Posts Tagged ‘Celebration’

Farewell 2012

December 31, 2012

2012 has been a mixed year at Market Lavington Museum. Let’s get the minus features out of the way first. Now we wouldn’t gripe about the Olympics and Paralympics, brilliantly organised and executed as they were, but they did impinge on visitor numbers, both real through the museum door visitors and virtual visitors to this blog.

Against that must be set the absolutely fantastic Jubilee weekend. This was again, wonderfully organised and executed, but this time on a local level. That weekend was a ‘best ever’ for visitor numbers at the museum.

Visitor cash donations were down on the previous year – probably as a result of the current economic climate.

But we had two very successful fund raisers – both now traditional. We braved uncertain weather for our friends’ party – and just got away with it. The Museum Miscellany played to another crowded hall. We remain solvent.

Donations of items remain first rate. One could almost say that photographs flood in with that Jubilee weekend being an occasion when folks sorted out their own photos of royal events past.  It has been another very good year.

Market lavington Coronation Band in 1937

Market Lavington Coronation Band in 1937

Here’s a beauty we haven’t looked at before. The Coronation Band on Parade in 1937. The venue is Market Lavington market Place.

Close up from above photo

Close up from above photo

What a glorious photo.

We must give a special thank you to the good people of Easterton. They have been particularly forthcoming when it comes to donations.

An easterton celebration - mor5e information needed - please

An Easterton celebration – more information needed – please

They do seem to find ways to enjoy themselves in Easterton.

So, it is goodbye to 2012. And the good easily outweighed the less good.

Miss Windo Retires

September 27, 2012

Gladys Windo was the long term head of the Easterton Primary School. This school looked after the local children from the ages of 5 until 11. After that age the students transferred elsewhere. For most of Miss Windo’s reign this would have been to the Market Lavington School – now known as The Old School. But in 1962 the new Lavington Secondary Modern school opened (now Lavington School) and many youngsters went there.

Writing after her retirement, in a Darby and Joan publication, Miss Windo said she had taught at Easterton for 33 years.

In her own words. Gladys Windo, former head of Easterton School describes a little of her life.

Miss Windo retired in 1966. For a retirement gift she was presented with a TV set. We expect this was one capable of receiving the new channel – BBC2, broadcast on the higher quality 625 lines system. We see the presentation ceremony here. Miss Windo is on the right.

Miss Windo, head of Easterton School, was presented with a TV when she retired in 1966

And here we see the retiring headmistress surrounded by her flock of schoolchildren at the same ceremony.

Miss Windo surrounded by her Easterton school children at her retirement ceremony

We cannot name anybody apart from Gladys Windo. Can you help? Here’s a closer picture of some of the youngsters.

Closer view of some of the Easterton school children.

Easterton Glory

September 26, 2012

Not so long ago some photos came our way. They were photos, presumed to be in Easterton or of Easterton people because they had originated from Tom Jefferies.

Sadly, for us, they are not well documented. That, we hope, is where you people out there come in. If you are one of our many world wide readers, then maybe you won’t get as much information about a picture as we sometimes give. Bear with us – and let’s hope the locals can provide more.

We’ll show here a picture we can take some guesses at.

Easterton children in fancy dress – possibly in 1951

We know none of the people in this picture but we think it could be 1951. The children are in fancy dress and that could be timeless, but some of the adults look to be wearing early 1950s clothing. But the real pointer is the label on the back of one of the girls.

“Spirit of the Festival’ suggests 1951

It reads, ‘Spirit of the Festival’ – surely a reference to the Festival of Britain which was in 1951.

To help with people recognition, here’s an enlarged collection of children in the photo.

Some of the children of Easterton

And here are a couple of the women.

Helpful women of Easterton

The Millennium in Market Lavington

September 6, 2012

The new millennium – the year 2000 – was only twelve years ago. It sounds so recent, but it means that all children below secondary school age were born in the 21st century. The events of the Millennium are receding into history.

People celebrated the start of the New Year in their own way. It was noisy and boisterous of course. And do you remember those fears that the world would almost grind to a halt with the risk of aeroplanes falling out of the sky because of the millennium computer bug. Well of course, that didn’t happen.

Market Lavington’s official celebrations of the new millennium were held in June as part of a range of summer events. Actually, the weather was not all that summery.

A procession was held, starting in the Market Place and walking to Grove Farm. Here we see the procession being organised in the Market Place. You can click here to see more of the procession and other events of that day.

