Posts Tagged ‘carpenter’

A name stamp

March 30, 2016

At first sight this is rather an unprepossessing item.

Is this a chisel?

Is this a chisel?

It looks like some kind of chisel. Clearly the near end has been repeatedly hit with a hammer and has spread out as a result. When we look from the other end it is clear that it is not a chisel, or at least that if it was it has been much misused.

Has it been misused?

Has it been misused?

It almost looks like some kind of teeth at the business end. It is only when we prop it up and zoom in that we begin to make sense of it.

Aha! It's a name stamp

Aha! It’s a name stamp

The end is composed of backwards letters. It is designed to mark and name items – usually tools – by stamping the name into the handle. We can digitally reverse the letters to make it more readable.

It belonged to T E J Gye. That's Tom Gye to us

It belonged to T E J Gye. That’s Tom Gye to us

This says T E J GYE. It was Tom Gye’s stamp that he named his tools with.

This plane was marked with other names but clearly Tom took ownership of it.

This plane was marked with other names but clearly Tom took ownership of it.

And here we see a very old plane – just a bit of it – which had passed through other owners before Tom marked it with his stamp.

We imagine Tom had this stamp right through his long working life. It is still capable of making its mark.

It still does the job well - just one clout with a hammer!

It still does the job well – just one clout with a hammer!

This is just a log for the fire – used to show what the old stamp can still produce.

Gye’s Yard in 1906

December 31, 2013

These days an interesting development of houses is known as Gye’s Old Yard. But of course, Gye’s Yard was where the family firm of builders, carpenters, blacksmiths, wheelwrights etc. actually worked

Gye's Yard, Market Lavington in 1906

Gye’s Yard, Market Lavington in 1906

This charming photo shows some of the workforce, and maybe the odd visitor too, in 1906. The various carts are of course a delight. Maybe an expert out there can tell us more about them.

But now the people. From left to right we have:


John Merritt Senior – the father of the John Merritt who was bandleader in Market Lavington for 60 or more years. The Merritts ran a blacksmithing business just across Broadwell from Gye’s Yard.


John James was a carpenter and may well have been employed by the Gyes.


Walter James was John’s son – he had married Elizabeth Gye in 1904 so was a family member by marriage. He was a baker and had the premises now occupied by the Post Office in Market Lavington.


Charlie Burnett was the Gyes wheelwright. He originally came from Easterton.


Tom Gye. Gyes often confuse by not being known by first names. We think this is the present Tom’s grandfather – boss of the firm.


This one is just recorded as J Gye. We think it is Joseph who later became head of the family firm.


Fred Burgess who worked as a labourer and at some time became a butcher.


Seymour Buckland was a painter who lived on High Street in Market Lavington.

It seems appropriate that members of the Gye family should mark the end of another year. Our museum owes so much to them for their support and generosity.