Posts Tagged ‘certificate’

Lavington Area Schools’ Sports

July 3, 2015

David Bratchell recently visited the museum. He lived in Market Lavington as a youngster and attended the local school until he reached leaving age in 1957. The family moved away in 1959. His ‘Granny Smith’ remained living in the Market Place, Market Lavington. She had one of the new bungalows.

David did not come empty handed. He brought his certificate from the 1957 Lavington Area Schools’ Sports.

Certificat awarded at the 1957 Lavington Area Schools' Sports

Certificate awarded at the 1957 Lavington Area Schools’ Sports

David’s memory is that these sports took place in West Lavington. David, of course, represented Market Lavington and managed second place in the 220 yards race for under 15 boys.

Times change. David left school at 15 – not now permissible and these days the race would be 200 metres. But of course, there couldn’t be a Lavington area schools’ sports for people in the under 15 category now, for one school, Lavington School, is the only state school for secondary aged pupils. Back in 1957 many village schools were the establishment for those aged 5 to 15.

So well done David, not only for running well in 1957 but also for reminding us of times past with this certificate.

A Girl Guide Badge

January 7, 2015

Betty Gye was a Girl Guide soon after World War II and was earning her badges then. We have seen one of her badges before (click here). Today we’ll look at another.

First of all, here is Betty’s hostess badge.

Girl Guide hostess badge earned in 1948

Girl Guide hostess badge earned in 1948

This was worn on the Guide uniform but a small certificate was also issued and which Betty kept.

Betty Gye was also given the certificate complete with examiner comments

Betty Gye was also given the certificate complete with examiner comments

It seems that Betty’s two examiners thought she was a good hostess on October 19th 1948.

Betty is still with us although she now lives in Devizes. Visitors to the museum this year will be able to see her lovely hand written memories of growing up in the 30s and during World War II. Betty has recently put this together and we have a copy in the museum.

Alan Baker – fireman

May 31, 2014

Earlier this month we featured a badge that had belonged to a fireman. That’s a fire fighter, rather than a man who managed the fire on a steam locomotive.

That fireman was Alan Baker, known as Shuner. We have now been given a bit more of Shuner’s memorabilia..

Let’s start with his service certificate.

Alan Baker's fire service certificate

Alan Baker’s fire service certificate

This document tells us that Alan joined up as a part time fireman on 16th February 1934 and he left at his own request on 13th September 1945. We know he was attached to the Market Lavington brigade although the certificate does not mention this. It does indicate that local authority brigades were, in effect, nationalised into a single service in 1941.

Shuner, as an established fireman, was not called up for army service during World War II. But a grateful country recognised his service (and others like him) with an award of the Defence Medal.

The medal was posted to Alan in a small brown package.

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

The package certainly told anyone who saw it what it contained.

The package contained a Defence medal

The package contained a Defence medal

Inside there is a duplicated ‘letter’ from the Home Secretary. That would have been James Chuter Ede at the time.

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

The medal itself has no recipient name on it.


Medal and ribbon


The reverse side of the medal

The reverse side of the medal

We’d like to thank Shuner’s son for donating these items to the museum.

A Railway Lengthman

February 3, 2014

The lengthman used to be vital for the safe running of a railway. His job was basically to look after a length of track, deal with minor problems and, in the event of a major problem he’d get the trains stopped. It was a job requiring good eyes and plain basic common sense and a degree of fitness because the lengthman was expected to walk his length regularly.

In the old days, rail known as bull head rail was used. This rail sat in heavy metal chairs and was kept in place by means of a wooden block (sometimes metal) known as a key. Keys could work loose and a lengthman would always be on the alert for loose keys which he could knock back into place with his heavy hammer. He’d deal with blocked drains or any signs of subsidence. He’d make sure fences were animal proof.

Yes, it was a tough and vital job.

Each year teams were judged on the quality of their work and in 1951 the Lavington Station gang won the prize. Each member of the team was awarded a certificate and we have one of them at Market Lavington Museum.


Certificate awarded to Leslie Cooper for high quality work looking after track on British Railways, Western Region in 1951

Leslie Cooper was a Market Lavington man. In the 1950s he lived with his family on Spin Hill. He had been born in about 1908, actually in Little Cheverell. In 1931 he married Gertrude Topp who came from Easterton.

The couple had three daughters who all still live in the local area.

