Posts Tagged ‘Advertisement’

Mr Walton advertises

October 13, 2011

Mr Walton has cropped up from time to time in these pages. He built up the shopping emporium – the superstore of the Lavingtons, on the crossroads of High Street, White Street and Church Street. He sold most items a villager might require for he had groceries, bread, ironmongery, clothing and drapery. Oh yes, he had the local Post Office as well so he really did have many of the essentials.

In 1894 he was fairly new to the area. The front page of the local paper was a good place to advertise in the hope of attracting trade to his shop. The paper was The Devizes and Wilts Advertiser, printed, rather strikingly, on green paper.

Devizes and Wilts Advertiser at Market Lavington Museum

This is the edition for Friday June 8th 1894 and the bottom half of the page contains this advertisement.

Advert for the Lavington Cash Supply Store - proprietor, MrWalton

Of course, the prices sound very cheap and for those younger readers who don’t understand our pre 1971 money, the price of the really good men’s suit – 12/11 is as near as you like to 65p.

What! A whole suit for 65p? Well yes, but if you were an ordinary agricultural labourer in 1894 your wage would have been 13/8 a week or 68p. In other words the suit was about equal to a week’s wages. We suspect that a similar suit, these days, might be about half a week’s wage for a farm worker. So actually, the suit was an expensive item back in 1894.

Who was the most famous person from Market Lavington?

January 30, 2011

That’s probably a hard one to answer but a leading contender must be William Cambridge. Many people will wonder who he was or what he did, but farmers, the world over, use Cambridge rollers. They were invented by William Cambridge in Market Lavington and first manufactured at his works in the village in the 1840s. William also manufactured portable steam engines in Market Lavington as well as all sorts of other agricultural equipment. And he exported all over the world. We know sugar growers in the West Indies used Cambridge equipment as did farmers in Australia and across Europe.

But William is most famous for his Cambridge rollers, which use a series of separate V shaped metal wheels, rather than one large flat wheel to make the roller.

The Museum of English Rural Life at Reading has this advertisement for William Cambridge available on their website. For display at Market Lavington we have ‘added’ a missing bottom part to the original advert held at Reading.

This advert for William Cambridge of Market Lavington is at the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading. We have a copy at Market Lavington Museum

A few days ago, Geoff, a farmer in the Midlands was in touch with the museum curator. Geoff has a William Cambridge roller, which he is restoring. He has kindly sent us some photos of his roller.

Geoff’s William Cambridge roller

This roller is slightly more recent than the Market Lavington made ones. William found Market Lavington just a bit inconvenient for his international business and he set up a new Lavington Iron Works in Bristol, which had a fine railway and international links from the flourishing docks.

Made in Bristol

The W Cambridge mark has been highlighted

Geoff’s main reason for making contact concerned colour. The iron work would, originally, have been painted. Sadly our black and white drawings do not show colour and Geoff, looking ahead to a finished item, wants to know what colour the Cambridge company used.

Can anyone out there help? If so, do contact the curator.

A Cardboard Box

January 29, 2011

Can a cardboard box be interesting, or worthy of space in a museum?  Well, yes it can, particularly if it has words or images on it.


Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works Ltd. box at Market Lavington Museum

This box, as can be seen, carries the words

The Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works, Ltd. Broadway, Market Lavington and Cheverell, Devizes, Wilts.

It is not a box of huge antiquity as evidenced by the phone numbers. A four digit Lavington phone number means this box dates from the middle years of the twentieth century.

It looks a substantially made box. Mere glue was not deemed sufficient to hold it together. Staples are used to strengthen joints.

The box is the size of a standard house brick. In those not so far away days, if a potential customer wanted to know just what your bricks were like, then you put one in a box and sent it to him. The idea of bricks by post seems totally anachronistic in the second decade of the 21st century but must have been a matter of course in earlier times.

One can have sympathy for the postman who had bricks to deliver!

A 1966 Directory

January 23, 2011

At the same time as we were given a 1954 local area directory, we were also given a 1966 one. Once again, this came from the Williams household in Easterton.

1966 Devizes and District Directory, now at Market Lavington Museum

Times had moved on since the earlier, but very similar 1954 directory. That was produced by the Wiltshire Gazette. This one is Fletcher’s Directory. That change probably explains the fact that the interesting news items that were present in the older directory form no part of this one.

But we do have the list of householders – for Easterton

Some Easterton Householders

We have the householders, too, for Market Lavington.

Some Market Lavington Householder

And, as a bonus, we have householders for all of the parishes in and around Devizes.

There is also a telephone directory – some of those connected to the Lavington exchange are shown here.

Telephone subscribers

The Lavington exchange covered villages other than just the Lavingtons.

Like the older, 1954, directory, just one advert refers to a company in Market Lavington.

Birds and Bry Ash LTD advert in the 1966 directory

Birds and Bryer had taken on the former Davis coal business.

So once again we have a very useful guide for researchers. Obviously, the full document can be seen by visitors to the museum.

A 1954 Directory – Part 2

January 20, 2011

The 1954 directory, recently given to us by the Williams family of Easterton contains more than just lists of names. For starters there are period adverts although only one seems to refer to a Market Lavington business.

