Posts Tagged ‘1985’

John Kyte’s Garden Rally – 1985

May 27, 2016

John Kyte lived at what still gets called Kyte’s Cottage. Behind it, in the garden, John used to hold an engine rally. All sorts could be seen there. There may well have been steam powered devices, but the mainstay was probably the barn engine powered with an internal combustion motor. Exhibitors at such rallies were always awarded a plaque and collections of plaques were displayed with pride, often on or by an explanation board. John, mostly, had plaques in clay, sometimes featuring a suitable item. This one is for 1985.

Plaque for John Kyte's Garden Rally - 1985

Plaque for John Kyte’s Garden Rally – 1985

They tell us the camera never lies, but it certainly hasn’t rendered this very accurately. It looks, here, like a hunk of metal and it most certainly is not. In truth it looks more like brick material. But good for John. He had a design incorporating a vital part of many an internal combustion engines – a spark plug.

One can imagine this being displayed at future rallies and maybe it led to, or was part of, competitive plaque designs. We are certainly pleased to have this example which has recently been given to the museum.

John, by the way, lives in Salisbury these days but many folks in Lavington remember his quirky garden rallies with affection.


At the Kings Arms in 1985

April 12, 2016

One of the new displays we’ll have this year is about former pubs in Market Lavington and Easterton – not forgetting, of course, our two survivors, The Royal Oak in Easterton and the Green Dragon in Market Lavington. We open for the coming season on the first of May

We have most memorabilia about The Kings Arms. When that closed in about 2008, Wadworth, the owners, allowed us to gather up some items for the museum.

And more memorabilia arrived the other day – photos which we guess were taken in connection with a barrel rolling event.

Red Indians at the Kings Arms in 1985

Red Indians at the Kings Arms in 1985

Here we see a Red Indian chief with four squaws.

One squaw is holding a shield so clearly they have won something for the year 1985.

The picture is taken just outside the front door of the pub and gives us a bonus extra. Above the door is the name of the licence holder.

Mr A Thorn held the licence

Mr A Thorn held the licence

Aha! Mr A Thorn held the licence to sell intoxicating liquors for consumption on or off the premises.

Almost inevitably, we don’t know the names of our redskin chums. We guess somebody will let us know.

In the jam factory

August 30, 2015

Back in 1985 the Easterton jam factory – Samuel Moore Foods – was in the throes of expansion. It was quite a large rural employer and perhaps that is why the factory was able to get one of the leading royals to officially open an extension to the factory.

It was Princess Anne who came to do the honours. The children from St Barnabas School went to be part of the cheering crowd and Easterton was very much ‘en fête’ for the day.

We suspect it was a worker at the factory who captured the photo below.

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

It isn’t clear that the Princess is in the photo – she’s in the group of three wearing a very white peaked cap. But apart from HRH, we see a glimpse of the interior of the factory when it was working.

Not being commercial jam makers we have no idea what the machines were, but huge ‘cooker hoods’ on the right presumably caught steam/fumes and sucked it all to the outside world. Presumably they are boilers, for cooking the jam, underneath them. The worker at bottom right appears to be stirring a vat of fruit.

The jam factory is now but a memory, completely swept into oblivion. It won’t be long before the first houses built on the site are occupied

Jam Factory Workers

April 30, 2015

To be fair, this photo might be called jam factory relaxers for it is clearly tea break time after what may have been felt to be a nerve wracking experience. For this was on the day that Princess Anne came to open an extension to the factory in Easterton on 30th April 1985 – thirty years ago.

Jam factory workers in 1985

Jam factory workers in 1985

The four people relaxing here are (from left to right) Philip Sadd – whose wife gave us the photo very recently – Terry Colella, Anne Phillips and Mike Blanchard.

Of course, Anne Phillips was one of two people there with that name on that day, for that was then the name of Princess Anne who unveiled this plaque which we now have in the museum.

The plinth mounted plaque unveiled by Princess Anne

The plinth mounted plaque unveiled by Princess Anne

Houses now near completion on the site but at least we are able to retain memories of this once major employer at our museum.

Making a Museum

March 28, 2015

Today’s blog is unashamedly about your museum which is now thirty years old. The museum is housed in the old school master’s cottage which was, handily, built just behind the school. Access is from the churchyard with no actual road access at all but museum visitors can park in the Community Hall carpark and have smooth access up the tarmac path to the church and then along the gravel path behind the church.

