Posts Tagged ‘butcher’

George Pike advertises

July 25, 2016

George Pike was one of Market Lavington’s butchers and he placed an advert which appeared on the front page of the same paper we featured, with a Lavington and Devizes Motor Services advert, earlier this month. Click here to see that post.

The paper dates from September 1924 and here is the Pike advert.

Advert for George Pike the butcher from September 1924

Advert for George Pike the butcher from September 1924

As we see George Pike had branches in both Lavingtons but he was a Market Lavington man. At least one descendant still lives in the village.

His main business was meat, of course. Canterbury lamb refers to Canterbury in New Zealand.

Perhaps it is George’s willingness to buy eggs that makes this most interesting. This was clearly a time when egg production was on a smaller scale than it is these days. We know, for example of three different small poultry farms on the sands. Mr Phillips kept poultry at the top of Northbrook, George O’Reilly had the poultry business at Cherry Orchard and the Misses Chalmers had the Crossways Poultry Farm. There would have been others as well as many a householder keeping a few laying hens.

Mr Pike was inviting all such people to sell him their eggs and he offered top market prices.

It is always interesting to note phone numbers. This butcher had Lavington 26.



The butcher’s shop

March 23, 2016

Yesterday we looked at one of the tools of the butchery trade – a steelyard. We’ll see a few more today as we see the butcher’s shop in the 1930s.

The Butcher's Shop in Market Lavington - 1936

The Butcher’s Shop in Market Lavington – 1936

We think this is 1936 and although the shop says E. Doubleday above the door, Edward Doubleday had died earlier that year and Mr Francis was in charge. He’s the man in the doorway with the string of sausages and the seriously vicious knife.

Mr Francis - proprietor

Mr Francis – proprietor

The man in the middle is Bill Cooper. He also sports a dangerous looking knife and has a sharpening steel hanging from his waist.

Bill Cooper - butcher

Bill Cooper – butcher

We do not have a name for the third man who, by his clothing, might have been a slaughter man.

unknown - probably a slaughter man

unknown – probably a slaughter man

The photo was taken, perhaps, to indicate the success of the butcher at the Swindon Christmas Cattle Show. There are certificates in the window.

image006 Although called a cattle show, the prizes appear to be for sheep.


But pride of place window notice goes to the refrigerator.


An enamel sign encouraged the consumption of mustard with beef and mutton.


Altogether we have a scene you just don’t see today with fresh meat hanging out in the open for anybody – any insect even – to touch and taint. Progress can be for the better!

A butcher’s steelyard

March 22, 2016

Steelyards are first rate and accurate weighing devices, intended to measure the weight of heavy objects. The object to be weighed is hung on the hooks on the short end of the lever and then a weight is slid along the yard length until the whole lever is horizontal. The scale on the yard is in units of weight (for scientists that ought to say mass) so you just read off at the point the weight has reached to balance the steelyard.

The one we have in the museum comes from a butcher’s shop and was clearly intended to weigh carcasses of meat.

Butcher's steelyard at Market Lavington Museum

Butcher’s steelyard at Market Lavington Museum

It has clearly seen better days but rest assured it was in that condition when it came to the museum. This one is marked ‘Crown Regulation 1926’ which suggests it is in the region of 90 years old/ It can weigh up to 300 pounds – about 137 kilograms.

This item is on display in our trades room at the museum.

License to Slaughter

January 17, 2016

Life used to be more ‘in the raw’ than it is these days. At any rate in rural areas food production was local in all aspects. The premises behind the butcher’s shop were used as a slaughter-house. Locals must have got used to the sight of live animals arriving at the premises and then of the sights, sounds and smells of the slaughtering business.

But premises used to slaughter meat for public consumption required a license and that required renewing regularly. Here is one of Butcher Doubleday’s licenses for the year 1925.

