Posts Tagged ‘building work’

A builder’s day book

May 6, 2016

Amongst items given to the museum from the estate of Tom Gye we have a number of the day books used in the building trade. In these books each customer was recorded and indexed and the labour and materials used on jobs was recorded. Here we have one small entry – part of a much larger one, from 1968 and on to 1971.

Small entry from a Gye day book - this entry from 1968

Small entry from a Gye day book – this entry from 1968

The customer, having work done, was Wiltshire County Council. The site for the work was Easterton School. This vanished building was between Easterton Church and the junction between the main street and Kings Road. The day book does not record the actual nature of the job but it still makes for a fascinating document. We can see the costs involved for getting work done.

The top part of this document records the initials of workers and the hours they worked. Some of the initials are recognisable. T G is Tom Gye himself, for example. Most interesting, perhaps is that the work involved 42½ hours of labourer time which was charged at 11/6 per hour. That’s 57½p in post decimal money. It just sounds so laughably cheap nowadays but our curator recalls working as a labourer in a factory at about that time and earning 7/2½ per hour which worked at £14-10-0 (£14.50) for a 40 hour week.

It looks as though some of the work might have been repairs or extending a playground with ballast, cement and Mendip chippings.

Later in August, in preparation for the new term, the Gye firm had a job of sanding and revarnishing the desk tops at Market Lavington School. This was some 8 hours of work and cost £6 including the varnish. Other small jobs continued right up to the end.

The end came when both Easterton School and Market Lavington School were replaced by the new St Barnabas School. This opened on Drove Lane in 1971.

Bills, bills, bills!

February 20, 2015

The Honourable Mrs Louisa Hay was a member of the Pleydell Bouverie family. She lived for virtually all of the second half of the nineteenth century as a widow at Clyffe Hall.

The Gye family were builders, carpenters etc, and, to the delight of us these days, hoarders and keepers. As a result we have a bill submitted to the honourable lady in 1884. It provides something of an insight into the amount of upkeep a large house needed as well as to costs and wages roughly 130 years ago.

There may be just the one bill here, but it covers a period between July and December 1884.

First part of 1884 bill for work done by James Gye for The Hon. Mrs Hay at Clyffe Hall

First part of 1884 bill for work done by James Gye for The Hon. Mrs Hay at Clyffe Hall

It is, perhaps, labour costs that strike us as being horribly low. Take that entry for August 5th – a man half a day making a washing trough is charged at two shillings. That’s 10p in present money. Actually, in terms of wages that’s equivalent to about £45 today – roughly £10 per hour to share between company and employee.

However, on August 18th we had two men for a day at farm work getting 7/9 or about 38p which is just marginally less than the trough digger earned for the company.

The bill continues.

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The last item listed here is amusing for it is something that just wouldn’t happen these days. A pair of shears was re-handled at a cost of 1/6. That’s about £32 in current labour value. Well you can pay much more than that for a brand new pair of shears in 2015 but you certainly wouldn’t have to. We think what are called verells we’d call Ferules – the iron covers on the end of the handles.

The Grove Farm Estate

August 19, 2014

It’s a couple of dozen years since buildings were going up in Beechwood, Roman Way and Saxon Close – new areas for buildings as far as modern Market Lavington was concerned.  The building works are fading into history so today we have a reminder.

It’s October 1990. Total chaos seems to reign and houses appear to be plonked randomly on the landscape in an area just below the churchyard.

Grove Farm Estate, Market Lavington under construction in October 1990

Grove Farm Estate, Market Lavington under construction in October 1990

We can pick out areas in the background. Behind the new red roof we can see the roofs and chimneys on Northbrook Close and other houses along the track at the top of Northbrook.

In the background we see the top of Northbrook

In the background we see the top of Northbrook

At the extreme right we can see other houses on Northbrook, close by the stream.

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Stream Cottage and other buildings near the Northbrook

The most distant of the new dwellings is definitely on Beechwood.

A new house on Beechwood

A new house on Beechwood

The view was taken from what are now the steps leading from Roman Way up to the churchyard and looking straight down Saxon Close.

 

Building George Mews

April 4, 2014

 

George Mews was built in the yard between 58 to 60 High Street, Market Lavington back in 1994.

The old sheds there were demolished.

The old sheds which stood where George Mews stands now

The old sheds which stood where George Mews stands now

 

Work begins on the new houses

Work begins on the new houses

Building materials arrived and ground work began.

 

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George Mews begins to take shape

The new houses appeared.

The new houses near completion

The new houses near completion

And twenty years on, George Mews is an established part of the village.