Posts Tagged ‘20th century’

Lyons’ Tea

February 17, 2015

People who visit the museum do like to see things they might remember or might have used in their own home. Tins are always popular and amongst our collection is a Lyons’ Tea tin. Such tins are much loved and remembered by many older people.

Lyons' Tea tin, possibly 1920s or 30s

Lyons’ Tea tin, possibly 1920s or 30s

This was a useful item for a home to have because it could be refilled with loose tea for ever afterwards.

This tin dates from the first half of the 20th century as evidenced by its royal patron.


Lyons’ Tea was used by the King

By appointment, purveyors to H. M. King of England. Why just England and not the United Kingdom, we can’t answer, but England and the rest of the UK had kings between 1901 and 1952 but we believe the tin is pre-war, perhaps dating from the 1920s or 30s.

It came to the museum from a Market Lavington resident.

Another photo of Lavington Station

January 17, 2015


Today we show a bit of a goods train standing in the up or London bound platform at Lavington Station.

A goods train at Lavington Station in Wiltshire

A goods train at Lavington Station in Wiltshire

It is a lovely photo which captures the spirit of a long vanished age – although we don’t have a date for the image. Station staff and, possibly a potential passenger have clearly taken note of a photographer and have made sure they were in shot. What a change from these days when people seem to worry that the photographer is capturing the soul of the person as well as just a picture. On the right, seemingly behind the lad there is a milk churn. They are now relics of a bygone time.

The mixed goods train, too, is also a thing of the past and so, too is the whole idea of a goods train being parked, albeit, no doubt, temporarily, on the West of England main line. The station, of course, closed in 1966 and not a trace remains.

So what is that train doing? We can only guess, but presumably it is either picking up additional trucks or leaving some behind in the Lavington goods yard which was situated behind the photographer. The hefty brake van which all loose coupled goods trains had has been removed and no doubt the guard who had his space in that van is assessing what might be attached to his train, making sure all is in order. The train loco, or possibly a separate loco would be busy shunting trucks around to make sure all was in the correct order. And meanwhile the line between Exeter and London was blocked. But at least all this happened under the watchful eye of the signal man in his box at the west end of the station.

Do have a go at dating this photo for us.

Commemorative Ware

December 10, 2014

A recent gift has added another piece of local commemorative ware to our collection. In this case it is a small dish with an image of Market Lavington Church.

Commemorative dish showing St Mary's Church in Market Lavington

Commemorative dish showing St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington

The dish – about 10cm across was made by Britannia Designs of Dartmouth. We estimate it to be mid to late twentieth century – that fits with the history of Britannia Designs. The church image may be loosely based on this earlier postcard.

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church

A postcard showing a very similar view of the church


A Jew’s harp

November 17, 2014

Amongst the more amusing metal detector finds recently given to us at Market Lavington Museum is this piece of slightly mangled metal.

Remains of a Jew's harp found in Market Lavington

Remains of a Jew’s harp found in Market Lavington

This is what remains of a Jew’s harp. We should say that these rather basic instruments are not harps or Jewish in origin. Actually, origins are lost in the depths of time and as a musical device they are truly worldwide.

There should be a twangy strip of metal attached at the left hand end and passing between the two points at the open end. Our metal detector find is mis-shapen.

The idea is that the two pointed ends are held between front teeth and the twangy strip (known as the reed) is flicked with fingers so it passes between the teeth. The player’s mouth acts as a sound box and by altering the shape of the mouth and the tongue position the tone, and to some extent the note, can be altered.

The fact that jaws are used to hold the device leads to its alternative and more sensible name of a jaws harp.

We don’t have this item dated but it looks in pretty good condition so is probably 20th century. It may have been a piece of litter. Once the reed breaks off it is useless and a careless youngster may have discarded the rest of it. It was found on what used to be the village recreation ground.