Posts Tagged ‘bill head’

F Wright

August 25, 2015

This is another request for information. Who was F Wright and when did his business operate in Market Lavington.

What we have is a receipt for goods purchased from F Wright, draper, milliner and outfitter. The bill appears to date from February 15th 1940.

The headquarters of F Wright’s empire were clearly in Pewsey but the premises in Market Lavington were at The Cross – presumably cross roads.

Here is the receipt.

Receipt issued by F Wright of The Cross, Market Lavington

Receipt issued by F Wright of The Cross, Market Lavington

This seems to be signed as paid by D W Young. Was he or she a local person?

Any information will be gratefully received. Thanks!


A Hopkins Bill Head

October 22, 2014

We have a wonderful collection of Hopkins bill heads. Retailers got bill heads on the cheap by having a manufacturers advert on them – like this one below.

A Hopkins of Market Lavington bill of 1913

A Hopkins of Market Lavington bill of 1913

This one dates from 1913 so is just over the 100 years old as this is written. Of course we can marvel at the price of what appears to be a range back then with a smaller one at 18/5 (92p) and the portable one at £1-16-0 or £1.80 in present decimal coinage.

But it is the advert at the head of this bill that really appeals and recalls a bygone age.

These days the electric lamp is just about everywhere in the UK but back in 1913 most smaller places did not have mains electricity and locally produced gas could be used for lighting – particularly by the well to do folks. Most gas does not burn particularly brightly and so an incandescent mantle was used. When heated by the burning gas these mantles produced a wonderfully bright light. And the advert tells us that if we used the Veritas mantle we’d be quids in because we’d get our light burning less gas.


And these points are pressed home by a flag waving Boy Scout.


A problem with mantles was that once put into use they became very fragile. It didn’t take much of a knock to damage them beyond use so advertising as strongest was, no doubt, a good ploy. It rather looks as though our flag waving lad has broken the lamp cover but the mantle is still there and intact.

A lovely item here which says much about life 100 years ago. These days heating, cooking and lighting are all ‘at the flick of a switch’. It was so different back then.



Duty paid

October 7, 2014

At our recent Museum Miscellany – which once again was a grand success with more than 100 people attending and enjoying the information, the photos not to mention our wonderful museum food – one section was based around our receipted bill heads. These bills were like this one.

Receipt for items received by Thomas Holloway from Lavington Supply Stores in 1913

Receipt for items received by Thomas Holloway from Lavington Supply Stores in 1913

This bill was paid by Thomas Holloway to a supplier – Mr Walton of the Lavington Supply Stores back in 1913. These days we forget that the horse was such an important beast. There are still plenty of horses about – for leisure purposes but we wouldn’t expect our grocer or supermarket to be supplying sacks full of horse food. But clearly Mr Walton did just that and as some of the food said it was ‘delivered to Broadway’ we can assume this was going to horses used at the brickworks.

Of course, the bill head is pretty with its ads for Colman’s products – notably mustard.

At the end of the Miscellany our curator was asked, ‘Why had the receiver of the money signed over a stamp?’ Now in all honesty he/we hadn’t ever thought about it. Those of us old enough just assumed it was the done thing, without much thought. So a little checking up was done and it seems it was a legal requirement in some circumstances and actually conveyed a small sum of money to the Inland Revenue or tax man.

The signature acknowledging receipt of money is made over a stamp

The signature acknowledging receipt of money is made over a stamp

It will be noted that then stamp actually says Postage on the left side and Revenue on the right. It was a one penny stamp and of course, in having to purchase that stamp Mr Walton had paid one penny into the Inland Revenue. We can, of course, be sure that Mr Walton had actually passed the cost on to his customer.

What we haven’t yet worked out is the precise circumstances that made the stamp a requirement. Once again we’ll appeal to somebody out there to let us know.

Paying James Neate

August 15, 2014

Today we look at another of the bills paid by Holloways of West Lavington. This time the recipient of money was James Neate.

Receipted bill paid to James Neate of Market Lavington by Holloways of West Lavington

Receipted bill paid to James Neate of Market Lavington by Holloways of West Lavington

We can see that James Neate established his business in Market Lavington in 1852. We understand he came to Market Lavington on the strength of a proposed railway line. The line never materialised, but James weathered some financial storms and became well established in Lavington as a brewer, wine and spirit merchant and Maltster.

We see he also traded in cigars and worked as an insurance agent.

It has to be said we do not fully understand this receipted invoice for the half share of a fence at the back of the stores in West Lavington.  This might suggest that James had business interests in our neighbouring village.

If we consider the address we note James was at ‘The Brewery’ in Market Lavington. James and family lived at The Red House on High Street. The brewery was behind that and the sales outlet from the brewery was at a little pub called The Brewery Tap which was on White Street (Market Lavington).

