and charged 2½p for this music. The music can remind us that people have always moved around. Some came to Lavington and made good. Others, like old Ezra, found fame and fortune a few miles from their original Lavington home.

A car from the past

May 29, 2015

There’ll be plenty of people who wish they owned this car now!

Betty Gye's first car in about 1953

Betty Gye’s first car in about 1953

This is an Austin Seven, once one of the commonest cars on the roads of Britain. It probably dates from around the mid-1930s and would have been approaching twenty years old when this photo was taken. The car belonged to Betty Gye when she was learning to drive. Betty lived with her parents at Homestead Farm on Drove Lane and that’s where the photo was taken.

We can note that the crank handle, used to start the engine is in place. We can also see that there was just the one windscreen wiper on the driver’s side. A pair of hinges at the top of the window tell us that the windscreen could be opened to allow a free flow of refreshing air through the car. We think this car has a non-original extra in the shape of a wing mirror.

We know the car was first registered in Brighton.

We also know that by the time Betty took her test, her dad decided that this car was unfit. As we understand it there was a lack of some basics, such as brakes that were truly effective. So dad got rid of this one and purchased a much newer car for his lucky daughter.

If the car still existed in 1960 then the advent of the MOT tests (which then only applied to cars over ten years old) would almost certainly have seen this car making its one way journey to the scrap heap.

The Hawk Kite revisited

March 15, 2015

We featured our hawk kite back in 2011. You can click here to read it.

Going back a few years, The Shooting Gazette featured the same kite back in 2008. Local resident (and museum volunteer) Pat Stacpoole wrote this article about it.

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