Posts Tagged ‘1930s’

Butcher’s vans

February 3, 2015

Time was when shopkeepers delivered the goods. Yes, they do it again now as though it is some wonderful new idea but back in the day before nearly everybody had a car it was entirely the norm for the butcher, the baker, the grocer, the greengrocer, the fish merchant, the ironmonger etc, all to deliver for customers. And here we see two vans which Doubleday and Francis used to deliver meat in the 1930s (and on into the 40s).

1930s butcher's vans in Market Lavington

1930s butcher’s vans in Market Lavington

These are quite handsome vans for the era – not suited to large, heavy loads but well suited to the needs of meat delivery. They are parked outside what was and still is the butcher’s shop in market Lavington.

Back in the 1960s our curator had a temporary job as a butcher’s rounds man and the van he drove (it was in Sussex) was newer than these but similar in general size.

We think the front one with the registration BWV 551 is a Morris but hopefully we’ll be told if we are wrong.

From the state of the road we can see that the horse was still much in use when this photo was taken.

We do not recognise the two men in this slightly off focus image but again, just possibly somebody might help us.

A Bodman’s Bus

December 27, 2014

The Bodman bus and coach company was based not in Market Lavington but in a neighbouring community called Worton. It is actually sad to relate that it has recently closed down. It seemed to have been going for ever.

Our interest stems from a photo we were recently given. It came in a little collection all found fifty years ago in a house in Parsonage Lane which once belonged to the Cooper family.  The other photos were all of places and people in Market Lavington but this picture, of a bus presented a problem because we couldn’t identify it.

A Bodman Bus and driber between 1934 and 1940

A Bodman Bus and driver between 1934 and 1940

It is a lovely photo and people with more bus knowledge than us have traced its full history. And here is the bus history.

It is a Chevrolet LQ (chassis no. 50333) with 14 seat bodywork by an unknown manufacturer. It was delivered new in March 1929 to W V Edmunds of Shotley, in Suffolk. The bus was acquired (probably with Edmunds business) by Eastern Counties Omnibus Co. in August 1929 and numbered H137. This vehicle was withdrawn in December 1932 and passed in the same month through the hands of three dealers – Leyland Motors, Wintour of London and H. Lane of Chelsea, SW10. It was acquired by Lloyd Cinemas Ltd., London in April 1933. Then it was sold to C. Bodman of Worton in October 1934. The final knowledge is that it was converted to an “agricultural tractor” in May 1940. The lady is probably either a member of the Bodman family (she wears a Western Traffic Area driver’s badge) or one of their staff.

Local people are fairly certain that the driver was Lil Bodman who remained a bus/coach driver into the 1970s.

So the only question to answer now is what the connection might be with the Cooper family and the house in Parsonage Lane where the photo was found.

Potter’s Steps

December 18, 2014

Edwin Potter (junior) was the son of Edwin Potter the horse bus operator and also the mother of May Potter who became Mrs Elisha.

Amongst many jobs he had one was as a member of the ground staff for Dauntsey’s School. It fell his lot to produce a handy footpath so that the boys (the school was boys only in those days) could walk easily from the main site in West Lavington to the former Manor House in Market Lavington. The path he built started on the main road between Market and West Lavington and had to cross the Broadwell stream and the Northbrook before reaching the manor. Edwin constructed flights of steps to go in and out of each of these two steep sided valleys. He was obviously proud of his work for our photo shows him with a broom, keeping his walkway clean and tidy.

Edwin Potter of market Lavington cleans the path he made to the old Manor House. This path was once known as Potter's Steps.

Edwin Potter of Market Lavington cleans the path he made to the old Manor House. This path was once known as Potter’s Steps.

This route became known as Potter’s Steps and is still in existence and use today. But it is on private land and is not a public right of way. We can see that in times past – the 1930s – a rural chap was expected to be able to turn his hand to anything and constructing a path like this really did involve thought in the layout, engineering in bridge construction and a large dose of hard graft and heavy labour.

An Oxo bottle

December 16, 2014

If we judge from past experience this post could be destined to be very popular. Many users of our blog check in every day but quite a lot of posts are found by people using search engines. As the ‘owners’ of the blog we at the museum can see just which pages are most popular. The home page wins that competition by a huge margin. That’s had over 100 000 views, mostly that will be by regular viewers. But amongst individual pages sought out by far the most popular is the one about a Virol Jar and the one about a Shippams Paste jar is catching up fast.

So we reckon a blog about an Oxo bottle, a late entry at this stage, will soon be sought out. People who find the blog may well have found or just own one of these items.

So here is our Oxo jar.

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

We think this elegant dark brown glass bottle (or jar) dates from the 1930s. It looks like similar bottles which contained Bovril, but there is no doubt that this is an Oxo container.


Vital information – moulded on the bottle


It says it very clearly on the bottle and also gives the quantity as 4 oz – 4 ounces or about 55 grams.

And really we have no further information – not even what Oxo in a jar looked like.

The road to our home

December 11, 2014

This postcard has been horribly badly sellotaped into an album and has been given this caption.


The photo comes from Jean in Canada and she was a member of the local Merritt family. ‘Our home’, in the caption, refers to Vicarage Farm in Easterton. And here is the photo.


Postcard of Kings Road in Easterton


The road in the picture is often called ‘Sands Road’ which describes where it goes. Officially it is ‘Kings Road’ named after Reverend Gilbert King, a Vicar of Easterton who got the route surfaced.

We are looking down towards the Urchfont end of Easterton. Roughly in the middle of the view is Paxtons.


Paxtons is clearly visible


West View, home of Henry Hussey is at the left end of the row of high up houses on the left side. Below it is The Well House.

