Posts Tagged ‘bill’

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.

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.

A W James bill head

March 28, 2014

Walter James was a baker in Market Lavington who also sold groceries. He took over the business from the Sumner family having been employed by Mrs Sumner first. The bill head gives us a clue as to eras for it was pre-printed with most of the year. We are looking at the 1910s. His premises were at Number One, High Street – where the Post Office is today.

Walter James bill head from 1912

Walter James bill head from 1912

This bill was for July 1912 and once again we realise that shop keepers had to carry risk and allow credit to customers. Walter clearly had a customer here on a monthly account who would settle up as and when. Sadly the items written on this one have faded, but we can clearly see that the bottom number is a ten – in the shillings column. Ten bob, or 50p as we call it today, sounds like next to nothing. In terms of Walter’s income, it is equivalent to some £200 today. So actually, it was a significant amount of money.

The bill heads for Mr James were provided by an advertiser, in this case Home and Colonial Tea which we are told was ‘The tea which everyone should drink’.

Paying James Neate

October 16, 2013

James Neate’s name crops up quite often in this blog. He was the wine and spirit merchant who moved to Market Lavington when a railway was proposed through the village. In the event he had to wait more than fifty years for the railway to be built, and that only through the northern edge of the parish. But it seems, for the most part, business flourished and James took an active part in life.

It also seems from this bill, that he sold more than just wines and spirits for amongst a list of items, bought by Mr Gye in 1901 there are no drinks at all.

A bill from James Neate of Market Lavington in 1901

A bill from James Neate of Market Lavington in 1901

However, the billing address is The Brewery, Market Lavington. This was sited behind the Red House on High Street, close to The Clays. The Neate’s retail outlet, The Brewery Tap, was on White Street. The bill indicates that the stationery had been purchased in the 1880s and was still in use in 1901. We also note at the bottom that James’ son, Norman, had receipted the bill on behalf of his father.

The items purchased all seem to have been grain related. Presumably the Gyes had poultry to feed.

Once again, the amount of free credit that traders had to extend to customers is made clear. Items purchased in July were not signed off as paid for until the end of October. In today’s terms the total of £2/11/3 is equivalent to more than £220 and up to £2000. There are different ways to calculate these things!

Potters Stores – 1950s

August 12, 2013

This is another of our collection of bills at Market Lavington Museum – as issued by Potter’s stores, then run by G S and E M Prowse. This was actually, still Potter family, for George Prowse had married Elizabeth Potter in 1956.

The shop was on Church Street. Later it became a Spar shop and after that Mr Dempsey ran it. Now it is a private house and its reconstructed front end hides its former identity.

Potter's Stores on Church Street, Market Lavington

Potter’s Stores on Church Street, Market Lavington

Here we see the shop during its ‘Potter’ days.

But now to the bill.

A bill from Potter's believed to be the late 1950s

A bill from Potter’s believed to be the late 1950s

This is undated but a mix of prices and items purchased lead us to the late 1950s. A small loaf cost 8d. Cigarettes seemed to be 3/2 for twenty. A packet of crisps (and we bet they had a twist of salt in the pack) was 4d. A packet of frozen peas was a shilling.

We certainly get an insight into prices and what people, or at any rate Mrs Harris, bought at the time.

A Bill from Mr James

August 8, 2013

Once again, today, we look at one of those marvellous bills from the past – bills that tell us so much.

This one was sent out by W James and Sons, bakers and grocers of High Street, Market Lavington. We know they were at number 1, now the Post Office in the village.

Mr James had a bill head with an advert for a product. No doubt this allowed him to save money on printing and it gave his bills a striking appearance.

The bill, dated September 1938 was issued to Mr Neate. This would have been Norman Neate who was, by then, quite an elderly man for he was born in 1869. Because of that different way of life in pre-war days we can gauge something of Norman Neate’s life.  These days we expect to pay for most goods as we buy them. It looks as though Mr Neate was sent quarterly bills with records kept by Mr James the shop keeper for this bill contains items bought from September 1938 through to January 1939.

A 1938 bill from James the bakers of Market Lavington

A 1938 bill from James the bakers of Market Lavington

We imagine Mr Neate was a poultry keeper for his purchases are of meal and sharps of different qualities. Just what is meant by ‘sharps’ is open to some doubt, but we believe it is a lower grade flour with quite a high proportion of bran.

Interestingly, one of the James family became a poultry farmer himself – in Market Lavington.

Once again, we have the trust situation. Norman ran up a bill for £3-2-3 in the period covered – worth at least £160 in current terms – quite a sum to be waiting for.

Mr Norman Neate died in 1954.

