Posts Tagged ‘1973’

A Music Box

December 11, 2015

We can be covetous at the Museum

It was back in 1973, a dozen years before the museum opened, that Peggy Gye ran an exhibition called Look Back at Lavington. It was held in the old school building and we have here a photo of a part of that exhibition.

Part of the 1973 'Look Back at Lavington' exhibition

Part of the 1973 ‘Look Back at Lavington’ exhibition

Some of the items here, we recognise and they are now a part of the museum collection. That includes the Hospital Week posters, the wooden board from Lavington Supply Stores and also photographs.

But the item we covet is that disc playing music box that is on the table.

A disc playing music box

A disc playing music box

What a fabulous item that is. It didn’t ever come to the museum. We wonder where it is now.

Music boxes like this were (and still are) wonderful machines. Like an old gramophone, this is a wind up device. It is powered by a clockwork motor which turned the disc slowly. The ‘chads’ made by making holes in the disc engaged with a tuned pin. And these produced the most wonderful, melodious tone. Obviously, they played tunes. There was no variation in tone and voices could not be reproduced on one of these. But many of us think the music produced is something of great beauty.

Well, Christmas is coming. If any lovely person would like to give us such a device, with local provenance only, of course, then I think we’d be utterly overwhelmed. We don’t really expect one. They have quite a big cash value these days. Not that cash value matters to us. We are only concerned that artefacts we have tell us something about our locality.


Tractors: Market Lavington leads the way.

June 26, 2015

Today we are looking at an article published in the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald on April 19th 1973. But it is about an event which took place in 1916 – the first use of a tractor in South West England.

The tractor was being trialled by T H White and Co, originally a Market Lavington company and the 1973 article was to mark the company moving into newer premises in Devizes.

Back in 1916, a tractor was clearly worthy of a photo and here is the photo, as published in 1973.

The first tractor in the West of England - Market Lavington, 1916

The first tractor in the West of England – Market Lavington, 1916

We are reminded, of course, of how much newspaper technology has moved on in the last 40 years. But the caption is clear to read.


The article was written by T J Witchell who was an apprentice with T H Whites back in 1916. It’s well worth a read.


Click the image to see a larger version


Of course, the Market Lavington interest is that Mr Watts was the farmer at Church Farm.  Does this mean Knapp Farm?

Now we’d love a real copy of that photo. Has anybody got one they could let us copy?

Village Life in 1874

May 10, 2015


Our heading for this post is taken from an article in the Wiltshire Gazette for 27th September 1973. It was about one of Peggy Gye’s exhibitions which made use of The Old School, many years before our museum opened.

The article can speak for itself but if you find it a bit small for reading, then click on it to open a slightly larger version.

'Looking Back' - a 1973 exhibition staged by Peggy Gye in Market Lavington as reported in the local paper.

‘Looking Back’ – a 1973 exhibition staged by Peggy Gye in Market Lavington as reported in the local paper.

The article ended with a photo of Peggy looking at some of her exhibits.

Peggy Gye with some of her exhibits

Peggy Gye with some of her exhibits

But that surely isn’t a hurdy-gurdy. It looks like a disc playing music box to us. And we wonder where that is now as well.

Lavington School – 1973

January 11, 2015

Do you remember those whole school photographs? Ages was spent in preparation. It was essential to have everything right. Chairs were needed for some. Items to stand on were needed for others. They all had to be carefully arranged in an appropriate curve. The cameraman with his special camera set himself at the centre of the circle. When all was ready, he set his camera going and it slowly exposed a picture, starting at the left end and working round to the right.

Sometimes a wag got him (or her) self at the left hand end and as soon as the camera was going, he ran round the back. with speed and luck he was able to beat the camera to the right hand end and got himself on the photo twice.

At Lavington they made this unlikely to happen by having boys on the left and girls on the right, and then stationing a large member of staff at the right end.

The pictures, when produced, were about a metre long and not that tall – not at all the right shape for a blog. We have divided the May 1973 picture into 6 parts with plenty of overlap below.

We do hope that experts – the youngsters of 1973 – will get in touch and tell us more about who was who – particularly the people from Market Lavington and Easterton.

These were the days when Mr Greening was head and Mr Jordan was head of science. We can name more people of course but let’s see the photos.

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There we have it so now it really is over to you.

Look Back at Lavington

March 1, 2014

In 1973 there was no permanent museum in Market Lavington. But that was no hardship to doughty Peggy Gye. The old village school had closed and was replaced by new, big, St Barnabas School up on the sands. It made the Old School the ideal spot for an exhibition which Peggy called, ‘Look back at Lavington’.

The ammount of work Peggy must have done to mount this exhibition almost beggars belief. Transporting all her artefacts – presumably stored somewhere at her Beech House home was just a start. Labels needed producing, photographs needed mounting and then the whole lot needed to be attractively displayed. It was a mammoth undertaking.

Look back at Lavington exhibition in the Old School in 1973

Look back at Lavington exhibition in the Old School in 1973

This is a general view of one room – it gives an idea of how much Peggy managed to achieve.

And here is one corner in more detail.

This could be called the Gye's Yard corner

This could be called the Gye’s Yard corner

There are items here that have made it to the permanent museum and also some which have not. But once again we can admire the drive and work done by Peggy to get this exhibition mounted.

A dozen years later, we got our permanent museum and life became much easier.