Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Nursery Rhyme Characters

August 19, 2013

This photo dates from about 1925/6 and shows local children dressed as nursery rhyme characters.

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

This photo comes from the memories of Sybil Perry who was a Market Lavington resident from 1924 to 1994 and who continued to be a village enthusiast until her death in 2010.

Standing from left to right we have: Bessie Gye, Connie Case, Iris Burgess, John King, Philip Phillips, Edith Potter, Ted Drury, Victor Gibbons and Joan Bullock.

In front from the left we have: Mary Notton, Hubert Francis, Henry (Harry) Cooper – he’s the one lying down), Tom Gye and Sybil Baker – who became Sybil Perry.

As this is a long, thin photo we’ll split it into two so that we can see the youngsters that bit better.



Any of these people still alive will be well into their 90s by now. Maybe there are descendants who could tell us more about them.

A Trundling Hoop

July 31, 2013

The other day our curator was walking to the museum when he met Dave who lives on Northbrook.

‘I’ve got something that might interest you’, said Dave and he nipped into his shed and came out with a metal hoop – this one

This trundling hoop, probably 80 years old, can now be found at Market Lavington Museum

This trundling hoop, probably 80 years old, can now be found at Market Lavington Museum

Dave went on, ‘It’s one of those kid’s hoops they used to roll down streets using a stick. I think that was a bit of hazel normally’.

He went on to say that the hoop had belonged to his dad.

Well, the hoop now belongs to Market Lavington Museum and we are trying to find out more about it.

It seems that both girls and boys used hoops in times past, but girls used lighter, wooden hoops which they propelled along with wooden sticks. A metal hoop was deemed to be a boy’s toy and that was actually propelled with what got called a handle which, like the hoop was made of iron. Both kinds of hoop were very popular in Victorian times and their popularity continued well into the twentieth century. Perhaps they went out of fashion when roads ceased to be safe places for games. In this case, not only the kids playing might be at risk from traffic, but traffic could be at risk from a runaway hoop. Our hoop is some 57cm in diameter and weighs in at close on a kilogram. Yes, that could do some damage.

Interestingly, smaller metal trundling hoops are still for sale, particularly in China. From these we can get an idea of what the handle looked like. We might even find someone to make us one so the hoop can be used.

Thanks again to Dave for producing this memory of childhood past.

A very pretty hairbrush

May 28, 2013

Actually, this item was originally a combined brush and comb, but the comb is broken. Even so, we have a very pretty child’s hairbrush.

It probably wouldn’t be deemed correct these days for it is made, partly, of tortoiseshell.

A 19th century child's hairbrush at Market Lavington Museum

A 19th century child’s hairbrush at Market Lavington Museum

The decoration, though, is mother of pearl, sometimes known as nacre and this is believed to have originated in New Zealand. Mother of pearl is known for its iridescence and we can see many colours reflecting from this material.

This brush dates from the end of the nineteenth century. We’d like to think it made a well-to-do girl happy.

The brush is on display in the entrance room at Market Lavington Museum.

Ena Gye

March 2, 2013

A short while ago we showed a picture of a carnival procession on Easterton Street and commented that a girl, dressed as a fairy, was Ena Gye. This photo of Ena, but taken in the Burgess studio, must date from the same occasion for Ena has the same costume.

Ena Gye of Market Lavington in about 1920

Ena Gye of Market Lavington in about 1920

Actually, we could note that Ena changed the rather flimsy sandals for more solid walking shoes when she was in the carnival.

Ena was born in 1911 She was actually Georgina Maude Gye and her parents were Joseph Edward Gye, a builder and wheelwright and his wife Lucretia Ethel (née) Redstone. Her parents were known as Jack and Ethel. Ethel was a former school teacher.

Over the years Ethel built up a good stock of costumes and these were always in demand at carnival time. Presumably the Gye children had first pick.

Georgina married Philip Colman in 1941. They had one son. He was born in Hertfordshire.

Georgina died in 1986. By then she was in Cambridgeshire.

The Runaway Husband

January 31, 2013

The year is 1921. Young Ena Gye has written a play to be performed by her friends and family. It is called The Runaway Husband. Perhaps Ena, who was seven at the time, based this on some real life experience. Doting parents took a photo – or arranged for one to be taken.

'The Runaway Husband' - a 1921 play performed by The Gye children and their friends in Market Lavington

‘The Runaway Husband’ – a 1921 play performed by The Gye children and their friends in Market Lavington

What a charming tableau. Apart from the children – we’ll return to them – take a moment to admire the footlights.

The wonderful glass candle holder footlights. I wonder what became of them.

The wonderful glass candle holder footlights. I wonder what became of them.

Small jars which look to be different colours, hang from a string. They probably contained night lights and would surely have looked very pretty.

But back to the children.

lose up on the children

Close up on the children

These are well captioned on the reverse of the card.


A well captioned card. We know who all of the children are!

So, standing from left to right we have Eric James, Ruth Mundy, Winnie Mundy, Tom Gye (the baby) and Ena Gye taking the part of the runaway husband. Nancy Merritt sits in the middle and the other sitters, from left to right are Keniel Poolman, Bessie Gye and Ellie Gye.

We have looked at the Gyes and their cousin Eric James in the past, so let’s consider the friends this time.

Winnie Mundy was an incomer. She had been born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire in 1907. Her parents, Arthur and Margaret (née Burgin) had married there the year before. But in 1911 the family were in Market Lavington where Arthur was a bricklayer.