The cottage had been a family home until the 1950s and then in the 1960s the school took it over as additional accommodation. In the 1970s it was out of use and became derelict. Hard work and dedication were needed to make it suitable for a museum.

One thing that was needed was a new staircase and here we see the new staircase in the course of construction.

Thje main section of staircase is 'offered up to the job'.

The main section of staircase is ‘offered up to the job’.

That looks more complete

That looks more complete

Yes, it reaches the upstairs area

Yes, it reaches the upstairs area

When all building work was completed, the museum was ready to open and here’s an early view of the staircase area.

Staircase complete and museum open

Staircase complete and museum open

Thirty years on and some of the signs fixed to the wall above the stairs have just been moved for we have added a second bannister rail on the wall side. And for good or ill, our museum is now much more crowded with artefacts. It would be lovely to have more spacious displays. We have the problem faced by many a museum of whether to display and make things a bit cramped or store things for researchers to see on request. We try to display your items – all are given by you to the museum – as much as possible.

We, of course, think we have a great museum, full of interest for both local folk and those from further afield. Do pay us a visit in our thirtieth season.

Stobbarts Row – Then and even longer ago

February 25, 2015

Stobbarts Row! Or should that be Stobberts Row? Or even Stobbards Row? Different spellings seem to have been used at different times and there probably is not a right answer for all time. We are using the spelling on the front of our older photo which is a postcard.

Stobbarts Row in about 1910

Stobbarts Row in about 1910

Here’s an idyllic rural scene with house just ceasing as the downland of Salisbury Plain begins.

Each householder has a person standing outside the door.



We don’t tend to see people gathering for photos these days and we certainly didn’t for our second photo which dates from 1985.

Stobbarts Row - 1985

Stobbarts Row – 1985

What looked like a hedge and maybe a footpath in the older photo has become Stobbarts Road and agricultural buildings have appeared at the end of it. Once the houses were behind a hedge. Now they front straight on to the road. Stobbarts Road is not busy since it only serves these houses – even the farm buildings are out of use at the time of writing.

The people outside the doors have been replaced by the rather swish sports car. It seems a shame that the spacious porches on the second terrace have gone. We assume there wasn’t room for them and a road.

Once again we see change of a gentle kind which may have made life easier for the residents of Stobbarts Row.

A stoneware jam jar

November 5, 2013

Yesterday we featured a paper bag and today we have another item of near ephemera – a jam jar.

Back in 1985 a new extension was opened at Samuel Moore Foods – the Easterton jam factory. During the excavations for foundations, quite a large number of old stoneware jam jars were uncovered. It seems workers at the plant, at that time, were able to take one as a souvenir. One of these jars has just made its way to Market Lavington Museum, given by a person who worked at the jam factory back then.

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore's Easterton jam factory

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore’s Easterton jam factory

This jar is about the size of a one pound jam jar made of glass. It stands about 4 inches tall and has a diameter of about three inches across the top. As we can see, it is a yellowy cream colour with a black line around the rim.

We can also see it is not in A1 condition. There is a visible crack down the far side of the jar – and it goes from top to bottom. There is chipping to the glaze near the bottom as well. There is a red staining to the jar as well, albeit cunningly hidden round the back in this photo.

We have to make the assumption that this jar dates from early days at the factory as do the other, similar jars found. There are no marks of any kind on the jar to assist with identifying manufacturer or age.

Similar jars marked with a Hartley badge are quite frequently seen on internet auction sites. They are usually described as ‘Victorian’.

Because of the location where these were found, we are inclined to imagine them as more like 1920. Prior to the First World War, Samuel Moore and his family ran a cottage jam making business at their home, Woodbine Cottage on The Drove in Easterton (Now also called Sam Moore’s Lane). It seems unlikely that they would have dumped or stored jars on what later became the factory site.

We have found very little information about such jars as yet so maybe somebody out there could come up with a likely age and even a possible manufacturer. By the way, we have no interest in or knowledge of any value – except, for what it is worth, we think in cash terms it is worth next to nothing but in local history terms it is a valued treasure. That is what matters to us.