Slaughter-house license for Mr Doubleday's premises - 1925

Slaughter-house license for Mr Doubleday’s premises – 1925

This, of course, was for the premises more or less opposite the Market Place. It remains a butchery business but slaughtering is done elsewhere.

Interesting that this was in use as a slaughter-house and not as a knacker’s yard.

This may be seen as a bit gruesome, but that doesn’t stop it being a part of our village history.

Butcher’s delivery

January 7, 2016

This is a still from a promotional film shot and edited by Peter Francis during the inter war years.

The film shows the full process – and we really mean full – of getting meat from farm to door. Much of it is far too graphic for present day sensibilities. We have a full copy at the museum, but certainly wouldn’t show it.

At this time the company was called Doubleday’s to become Doubleday and Francis. They occupied the butcher’s shop still operating as such – where the Douses now sell their top quality products.

Back in those days – some 80 or so years ago, Messrs Doubleday and Francis operated a pair of vans for meat delivery. It quite amuses many of us that supermarkets invented delivery a few years ago. It used to be the norm – certainly into the 1960s. Our curator tells us he had a holiday job when he was a student, which involved driving a van and selling meat. That was for quite a different butcher elsewhere in the country but just shows it was the norm. Here, from the film, is one of the Market Lavington vans.

Butcher's van in the snow in the 1930s

Butcher’s van in the snow in the 1930s

The weather was clearly bad with snow on the ground, but still the butcher got through, delivering his meat.

The photo quality is understandably poor. We do not know what it was originally shot on – probably the little 8mm film. It has been copied onto VHS video tape and then copied to a digital format. But it does give an idea of those 1930s days.

Butcher’s vans

February 3, 2015

Time was when shopkeepers delivered the goods. Yes, they do it again now as though it is some wonderful new idea but back in the day before nearly everybody had a car it was entirely the norm for the butcher, the baker, the grocer, the greengrocer, the fish merchant, the ironmonger etc, all to deliver for customers. And here we see two vans which Doubleday and Francis used to deliver meat in the 1930s (and on into the 40s).

1930s butcher's vans in Market Lavington

1930s butcher’s vans in Market Lavington

These are quite handsome vans for the era – not suited to large, heavy loads but well suited to the needs of meat delivery. They are parked outside what was and still is the butcher’s shop in market Lavington.

Back in the 1960s our curator had a temporary job as a butcher’s rounds man and the van he drove (it was in Sussex) was newer than these but similar in general size.

We think the front one with the registration BWV 551 is a Morris but hopefully we’ll be told if we are wrong.

From the state of the road we can see that the horse was still much in use when this photo was taken.

We do not recognise the two men in this slightly off focus image but again, just possibly somebody might help us.

Butcher Kidner

June 7, 2014

We were very recently given this postcard.

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

We already had a copy of the image, but this had been trimmed and some of the more interesting information is on the edge which had been lost in the copy.

The picture was taken, we believe, prior to 1904 and shows a society walk through Market Lavington. We believe the society was connected with the Oddfellows.

We are looking up High Street from outside the Market Place. The building on the left – which is where the chemist’s shop now stands, has two visible letters – CE. That’s enough for us to know that it was then the village Post Office.

The Green Dragon is clear with its porch right across the pavement.

The Green Dragon – still a thriving hostelry

In the middle is a large banner.

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

This carries the Latin motto Amicitia, Amor et Veritas – friendship, love and truth. This does appear to be connected with Oddfellows.

But it is the extreme right which really interests us. This shows the butcher’s shop, not so different now from how it was more than 100 years ago.

Outside butcher George Kidner’s shop

We can see that the pavement is cobbled which must have given a bumpy ride for the baby in the pram. The longish exposure time for the photo is revealed by the totally blurred child. We can see carcasses hanging outside the shop which would be deemed very unhygienic these days. And we can see that the butcher’s name was Kidner for it is written above the door.