June 24th 2000 – Students from St Barnabas School form up for the procession

And here the procession led by Dave Thom, playing the part of the town crier, is making its way along Church Street.

Dave Thom leads the Millennium Procession along Church Street, Market Lavington

Behind the drummers (oh yes, we did it long before the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies) is a red brick building. It is hard to imagine that this was once an industrial site. It was part of the Hopkins empire and was used for the production of acetylene gas. It was known as the ‘Lighthouse’. Click here to see it in that guise.

Just to the left of the St Barnabas School banner there’s a chimney on the former Volunteer Arms pub.

On the right side, the creamy coloured building is the hairdressers. This had formerly been, amongst many other things, part of Walton’s Department Store.

Lavington School at 50

August 24, 2012

This year saw the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Lavington School. Back in 1962, it was a secondary modern school. Students who passed the exam at age 11 could receive their education at the Grammar School in Devizes. But for most of its existence, Lavington School has been a comprehensive school taking all children from the Lavingtons and surrounding areas between the ages of 11 and 16.

Here was the school in its early days.

An early photo of Lavington School by Peter Francis, Market Lavington’s professional photographer.

And here we see a similar view in August 2012.

Lavington School in 2012 at age 50

The grounds have matured and that hides much of the new building. There have been many new buildings – not least, the sports hall on the left of the shot.

2012 was a year to celebrate for the school. Before the tea party for former school members – which we understand was a real delight – the school was decorated. Here we see the school entrance with ‘cakes’, flags and messages for the 50th birthday.

Happy Birthday Lavington School. The entrance in 2012.

We can but wonder what changes the next fifty years will bring.

At the 1953 Coronation

July 11, 2012

Yesterday we featured a photo which included Mr Lawrence Kitchener Cooper as a man in his early 20s. Today we move on 16 years, by which time Lawrie was a married man, approaching the age of 40. He was now behind the camera taking the photos.

The scene is the Davis Field. That name is now all but forgotten. It’s the football field at the top of Northbrook, using land donated by the Davis family who lived on Northbrook.  The year is 1953 and Lawrie Cooper is using his camera to record the fun and games and other happenings at the time of the Coronation of our Queen, Elizabeth II. What we see here is a table, covered in Coronation mugs for the youngsters.

Table of Coronation Mugs in 1953. These are under the watchful eye of Mrs Elisha, the long time infant teacher in Market Lavington

Do you know, we don’t have one of those Coronation mugs in Market Lavington Museum. Has anybody got one they’d  be willing to let us have?

And who is the lady deputed to look after the distribution of mugs. Yes, it’s Mrs Elisha. What a career that lady had. If you talk to people over 90 who have lived in the village all their lives, then Mrs Elisha was their infant teacher. If you talk to sub 40 year olds, then some of them remember Mrs Elisha as a supply teacher. What better person to make sure every child – she’d have known virtually all of them – got their mug.

Another photo of a past Royal Event

July 10, 2012

The main celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee may be over, but here in Market Lavington we are still being given photos of past events. This one, rather battered, was clearly made into a postcard at the time of the 1937 Coronation of King George VI.

Motorised Market Lavington fun at the 1937 Coronation

The card is captioned, ‘1937 ’ere’s health Coronation, Market Lavington’

As yet, we have not located just where the picture was taken.

There are half a dozen people in or on the car. The right hand standing man, in the paler jacket is Lawrie Cooper – or to give him his full name, Lawrence Kitchener Cooper.

Lawrie Cooper of Market Lavington is offering a health unto His Majesty

The others are unknown to us as yet – but even though the bad photo damage is across faces, we feel sure somebody out there will help us.

Do get in touch if you can give us any names or identify the photo location.

Archibald Baker and a 1920s Carnival

June 25, 2012

Back in the 1920s and the 1930s, the carnival was something of major importance in Market Lavington and Easterton – and probably elsewhere as well.

This was an era when the wireless was in its infancy. The early station, London 2LO started transmissions in 1922 and that was for just an hour a day. There was no TV at all until 1936 and that was very limited. In the 1920s, even going to the cinema meant watching a silent movie. No wonder home made fun was important to people for, basically that was all there was.

But the carnival had a higher purpose as well in our villages. It was used to raise money to enable those in need to have the services of a doctor or even a hospital. There was no National Health Service until 1948.

In fact, in Market Lavington and Easterton, the carnival was made a part of Hospital Week with all sorts of events to raise money.

Today we are looking at a part of a carnival procession as it passes along Church Street in Market Lavington.

