Posts Tagged ‘chemist’

Millennium Photos

July 28, 2016

A millennium project in Market Lavington was to photograph everybody (or as many people asd possible) outside their house or premises. We have the photos in the museum and they provide a snapshot of who was where in the year 2000.

So here we have Mr Parker, the pharmacist, outside his shop on the corner of Market Place and High Street.

Mr Parker outside his chemist's shop in the year 2000

Mr Parker outside his chemist’s shop in the year 2000


Up until about 1960 this site had a different building which had been, amongst other things, a café, a Post Office and a bank. The old Tudor buildings were pulled down to make way for the expanding Wiltshire Agricultural Engineering business. This spot often had a brand new Massey Fergusson tractor parked on it as a kind of advert but the general area was a car park for the company. The new shops and Rochelle Court were built in the late 1980s.

These premises are still a chemist’s shop.

But back in 2000 the volunteer photographer also took a shot of Mr Parker in the shop.


and behind the prescriptions counter

Now that photo didn’t make the cut as it were – we have a negative but not a print. But we think it is good to see what the inside of a shop was like. It’s definitely one to keep for future generations.


A bottle dug up in Easterton

January 18, 2016

Last year we were given a lovely collection of bottles which were dug up in Easterton. They were found by a lass called Judith and like many of us, she decided they were too lovely to throw away. But now they are in the museum where, apart from the local provenance of being used, discarded and then found in Easterton, they add a little character. This year we will have a display about Pubs so some bottles might find a home there, but for this blog we are looking at what would have been a common medicine bottle.


Medicine bottle found in Easterton


This is a clear glass bottle with a slightly greenish hue. It would have had a cork stopper of some kind. Turning it round makes it easier to read the embossed writing.


Embossed with Boots Cash Chemists

It simply says Boots Cash Chemists.

Boots were and still are a national chain with headquarters, until recently in Nottingham. But all towns of any size had a shop where it was possible to buy proprietary medicines over the counter. As far as we are aware the Lavingtons never had a Boots store but Devizes did. For many a year it was quite a small shop on the corner now occupied by the Santander building. Many folks still refer to that corner as Boots Corner. Maybe our bottle was sold there.

We can’t date the bottle. Maybe someone with more expertise could.

Advertise in the Wiltshire Times.

February 13, 2015

Or Mr and Mrs Thomas Whitchurch

This flyer was an attempt to solicit adverts to go into one of the local newspapers – The Wiltshire Times.

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

It isn’t dated, but the list of agents with the average number of copies sold gives us a clue and provides the Market Lavington interest.

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

Just one line of this applies to Market Lavington. Easterton does not appear to have a Wiltshire Times agent.

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

We can see that Mr Whitchurch, the chemist sold an average of 42 copies of the paper each week.

So where and when can we find Mr Whitchurch? We have his shop (just) on an Edwardian postcard.

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

This is High Street in Market Lavington. The present day chemist stands on the corner with Market Place, behind the lady in the dark skirt and straw boater – but this has nothing to do with Mr Whitchurch’s premises which are at the extreme right, next to Chapel Lane which is the path that leads down to the fish and chip/take away shop. We often call that property Kyte’s Cottage. If we enlarge the sign above the window we can just about read it.

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch's shop

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch’s shop

Mr Whitchurch had his drug stores there – and also sold the Wiltshire Times. Or maybe his wife did, for on the 1891 census Thomas is listed as a druggist and his wife, Mary, as a news agent. Earlier censuses have Mary as a druggist’s wife. They had taken on the druggist business in about 1870 and were still running the two businesses in 1901.

Thomas died in 1906. In 1911 Mary was still at the shop premises but the business of stationer and confectioner was being carried out by her daughter, Mrs Sheppard.

We date our Wiltshire Times flyer as between 1891 and 1906.