George Kidner came from south London to Market Lavington in the 1870s. He had been a butcher all his working life and would have been approaching 60 when he moved to Market Lavington. His wife, Harriet (perhaps Hariot) died in 1894 but George, over 80, was described as a butcher working at home on the 1901 census. His daughter Alethea was with him.

We wonder whether it might be George on the extreme right, the elderly looking man with a stick.

George died in 1904 and his age was given as 89.

Does anybody know any more about him?

A steelyard

October 23, 2013

Steelyard is a word that does not seem to describe the object we are looking at – a kind of weighing scales. Nonetheless, it is the right word for scales such as these.

A steelyard to be found at Market Lavington Museum

A steelyard to be found at Market Lavington Museum

This steelyard is of a heavy duty kind, capable of weighing items up to 300 pounds in weight. That’s approaching 150 kilograms in present units.

In use, this steelyard would have hung from a beam in the open – not against a wall. The item to be weighed was hung from those fearsome looking hooks and then the heavy ball was moved along the arm until the arm was horizontal. The scale was along that arm. The further you had to move that spherical weight, the heavier your item was.

In this case the item to be weighed was meat – animal carcases or parts thereof. This steelyard dates from around 1926 for it carries that date on the roundel at the left hand end.


Crown Regulation - 1926

Crown Regulation – 1926

No doubt the accuracy of these devices was deemed important. The item says ‘Crown regulation’, gives the year of manufacture and the maximum load.

Clearly this device is no longer in A1 condition but it serves as a reminder of a time when there was a slaughterhouse in the village.

Another Card for Miss Hiscock.

November 23, 2012

At Market Lavington Museum, we have another card sent to the elusive Miss Hiscock of Twyford, Winchester.

Card sent to Miss Hiscock by Amy. The card is at Market Lavington Museum

The back of the card shows just another personal message, this time not in code and from a sender called Amy. Like the other, coded message, it was posted in Chippenham, this time in 1904.

We know that the picture on the front is another Market Lavington photo, but the card manufacturer, aware of the chance of a wider audience, has just captioned it ‘Wiltshire Bacon’.

The front of the card shows Piggy Ward of Market Lavington

The card is similar to one we have featured before. Click here to see it. We know that the man charged with dispatching this beast was Piggy Ward of Market Lavington.

The Butcher’s Convention

October 20, 2012

The Second World War was, no doubt, a bit of a tough time for shop keepers. Coping with all of the regulations must have been onerous, with customer’s ration books to be dealt with. Customers were registered with specific shops so there was little chance of any extra trade. On top of that, prices were controlled by government edict.

It was in these conditions that a group of Wiltshire butchers met in Market Lavington.

Local butchers meet at Market Lavington in 1940, to discuss rationing.

We believe the year was 1940, and the butchers met to share ideas on coping with rationing.

Mr Francis, the Market Lavington butcher is the right hand man standing in the shop doorway. We do not know who the other butchers were. The group is standing outside the shop in Market Lavington which was run by Mr Francis.

How wonderful, that in times of difficulty, the local rivals came together for mutual support.

There’s new information on this photo. We had Les Francis named as the man at the right in the doorway. Next to him is George Pike who had the other butcher’s shop in Market Lavington.
At the extreme left is Les Francis’s son, Peter who gave up butchery to become the village photographer.
In the front row, second from the right hand end is Bob Cowdrey and fourth from the right is Bob Wishart.

Yet more information has come from Mark Douse who is the present day butcher in the shop shown in the photo.

The small man (front and third from the right) with the grey jacket and glasses and a black tie, is Mr Tommy Cartwright who ran Walter Rose in Devizes until the late 1960s.
The man to his right is Jack Wishart (not Bob) who was a butcher in Devizes.
The man third from the left with a dark trilby hat is Mr Vigor from Woodborough.
The small man fifth from the left at the back with dark hair and glasses in Mr Bob Cook who ran the butchers in Devizes High street.
Thanks for this extra information.