Much of the job the lengthman used to carry out is now performed by rather ghostly little trains which travel the lines at night recording imperfections

An Overseas Club Certificate

November 28, 2013

This blog post could be called another request for First World War stories. Here we look at work that children could do on the home front.

The child in question here is Bert Shore

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Albert (Bert) Shore was the oldest child of John Shore, a Market Gardener and his wife Annie. He was born in 1906 in West Lavington and he probably lived in that parish during the time of World War One. In 1911 the family were certainly in West Lavington with a home on Rickbarton.

But Bert later married a Market Lavington girl, and one close to the hearts of people involved at the museum, for his bride, when he married in 1940, was none other than Flo Burbidge, born and raised at our museum building. The couple lived in Market Lavington and many of their artefacts ended up in our museum, including this certificate.

The certificate certifies that Bert Shore has helped to send some comfort and happiness to the brave sailors and soldiers of the British Empire, fighting to uphold liberty, justice, honour and freedom in The Great War.

We do not know just what Bert did but as someone aged 9, we feel sure he was proud of his certificate. This one was issued for Empire Day in 1915.

May Potter and the Red Cross

December 29, 2012

May Potter, later, Mrs Elisha, was an all-round good egg. Apart from her paid job she was active in all sorts of voluntary ways in the village, even when not much more than a child.

Helena May Potter was born in Market Lavington in 1903. She’d have just celebrated her 15th birthday. The following year, 1919, May had done enough to earn a certificate from the Red Cross.

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Sadly, we have not been able to find out just what May did, or where. But one can imagine that injured and sick men appreciated her cheery smile and dedication. These happy attributes were something that generations of school children in Market Lavington were soon to benefit from.

Sarah Gye of the IOGT

July 28, 2012

Sarah Sophia Gye Was born in the spring of 1864. We can find her on the 1871 census when she lived on Stobbarts Road in Market Lavington with her parents, James and Mary Ann and her three sisters. James was a carpenter.

On 25th February 1874, Sarah became a member of the Lavington Juvenile Temple of the Independent Order of Good Templars. You can read more about this organisation here.

Sarah Gye of Market Lavington is initiated into the Independent Order of Good Templars in 1874

By 1881, Sarah had left Wiltshire. The 17 year old lass was a kitchen maid at a house in Westminster in London.

Our next record is ten years on. Sarah was, by then, a servant in Hove, Sussex.

Sarah married in 1899. Her husband was James Weston. At the time of the 1901 census, James was a Hackney Carriage driver and the couple, with baby son Francis, lived in Kennington in Surrey.

By 1911 another son and a daughter had been added to the family. A fourth child is recorded on the census as having died.

After that date, with the family not in Market Lavington, we have no records. Maybe someone can help.

An Over-Seas League Certificate

May 6, 2010

Amongst the Second World War memorabilia we have at Market Lavington Museum is this certificate, awarded to Gwenda Cooper in 1940.

Over-Seas League Certificate awarded to Gwenda Cooper of Market Lavington in 1940

Five-year-old Gwenda must have been very proud to receive such a certificate and so, too, would her parents, Leslie and Gertrude have been.

The Over-Seas League was founded in 1910 by Sir Evelyn Wrench. It was given the extra accolade of ‘Royal’ to celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 1960. It was set up to promote social and cultural understanding across the British Empire, which is now the Commonwealth.

At Market Lavington Museum we know that Gwenda and her parents were much involved in the wider war effort. Gwenda was awarded certificates for the collection of salvage materials later in the war. We do not know what she did to earn this Over-Seas League certificate.

Gwenda married in the 1950s. Gwenda, if you read this, it would be lovely to hear from you. You could tell us more about your childhood memories of the war in Market Lavington.

Who was Edward J W Neate?

April 3, 2010

Whilst seeking information to help an e-mailer from California, our curator came upon this certificate in Market Lavington Museum and now it presents an enigma.

Edward J W Neate certificate in Market Lavington Museum

So just who was Edward J W Neate who managed to win this certificate for his writing of the 23rd psalm?

A Neate family were well known in Market Lavington. James Neate and his wife Martha came to the village in about 1860 where they ran a brewing business which was continued by their son, Norman, Market Lavington born and bred, until the 1920s. But they do not appear to have had a child called Edward.

No Edward Neate turns up on censuses in the Lavington area at any appropriate time.

If you can help us identify Edward Neate then please contact the curator who would love to hear from you.