Part of a 1920s Carnival Procession on Church Street, Market Lavington

Of particular interest is the chap in the middle who looks to be dressed up as a Michelin Man. That man is Archibald Baker and we’ll come back to him. But lets have a look at the general scene first.

The shop our Michelin Man is passing is no longer a shop. For many a year it was the photographic shop of Peter Francis. We think the sign above the window says Ironmongery : China : Glass. There appear to be wooden battens fitted to the wall this side of the door. We don’t know what they were for but perhaps items for sale were hung on them.

The long sign above the shops is partly hidden by the Union Flag. It reads, ‘PLEASE HELP OUR HOSPITAL’

Behind the Union Jack we are looking at the corner of White Street where part of a sign is telling us that Mr Walton’s stock is up to date.

But back to Archibald Baker. We knew it was him in the photo because we have another image of him in that odd costume. This was given us by members of the Baker family.

Archibald Baker is the Michelin Man. an anyone identify his friend?

There’s Archibald again with, maybe, a pierrot on HIS right. That person is also in the picture on Church Street so this is surely the same day. Unfortunately, when we were given the photo no members of the family knew just what Archibald was dressed as.

But to be fair to Archibald, he could look normal, so here he is again. This is a World War One photo. Archibald was a Sergeant.

First World War photo of Sergeant Archibald Baker

Archibald was born in 1888 in Market Lavington where his father, John, was a tinsmith occupying the premises opposite the Co-op and next to Woodland Yard. Archibald was the sixth of ten children born to John and his wife, Louisa.

By 1910, both of his parents had died. Some of his sisters emigrated to Canada. Archibald had married Emily Burton in 1909. In 1911 Archibald, Emily and baby daughter Louisa Emily lived on Church Street in Market Lavington. Archibald was a bricklayer.

Muriel W Baker was born in 1917. (Another photo we have talks of a Mabel as a daughter of Archibald)

Archibald obviously lived locally for he took part in the carnival. But our museum records suggest he was not actually in Market Lavington or Easterton.

It would seem that Archibald died in the Christchurch area in 1955. At that time, Christchurch was in Hampshire.

More from the 1953 coronation

June 17, 2012

This year we have celebrated the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II. She has served 60 years as the Queen, not only of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but also of Commonwealth countries around the world.

At Market Lavington Museum we have displays of photos and memorabilia from past royal events. Market Lavington and Easterton have both been very ready to have a party to celebrate these past events.

And this year, the people in the villages are re-discovering their own photos and memories and offering copies to the museum. We are so lucky to live in this digital age – photos can be shared with consummate ease. People, who might be very reluctant to allow their precious family images to be borrowed, scan or photograph them and email the results to our curator. Or, maybe, they allow him to come to their home to copy images. Either way, the originals need never be out of the possession of owners, yet the information they contain can be shared with museum visitors or blog readers around the world.

So, today we bring you a recently acquired photo of the 1953 Coronation celebrations in Market Lavington.

1953 Coronation fancy dress in Market Lavington

The person absolutely positively identified is Mrs Francis who is wearing the barrel.  When Frances Candy married Ron Francis in 1932, she became Frances Francis! The Francis family farmed Grove Farm for many years and the name is commemorated in Francis Road, built on their former farmland. The notice carried by Fran, as she was known, proposes the toast – ‘Here’s a health unto Her Majesty’. It is in the form of a pub sign.

We are pretty well certain that the lady on the left is Mrs Hurkett and the lady dressed as Britannia is Peggy Gye.

We rather think the char ladies are actually men.

Do let us know if these guesses are wrong.

The Golden Jubilee Show

June 14, 2012

Ten years ago, in 2002, we celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee – the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne in 1952.

Market Lavington certainly joined in the celebrations and had a real celebrity character to declare the Jubilee Fete open. It was none other than Sir Killalot.

Back then, a chap called Tom Gutteridge lived at The Old House in Market Lavington. Tom was a TV producer and creator of shows through his company at the time, Mentorn. The big show was one called Robot Wars and Sir Killalot was the star of this show. So it was that the robot, Sir Killalot, came to open the Jubilee Show of 2002. Here he is with a crowd of admirers, about to chomp through the chain to declare the procedings open.

Sir Killalot opens the 2002 Golden Jubilee fete in Market Lavington

Sir Killalot had a friend there (or should that be an enemy) and the two robots engaged in a bit of combat in the style of the TV programme.

If you recognise anybody in the photo, then do let us know who they are.