As ever it is interesting to note that traders like James had to cope with substantial time delays before bills were paid.  This one is dated 1906 and maybe the Ap.  Means April. James received his money on 2nd March 1907 so perhaps for almost a year he had to make do without his rightful £1-17-7½.

In present day terms it sounds a trifling amount but in terms of earnings, that 1906 amount of money equates to about £1000 today. It was a load of money!

By the way, several of our James Neate items can be seen at present in Salisbury Library as a part of the Dusty Feet exhibition.

A bill from Arthur Oatley

July 15, 2014

Arthur Oatley was born in Streatham in South London in 1883. Sometime towards the end of the 19th century his father became manager of Market Lavington brickworks. In 1901 young Arthur was living at Broadway in the rather lovely brick manager’s house. He was working as a brick dryer.

By 1911 Arthur was married and had two little children. He was a builder living in Littleton Panell.

Clearly by the 1920s Arthur had his business in Market Lavington at The Market House – the one old house still standing in the market place. It has recently been modernised internally and much renovated.

A bill from Arthur Oatley of Market House, Market Lavington in 1923

A bill from Arthur Oatley of Market House, Market Lavington in 1923

This bill was for sheets of asbestos which of course we now consider a very dangerous product. It was seen as a wonder material in past times.

The Oatleys were active in the village. Arthur was a member of the Market Lavington Prize Silver Band. His wife May was church organist. We have a photo of daughter, Rita, involved in a carnival.

We believed they actually lived in the Townsend area of Market Lavington.

Until we were given this bill, we knew nothing of the business and we know almost nothing of the family.

Perhaps somebody could tell us some more.

A Bill from Alf Mullings

July 2, 2014

The Mullings family came from Devizes. William settled in Market Lavington in around 1870 and set up his basket making business which his son, Alf, continued and then Sid, Alf’s son also carried it on until around 1960.

Recent evidence suggests that the Mullings or Mullins tribe of reed and cane workers became more widely spread. Well we know there had been one in Easterton in the 1850s, but others can be found in East London and Suffolk in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

We recently had a chance to copy a bill sent by Alf Mullings. It dates from 1908.

Receipted bill from Mr Mullings, basket maker of Market Lavington dated 1908

Receipted bill from Mr Mullings, basket maker of Market Lavington dated 1908

This is a fascinating document giving an insight into prices and information about a lost local craft.

We can see that Alfred had made and sold two potato baskets for half a crown. In modern money that’s about 6p for a basket. However, a square hamper cost six shillings or 30p in present money.

A hamper was deemed worthy of repair as well for just a shilling or 5p.

These prices sound absurdly cheap and we don’t think Alf Mullings made much money on the deals.

Of course, the bill head is interesting, indicating that Alfred did cane work of all descriptions and giving a mention to baskets, hampers and sieves. A basketware sieve by Mullings would make a fine addition to opur collection. Has anybody got one?

The purchaser in this case (as with a large collection of local bills and letters) was Mr Holloway of West Lavington.

What a great item and our thanks go to Tim for making this and the other bill heads available to us.


Three Brass Bushes

June 21, 2014

Good fortune continues at Market Lavington Museum so today we’ll take a look at what might be called the Holloway haul of acquisitions. These were documents saved from the Holloway builders’ office at some point in the past. Holloways were a West Lavington firm but they traded with Market Lavington and Easterton people and of course, it is these documents that concern us.

Actually, and quite understandably, the owner wishes to keep the majority of his original documents. He has loaned them to the museum for copying. This, of course, is something easily done with photos and paper documents.

What we look at today is a bill from Lavington and Devizes Motor Services.

Bill from Lavington and Devizes Motor Services in 1923

Bill from Lavington and Devizes Motor Services in 1923

So what information can we glean from this? I suppose first we can say that each brass bush cost half a crown (12½p in present money). I’m afraid we don’t know what the bushes were used for but presumably it was to assist in the smooth running of a vehicle or piece of machinery.

We can see that at the time of this bill (July 1923) the telephone had arrived and the local bus company had phone 13. The proprietor was, of course, Mr F H Sayer who we have met before on this blog (click here).

We can see that the bus company had motor char-a-banc, buses or lorries for hire. We believe they were adept at removing one body from a vehicle chassis and replacing it with another according to need.

And we can see they ran a motor repair business doing repairs, overhauls and supplying spares.

We can also see that Mr Holloway was a very prompt payer on this occasion. The bill was raised on the 14th July and settled on the 17th.

For us at the museum it is just lovely to have a record of what must have been day to day activity in the village more than 90 years ago.