Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

A Market Lavington man celebrates Christmas in Canada.

December 25, 2010

Joseph Potter was born around 1870 in Market Lavington. His father was Edwin Potter who was the proprietor of the horse omnibus service between Market Lavington and Devizes. In 1891 young Joseph was living in Market Lavington and working with his father.

By 1901 Joseph was married, to Agnes and they had a baby called Annie. They lived in Devizes and Joseph’s job was a coachman.

Between 1907 and 1910, the family emigrated and lived in British Columbia, Canada. Daughter Sybil Agnes was born in England in 1907 but third daughter, Gladys Mary was born in British Columbia in 1910.

Like us, the Canadians had a 1911 census. This tells us that Joseph, Agnes and the two older children actually arrived in Canada in 1909 and that Joseph was a farmer who also earned money doing odd jobs. As it would look as though he worked about 60 hours a week on the odd jobs, maybe the farm was either very small or not successful. The address on the census looks to be Robin’s Range.

The family stayed in Canada and sent information about life back to relatives in Market Lavington amongst whom was Joseph’s niece born May Potter who became Mrs Elisha. One photo sent to Mrs Elisha shows the family enjoying a Christmas Day sleigh ride.

The Potter family of Robin's Range, British Columbia on a Christmas day sleigh ride - a photo at Market Lavington Museum. Joseph Potter was born and raised in Market Lavington

Joseph probably took the photo, which shows women – presumably Agnes, two girls who look to be between 15 and 30 and also the dog.

The back of the photo has a caption.

Caption on the back of the photo.

The year is not given, but at a guess this was the late 1920s.

It would be tempting to say we are looking at a totally different kind of Christmas here, but with the weather in 2010, we could almpst imagine seeing this kind of scene in Market Lavington.

Any further information about Joseph Potter and family would be greatly appreciated.

And from us, can we say a Happy Christmas to all our browsers.

Christmas Greetings from Louie

December 23, 2010

One Christmas card we have at Market Lavington Museum carries the simple message, ‘with love from Louie’.

Message on an 1890s Christmas card at Market Lavington Museum

Sadly, we do not know who Louie was or who she sent the card to. But it is a very sweet card, which probably dates from the 1890s. It was found in a Market Lavington cottage.

The front of the card from Louie

It would seem that a small boy in a white suit is waiting with his little sprig of mistletoe at the ready.

The card opens up –

–  and reveals the verse.

With loving greetings at Christmas.
May you have a Christmas
Full of mirth and glee
Yet amid your gladness,
Think sometimes of me.

There is no indication of who the card was to. Neither does the card give any indication as to publisher.

It is doubtful if we’ll ever know more about this card but if it rings any bells with you then you can make Christmas for our curator by letting him know. Click here to contact the curator.

Christmas Tree Candle Holders

December 21, 2010

Christmas trees were popularised in this country by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. The idea of a decorated tree came from Albert’s homeland, which was Germany.

The first decorations were probably fruits but in pre-electric days candles were probably an early extra.

These days the idea of having burning candles on a flammable tree sounds really dangerous, but candles on trees were normal enough, even after World War II when most of the country, including Market Lavington, had electricity.

Today we feature two Christmas tree candle holders. These are like small bulldog clips, which can attach to a branch with a little candle clip to hold the burning wax upright and away from other branches.

The first dates from the 1930s.

1930s candle holder from Clyffe Hall and now at Market Lavington Museum

The string is actually holding our museum identification label and is not part of the device.

The second holder dates from the 1940s by which time, perhaps, catching dripping wax had been thought of. This makes the device that bit more decorative, even without a candle.


1940s candle holder used on Christmas trees

Both candle holders were used on Christmas trees at Clyffe Hall in the days when it was run as a hotel. They were given to the museum as recently as 2003.

Reverend Sturton’s Christmas Card

December 20, 2010

We recently met the Reverend Sturton on these pages when he was part of a team ringing a peal of Grandsire Doubles.

John Anthony Sturton was vicar of Market Lavington from 1906 to 1940. He was born in about 1875 at Little Bedwyn, to the east of Pewsey. His father, Jacob was vicar of that parish at the time.

In 1901 John Sturton was a clergyman residing in Lyme Regis.

In 1911 John was at the Vicarage in Market Lavington (now the nursing home). He shared this building with his mother and older brother.

John married Clara Olivia Ivy Kirke in 1916 in the Dorchester area.

Both John and Clara are buried in Market Lavington churchyard although after retirement they lived at the house called Sparrows on Oak Lane in Easterton. John died in 1945 and Clara in 1958.