Advert for A S Wordley and Co from a 1954 directory at Market Lavington Museum

Wordleys had premises in the Market Place. When this area was redeveloped in the 1960s, the firm moved to occupy the area where Rochelle Court now stands. The company became Wiltshire Agricultural Engineering.

But back to the directory, which was published by the Wiltshire Gazette and contains little bits of information from the period covered.

Here are some entries which refer to our area.

February 19th 1953 – Death of Mr G E Crassweller, 96, oldest inhabitant of Market Lavington.

May 14th 1953 – Rev. J. S. Arthur (Vicar of Market Lavington and Easterton) announced that he had been appointed to the living at Beaminster, Dorset.

June 2nd 1953 – Devizes and surrounding villages celebrated the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

July 21st 1953 – Presentation of set of cutlery and dinner service to Mr E. J. Stowe, headmaster of Market Lavington School for 16 years to mark his retirement.

August 5th 1953 – Ninety-five year old George Dobson, Market Lavington’s oldest inhabitant, pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to driving his motor cycle without due care and attention and was ordered not to drive again.

November 20th 1953 – Rev. J. B. Collins inducted as Vicar of Easterton.

How lovely to have these snippet length reminders of almost 60 years ago. But this was the 89th edition of the Devizes and District Directory. Has any one got any earlier editions they could give to the museum?

A Corset for all Ladies

October 18, 2010
One delightful item at Market Lavington Museum is an advert for corsets.

An advert for corsets at Market Lavington Museum

What a shame a portion of this ad is missing. It means we can’t see what publication Mrs Burns, Ladies’ Outfitter of Lavington House, Market Lavington used for her advert.

Mrs Burns of Market Lavington placed this advert

The advert features French phrases – presumably French undergarments were très chic.

A la sirène - mermaid style?

We can certainly see how these garments produced the wasp waist effect – especially for brides.

A bridal corset

This advert can be found above the fireplace in the kitchen room at Market Lavington Museum.

Vacuum Motor Car Oils

July 26, 2010

This enamel sign – not in the best of conditions, is one of the artefacts we have in store at Market Lavington Museum. In times past, the right hand edge has been bent backwards around a right angle, presumably to make it fit better on the wall. Or perhaps it was arranged to stand out at right angles from a wall.

Vacuum Motor Car Oils - an enamel sign at Market Lavington Museum

It is thought that this sign once adorned ‘The Cycle Store’ where John Hampton Meritt Junior ran not only the cycle shop, but also facilities for motorists. Indeed, he set up the first petrol pumps in the village. Sadly we have found no photographic evidence to confirm this.

The Vacuum Oil Company was, originally an American concern. It was founded as long ago as 1866 but the sign is obviously more recent since 1866 was before the invention of the motor car. In 1931 the Vacuum company, already a part of the Standard OilCompany of New York, merged with Mobil Oil so our sign will date from about 1931. The company had an interesting early history, with law suits for trying to destroy rival companies. It survived and grew to have sales operations right round the world.

Maybe older residents – 80 plus year olds – will remember the sign. If so, do let us know so we can confirm just where it was placed.

Hopkins (and companies)

April 6, 2010

A small metal label in Market Lavington Museum carries the message, ‘Hopkins & Co. Acetylene generator makers and lighting engineers. The Lighthouse, Market Lavington’.

Hopkins & Co. acetylene label - early 20th century

Several buildings in Market Lavington have large square brackets on the wall (The Workman’s Hall for one) which once held gas lamps, no doubt supplied with gas by the Hopkins family.

The Hopkins ran a number of businesses in Market Lavington. Generating acetylene gas and supplying it was one thing they did. The family also were builders’ merchants as well as builders.

The Museum’s little copper plate, some 8cm across, is one artefact amongst several we have. What the Hopkins called ‘The Lighthouse’ we now know as ‘8, Church Street’. The Hopkins main shop was next to what is now the Drummer Boy pub. There were also premises where Milsoms Court now stands.

Some of the Hopkins family are buried in the Drove Lane Cemetery. A click here will lead you to information about it.

Phillips Stick-a-Soles and Heels Man

January 20, 2010

Phillips Stick-a-sole man at Market Lavington Museum


The Advertising bust, which we call The Stick-a-Sole Man, used to stand in the window Of Ken Mundy’s High Street shop. Ken was a village character who ran his shoe repair and sales business between the Co-op and the newsagents until he retired in about 1980. He is remembered by older inhabitants of the village for his very late adoption of mains water. Even after World War Two, Ken could be seen walking down to Broadwell with his yoke and two buckets to collect his water. Apparently his pigs fared better for mains water was laid on to them, kept in an area off The Clays.

When Ken closed his doors, a local resident bought the Stick-a-Sole Man. Our purchaser had a grandfather who had been a cobbler and people used to ask him if he had been the model for this particular advert (no, he wasn’t). These models were widespread and could be found in cobblers shops up and down the country. Ours, from Market Lavington, spent close on thirty years in Crawley, Sussex before being offered back to the museum at the start of 2009

He’s quite a detailed model, some 22 centimetres tall, standing there, holding a shoe which is fitted with a real, if small, Phillips stick-a-sole.

The Phillips firm was set up by Walter Phillips from Cardiff. It is thought that his stick on soles – to double the life of your shoes, were in use by the 1930s and the advert man, made of a rubberoid material (similar to the soles, perhaps) probably dates from that era as well.