Paying for a funeral

June 19, 2013

One hundred or more years ago, funerals were locally arranged for local people. Mr Walton, from his department store premises on White Street, High Street and Church Street in Market Lavington was one person who would undertake the task of giving the dead a good burial.

A bill for one of his funerals has recently come to light. What we have is a somewhat elderly black and white photocopy, but it shows the information well enough.

Bill for the funeral of Mrs Ashley of Market Lavington in 1904.

Bill for the funeral of Mrs Ashley of Market Lavington in 1904.

The bill was addressed to the executors of the late Mrs Ashley and the date was March 1st 1904. This, we assume, was Elizabeth Ashley who was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 24th February 1904, aged 80.

Elizabeth had been born in Market Lavington but for at least thirty years, she and her husband Joseph were Londoners.  They returned to Wiltshire in older age and then we find Elizabeth back home in Market Lavington as a widow.

The grand total price of the funeral, at £2 – 16 – 0 (£2.80) sounds laughable in today’s terms. An awful lot of it seems to be for gloves for various officials. Almost a quarter of the bill is for gloves!

Even a cheap funeral these days comes in at around £1500. That comes out at roughly the same proportion of income as the 1904 figure.

Jacob Cooper

January 17, 2012

A bill is paid

It is always interesting to see bills from long ago. This bill – not in tip top order – from Jacob B Cooper  was settled in November 1901. Jacob Cooper was a coal merchant, who clearly also dealt in other commodities. The bill is for items sold to James Gye.

A 1901 bill from Jacob Cooper of Market Lavington

From the bill header we can see that Jacob had premises on Parsonage Lane and we also see that, apart from being a coal merchant he operated as a furniture removal man.

The handwritten part of the bill makes it clear that apart from coal, Jacob sold chaff, clover seed and milk. Of course, the prices are interesting with coal at 1s/4d (less than 7p) per hundredweight. In real terms this is not so very different from the January 2012 coal price.

We have looked, briefly, at Jacob Cooper before on these pages. Click here to read about him. Descendants of Jacob continued to run the coal business from Parsonage Lane well into the 20th century. There are still descendants about and soon we’ll feature memories by one of them – Mrs Cox of Devizes  – who was born and raised in Market Lavington.

James Gye and some tiles from Market Lavington

March 9, 2011

James Gye was well known as a wheelwright himself, but also as an employer of builders and carpenters. Their premises were on White Street in Market Lavington – an area now known as Gye’s Old Yard.

James was born in about 1839 in Fiddington which would then have been an outlier of West Lavington, between Market Lavington itself and its tithing of Easterton. His father was William Gye who had farmed about 50 acres in Fiddington.

James married Mary Ann Durnford in 1861. In 1871 the Gye family lived in Market Lavington but in 1881 they were in the new parish of Easterton, possibly at the old family home at Fiddington. After a run of daughters, the couple had produced a couple of sons. Sadly, the elder of the two, also James Gye, died in April 1899 aged just 23.

April 1899 was the month in which a bill was delivered to James Gye for tiles.

An 1899 bill from the Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery Works to Mr James Gye can now be found at Market Lavington Museum

The bill came from The Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery Works of Broadway House, Market Lavington. The house still stands having grown, in recent years, a Doric portico. Some of the industrial buildings of the old company are still extant and put to other industrial use. The quarries have been filled and that area is now the depot for a transport company.

The bill contains the entry ‘late W Box’. William Box had been the brick master for many years until his untimely death in 1894.

This entry about the Holloways comes from the Wikipedia website at

Holloways remained a family firm through several generations. The original brothers were sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Holloway, of West Lavington, Wiltshire where Thomas was a local jobbing builder and bricklayer. They had five sons, James (1851–89), Henry Thomas (1853–1914), John (1854–1932), Henry (1857–1923), and Samuel (1862–1938). Thomas moved to London to work with his eldest son James in 1868, and the rest of the family followed in 1870. James and Thomas became bricklayers and then general foremen, James at only about 18 and Thomas at 21, John was apprenticed as a carpenter, whilst in due course Henry joined a firm of timber merchants and Samuel began work in a solicitor’s office. James set up his own business with a few hundred pounds in capital in 1875 and by the following year had new premises at Marmion Rd Lavender Hill and his father and other brothers joined the firm. Henry became office manager, Thomas outside manager, John worked as a carpenter and Samuel apprenticed as a joiner. Initially the firm concentrated on speculative house building in Clapham but rapidly expanded to take on larger contracts such as churches, schools, public libraries and baths.

We can see that our brickworks was part of a much larger organisation, not dependent on James Gye and his few tiles to make a living.