West View and the Well House

West View and the Well House

There looks to be a bee hive in the front of this bit of photo, Presumably bees were essential for fruit pollination.

It’s an unfamiliar view and as Jean has said – undated. We guess it could be the 1930s.

Lord Warrington and Friend

November 27, 2014

Judge, Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington was the owner of Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington in the early part of the twentieth century. He was elevated to the peerage on his retirement and took the title of Lord Warrington of Clyffe. He left no heirs or successors and so he was the one and only Baron with this title.

We do not know much about what he did in Market Lavington although he was a church goer and employed local people as gardeners and around the house. We are not aware that he got involved in any really active way in village life. But he clearly had friends and this photo shows the noble lord with a young gentleman.

Sir Thomas Rolls (Lord) Warrington with young Simon Latham at Clyffe Hall - 1930s

Sir Thomas Rolls (Lord) Warrington with young Simon Latham at Clyffe Hall – 1930s

His lordship and the lad are outside Clyffe Hall and we understand the boy is Simon Latham. Web guess the photo dates from the early 1930s. Of course, we’d like to know more about young Simon and his connection with the Warringtons.

Lord Warrington relaxes

November 3, 2014

Lord Warrington of Clyffe (previously Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington, a High Court Judge) took his retirement at his Market Lavington home of Clyffe Hall. He was a man of sharp intellect but as he aged his body began to let him down and in this recently given photo we see the noble Lord resting in a wheel chair.

Lord Warrington of Clyffe relaxes at Clyffe Hall

Lord Warrington of Clyffe relaxes at Clyffe Hall

He’s sitting surrounded with the paraphernalia of afternoon tea. No doubt the dog hopes to share in this. He seems to have selected a shady spot on the lower lawn. Clyffe Hall itself seems to be bathed in sunshine. We guess this was in the 1930s. Thomas, Lord Warrington died in 1937 aged around 86.

A noticeable fact in the photo is that Thomas’s raised leg has a built up shoe. Was this an old age feature or had he always had legs of slightly different length?

We’d like to thank Ian in Australia for sending us these photos.




October 16, 2014

We have another advert from Harry Hobbs’ shop today and we think this one may date from the 1930s or 40s It’s a simple sheet of card which could fold and it is for Weetabix. This is a product which we can still buy, of course.

Weetabix advert from Harry Hobbs' Market Lavington shop

Weetabix advert from Harry Hobbs’ Market Lavington shop

The red outlined font, the slogan and the font for it point to our estimate of an early date.

But of course, do tell us if we are wrong.

Once again, thanks to Pat and Eric for finding these items and passing them to the museum.

Alfie’s Golden Wedding (perhaps)

October 9, 2014

There can never be any doubt that Alfie Alexander was a village character. Stories about him abound, mostly admiring his initiative when it came to money making ventures or being amused by some of them. At one time Alfie was the Market Lavington dustman – an entirely private enterprise venture. But on another occasion he could be seen striding alongside Winston Churchill as he was off to deliver his 1927 budget speech. We don’t think Alfie actually knew Churchill, but it certainly looks like it in the photo.

Alfie could look like the scruffiest down and out you could wish for, or he could be the smartest, most distinguished looking man you might see.

Perhaps we should say that Alfie lived life to the full.

We have recently been given a photo which we believe was taken at his Golden Wedding party. Alfie and Sarah married in 1886 so we think this photo dates from 1936.

Alfie and Sarah Alexander with friends and relations - possibly 14th August 1936

Alfie and Sarah Alexander with friends and relations – possibly 14th August 1936

If we are right that this was the Golden Wedding party, then it was on 14th August for one memory recalls:

On 14th August 1936 Alfie and Sarah celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Apparently it was an all-day affair with waiters in frock-coats and bought-in caterers!

In the photo we see the utterly distinctive whiskered features of Alfie and next to him, his wife Sarah with a bouquet of flowers. From there on in we get into a bit of guesswork, but we think the other four seated adults are the surviving children of the golden couple. Norman was born in around 1888 and Alice in 1891. Deering was born in 1898 and Gladys in 1902. We imagine the children are grandchildren of Alfie and Sarah.

And as for the standees, behind the couple – at present we have no idea, but maybe there’s somebody out there who can give us an idea. The Alexanders were active members of the Congregational Church so perhaps we see other members of that community.

120 ways of using bread

September 14, 2014

Back in the early 1930s a little bit of colour was needed in austerity  Britain. But many people were desperately short of money and needed to make the most of what they had.

Bread was a staple foodstuff, but it was important to ensure none was wasted. So here we have a 1930s cook booklet, devoted exclusively to bread.

120 ways of using Bread is a recipe book at Market Lavington Museum

120 ways of using Bread is a recipe book at Market Lavington Museum

It’s called 120 Ways of Using Bread for tasty & delightful dishes. The book cost 6d (2½p). That was quite a lot of money for you could have bought a couple of large loaves for that. But no doubt the lovely colour picture of an up to date kitchen tempted people, along with the idea that any stale bread could find a use.

But in fact it seems this book was given by an Easterton based baker, Percy Bullock. He gave it to occupants of Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington. We do not know if he used it to welcome new residents and remind them that his business existed, or whether it was a thank you for making use of his firm.

It was given to residents of Clyffe Hall by Percy George Bullock of Easterton

It was given to residents of Clyffe Hall by Percy George Bullock of Easterton

But for whatever reason, it was given with his compliments.

Interesting to note that you got a bit more than you bargained for – 127 ways of using bread.

You’ll be able to sample recipes from this book if you buy a ticket and come to our Museum Miscellany on October 4th. Tickets are on sale in Market Lavington Post Office.