Today we look at a Christmas card he sent back in 1913.

As befits a man of the cloth, the card has a religious theme to it, offering, as it does, Glory to God in the highest with an image of Mary and Jesus.

Front of card sent by the Rev. Sturton in 1913 and now at Market Lavington Museum

It is the card’s inner sides which give it the definitive Market Lavington connection.

Inside face of the card gives details of Christmas services at St Mary's, Market Lavington

As can be seen, this seems to have been just about an official church card. It seems as though the vicar had four Christmas Day services to attend to at St Mary’s. That would make an impossible schedule for today’s rector, for he has a benefice of five parishes to look after.

The other internal page has a religious text and Christmas greetings from the vicar himself.

Best wishes from the Vicar of Market Lavington in 1913

We’ll take this opportunity to wish our readers a very happy Christmas for this year – 2010

A Christmas present in 1881 – ‘The Garden’

December 19, 2010

A treasured possession at Market Lavington Museum is Volume 8 of ‘The Garden’ a bound collection of this magazine which was an ‘Illustrated Weekly Journal’. Volume 8 was published at Christmas 1875.

Title page of 'The Garden' published in 1875 and a treasured artefact at Market Lavington Museum

Regular readers of this blog will know that all artefacts at Market Lavington Museum have a connection with the broader parish of Market Lavington, past and present and that this includes Easterton (from the past) and areas like Gore, Russell Mill and Fiddington which either were once or now are parts of West Lavington.

A bound volume of ‘The Garden’ is clearly something which might be found anywhere. It is an inscription on the flyleaf, which makes this volume very special, locally.

The inscription in the book - a Christmas gift from Mrs Hay to her gardener, James Lye

Mrs Hay, or to give her full name, The Hon. Louisa Hay was a Pleydell Bouverie by birth – granddaughter of Lord Radnor. She has featured before on this blog and you can read about her by clicking here.

Her home was Clyffe Hall (which has also been mentioned on this blog – click here) and her long-term gardener was James Lye.

James Lye was a gardener of humble origins and he remained a gardener all his life but he rose to become a real village worthy. Our curator gets more requests for information about James Lye than for any other person from the village.

James Lye’s particular penchant was for growing fuchsias. He bred many new varieties and it was this work, which brought him honour and fame. But his interests were wider than just the fuchsias and he also won at least one award for a new variety of potato which he developed.

Not surprisingly, James has featured before on this blog. You can read about his life by clicking here.

So here we have a book produced in Christmas 1875, given as a Christmas present in 1881, now being used as a blog item for Christmas 2010.

Market Lavington Museum would be delighted to receive Christmas gifts. Yes of course money is always useful, for like any other organisation we need to maintain a building, heat it (and what cost will that be this year?) and make sure we have the essential insurance. But whilst cash is crucial, gifts, like the book featured here – remembering that need for a good parish connection – would be very gratefully received. If you have anything which might be suited to preservation in the museum then do contact the curator.

Market Lavington at Night

December 4, 2010

As Christmas approaches, this could be an opportunity to show a picture of one of the lovely, albeit fairly recent, traditions in Market Lavington – Carols in the Market Place.

This was the event in 2009.

Carols in the Market Place on 14th December 2009. We aim to keep a record of present day life at Market Lavington Museum

Devizes Town Band provided the music and a good crowd enjoyed a sing of familiar and cheerful Christmas carols.

A more recent tradition is the award of ‘Community Spirited Person of the Year at this event. Last year the award went to Di Pearce, largely responsible for the running of the Day Centre in the old school. Another photo shows her receiving her award.

Two Dis share a joke Di Lunn presents Di Pearce with the Community Spirited Person of the Year award on December 14th 2009

Now there’s a poignant picture. A year ago Di Lunn (on the left), giving the award was chair of Market Lavington Parish Council. Sadly, she died this autumn, leaving a big hole in village life.

This years ‘Carols in the Market Place’ is on Monday 13th November and suggestions for winners of the Community Spirited Person award can be posted in the box provided at Market Lavington Post Office. The person with most nominations wins this award.

Mulled wine and other fare is usually made available at very reasonable prices. This was at the 2009 event.

Mulled wine at the 2009 event. Was that Father Christmas about to imbibe?

That was a bit of a digression for ‘Lavington at Night’ actually refers to a new addition to the museum collection – another piece of commemorative china.

Market Lavington at ight mug - recently given to Market Lavington Museum

From memory, we think these mugs were sold at Lavington hardware, probably in the 1980s, but do put us right if you can tell us differently.