Posts Tagged ‘1949’

Lavington Forum

April 21, 2016

Cherry Orchard Poultry Farm

We were given one copy of Lavington Forum some time ago and recently we have been given a couple more. They miss out on one crucial detail – the date of publication but we believe this copy of the Market Lavington School magazine dates from 1949.

Mavis Boulton designed the front cover for this edition of Lavington Forum produced at Market Lavington School in about 1949

Mavis Boulton designed the front cover for this edition of Lavington Forum produced at Market Lavington School in about 1949

This is certainly a bit battered and it has suffered the slings and arrows that time has thrown at it, but it is still in readable condition.

Let’s take a look at the article on the Cherry Orchard Poultry Farm.

Article on Cherry Orchard Poultry Farm

Article on Cherry Orchard Poultry Farm by Robert Sainsbury and Arthur Burt

Well done to Robert Sainsbury and Arthur Burt for telling us a bit more about this long gone Market Lavington business.


David Saunders – The Pious Shepherd of Salisbury Plain

September 19, 2013

Today we look at an oft-told story, that of the life of David Saunders who became known as the Pious Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. We are looking at the story in the words of Betty Gye as written for that 1949 edition of the school magazine, Lavington Forum.

Betty now lives in Devizes but remains a good friend of the museum. She has shared many photos with us and this one shows Betty in 1948, not long before her article was published.

MarketLavington School hockey team in 1948 - a photo given to the museum by Betty Gye

MarketLavington School hockey team in 1948. The photo was given to the museum by Betty Gye

We see the entire the Market Lavington School hockey team and the girls are:

Back Row (L to R) – Barbara (Trixie) Jones, Margaret Reid, Betty Gye, Joy Razey, Marion Phillips, Shirley Porter. Front Row Peggy Perry, Janet Stiles, Joan Perry, Georgina Gibbs, Mavis Bolton

Betty told us that the picture was taken before her birthday in December that year for she had her hair permed on that occasion.

And now to the article about David Saunders.



Well done Betty. Great stuff.

The Basket Maker

September 6, 2013

This is another article from that 1949 Market Lavington School Magazine which is called Lavington Forum.

It is about Sid Mullings, the last in a long line of basket makers in the village. It was written by Gordon Baker.

Let’s open with sketches of basket maker’s tools.

Basket making tools as sketched by Gordon Baker of Market Lavington

Basket making tools as sketched by Gordon Baker of Market Lavington

And now the article.

Basket Making in Lavington

Mr Mullings is our basket maker and he and his family have been at the craft for over 200 years. Even this however is a very short time in the history of basketry for we know it was practiced in Utah over 9000 years ago. It is even far older than this as, no doubt, the pit dwelling cover or roof made of interlaced branches and twigs evolved the basket and perhaps one lined with clay to stop things falling out got burnt and so was discovered our first pottery.

Mr Mullings started basket making in 1919, just thirty years ago and his father, grandfather and great grandfather all made good baskets in their day as Mr Mullings himself does now.

A number of interesting looking tools are used in this craft some of which I have drawn for you. I suppose the most useful implement is the bodkin which has many uses from opening the weave to insert extra stakes to splitting rods for making the tic at the bottom of a basket. A tool which rather resembles a large file minus the cutting teeth is a closing or beating iron used to bang down the rods and keep the sides of the basket level during making.

Mr Mullings will make you any type of basket you require and in a very short time. To make a medium sized clothes basket takes him only three hours and he makes three in a day.

Although he has two withy beds in the district – one at Russell Mill and the other at Dauntsey’s School grounds, Mr Mullings also buys some withy from Bridgwater. There is a reason for this – the local withys are what he describes as white willow and Mr Mullings uses them in this colour, but buys his brown and buff rods as he prefers not to boil the whites with the bark on for himself. He does, however, stain some of the baskets so they have the appearance of having been made in brown withy. The method of boiling the rods for five hours, before removing the skin was explained to me. The action of boiling passes a stain from the bark or skin into the white rod, making it a golden brown colour, and this colour does not fade. Incidentally, the bark is more easily removed after boiling.

A rod is called a brown rod, not because of its colour but because the bark is left on. The boiled rods are known as ‘buffs’. White rods, which are cut and peeled in April when the sap is rising, also buff rods, need to be soaked for only a few hours before use but brown rods must be soaked for up to a week before use. Although first, second or third year’s growth can be used for basketry, Mr Mullings uses only the first year’s growth as these rods are more pliable and less liable to split than older wood. They appear to make terrific growth in one year – rods of about twelve foot in length being cut, which may mean Mr Mullings uses a soft rod of the variety kelham, which is well known for its vigorous growth.

It is interesting to note that whilst we use the term withy beds in this part of the country in the great osier growing districts round the River Trent in Nottinghamshire the beds are called ‘rod holts’.

Mr Mullings pointed out to me there is a great deal of difference between osier and cane, each having its own special characteristics and being suited to its own type of work and market. Cane work and osier work are two quite different crafts and should not be thought of as one.

Gordon Baker

Lavington Forum

August 29, 2013

A truly delightful gift to Market Lavington Museum has been a copy of Lavington Forum. This was a school magazine, produced by the older pupils at Market Lavington School back in 1949. The copy we were given was the second issue. It is fairly well battered and a bit fragile but we have made a copy which is available to read. As we have a display of ‘School Days’ this year we have added it to that table.

Front cover of Lavington Forum - for the summer term of 1949.

Front cover of Lavington Forum – for the summer term of 1949.

Here we see the front cover of a magazine which looks to have been produced on the old quarto size of paper. It seems the editor was senior boy, Gordon Baker and here is his editorial comment.


The editorial page of this Market Lavington School magazine was by Gordon Baker

The editorial page of this Market Lavington School magazine was by Gordon Baker

The articles tell us something of life in the village in 1949 and we’ll look at some of them in future blog.

We’d like to thank Gordon and the other pupils at the school for producing such a treasure and in particular we’d like to thank Gordon’s distant relative Michael Baker who has parted with this item so that all can see it.

We also wonder whether anybody has the first issue and if any subsequent Lavington Forums were produced.