We think Ruth Mundy is little sister. Certainly Arthur and Margaret had another daughter in 1912 in the Devizes area so probably in Market Lavington. One letter of the record is difficult to read but the lass appears to have been named Sarah R I Mundy. So maybe she was known by Ruth – the R word. Unfortunately it is the R which is the blurred letter.

We are less sure about Nancy Merritt. A girl with that name was born in Farnham in Hampshire in 1912 which could be the right age for the girl in the photo. But here was a large Merritt family who lived close to the Gyes. It seems likely that Nancy was one of them.

Keniel Poolman was the child of Andrew and Rose (née Polden). He was registered as Jacob J K Poolman after his 1918 birth. We know that the Poolmans lived near the Gyes on White Street in Market Lavington.

The Girl Guides of 1938

July 31, 2012

Today we make a rare journey into neighbouring West Lavington. Market Lavington Museum is dedicated to the parish of Market Lavington, past and present, but Market and West Lavington are very close to each other and at times, facilities have been shared. The 1st West Lavington Guides of 1938 are a case in point with 9 girls from Market Lavington and one from Easterton amongst their membership, as shown in this photo.

The 1st West Lavington Girl Guides of 1938 – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

In the back row we have (left to right):

Dot Cartwright, Pat Grant, Joyce Cooper, Margaret Palmer, Joan Hoskins, Marion Wheeler, Joan Oram, and Jean Davis.

In the middle row we have (from left to right:

Mollie Haines, Dulcie Clark, Sylvia Cooper, Maisie Chapman, Phyllis Hatswell, Jean Baker, Marjorie Hayward, Joyce Daniels and Margery Beaven.

The front row (from left to right) has:

Daphne Watkins, Betty Lee, Rita Clark, Peggy Welch (Lieutenant) Bessie Gye (Captain), Winnie Mundy (Lieutenant), Joyce Fielding, Brenda Wearr and Joan Hibberd.

In those pre TV days, scouting and guiding were important activities for youngsters – and also for their parents. If you have any memories of life in these organisations in Lavington, then do get in touch.

The Concert Party – about 1918

June 13, 2012

It is often delightful to see the way people found amusement in times past. Here we look back to about 1918. Even BBC Radio was in the future, let alone TV or all the modern electronic entertainment devices. Rich households may have had a gramophone or phonograph but otherwise entertainment was what you made for yourself – alone or with friends.

Putting on shows has always appealed to children and today we bring you the cast of such a show – just captioned ‘The Concert Party’.

The Concert Party – a group of children in Market Lavington in about 1918

This is another of those well-captioned photos – we know the names of the people.

In the back row we have Doris Baker, Ivy Trotter, Edna Mills, Jack Potter and Rose Ingram.

In the middle row, there is Ted Oram, Stella Robins, Mabel Coleman and Mrs Witchurch.

The front five are Lily Buckland, Rose Matthews, Teddy Matthews, Eric James and Ena Gye.

The youngest of the children would now be aged about 100 but there will be plenty of people who could tell us more about them. Do get in touch if you can.

Vic, Tom and Ted

March 16, 2012

White Street, Market Lavington with three village 'Likely lads' in 1925

This picture purports to show Vick Tucker, Tom Gye and Ted Drury. The date is probably 1926. Tom Gye is in the car he was given for Christmas in 1925 – hence it’s personalised registration.

The photo was taken on White Street in Market Lavington, just at the end of The Clays. The large tree at Beech House is hanging over the road in the background.

However, we have some doubts about the other people in the photo. Ted Drury (actually Thomas Edward Drury) was born in 1921. Both of the other lads look older than aged 4. Tom Gye was born in 1920 – the other lads look much older than him.

Vick Tucker has not been traced yet, but it would seem that our original caption may be wrong. We’d like to hear from anybody who can positively identify the lad with the bike and the lad with the bat. You can contact the curator by clicking here.


A Child’s Mug

October 28, 2011

This item is new to Market Lavington Museum and we know nothing about it. We hope any readers might be able to help identify age and possible maker of this little mug.

A child’s mug at Market Lavington Museum

The decoration appears to be a transfer which either was not applied all that well, or, which has suffered from regular washing.

The mug features the nursery rhyme, ‘Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man’

The only other decoration is on the other side of the mug.

The only other decoration – a violet flower

There is not a maker’s name on the base. There are some dots, which may have some significance.

Dots on the base. Are they significant?

If you can tell us anything about this rather sweet little mug then do get in touch.

A metal puzzle

April 19, 2011


Was this an Edwardian way of keeping youngsters quiet? The item shown below is said to be a metal puzzle so we assume the two parts come apart. But nobody who has tried (in recent years) has succeded. It’s probably easy once you know how…..

Not an instrument of torture, but a child's metal puzzle at market Lavington Museum

This puzzle belonged to a lad called James Welch. James was born in about 1889 in Market Lavington so one imagines this toy must date from the very early years of the twentieth century. James was born into quite a well-to-do family. They owned numerous properties in the village  so no doubt he had something of a privileged childhood – but he still was expected to play with this toy.

James was injured in the first world war and returned with a walking difficulty. He married and amongst his children was one known as Peggy who became the founder of the museum as Peggy Gye.

James Welch, who owned the puzzle, with his daughter, Peggy Gye