Posts Tagged ‘coal’

The Bishop Tanner Christmas Coal Charity

September 11, 2016

Amongst documents recently passed to the museum are papers concerning a number of charities. Here we see the accounts of one charity for 1907 – the Christmas Coal Charity funded by Bishop Tanner. The Bishop was the son of a Vicar of Market Lavington and became the Vicar of St Asaph in Wales.

Here are the accounts.

Coal charity accounts - 1907

Coal charity accounts – 1907


We can see that 120 hundredweight of coal was distributed amongst 68 parishioners at a cost of £7-10-0. Of this just a pound came from the old charity with most of the rest being from the offertory on Christmas day. The Vicar put a shilling in the pot

What we think is lovely is that the people who benefited from this charity are listed.


Recipients of the coal charity – 1907

There are many familiar local names here receiving one, two or three hundredweights of coal.

A Davis bill

March 1, 2016

A few days ago we featured a Davis and co coal wagon in model form. Today we look at a bill issued by John Davis, the coal merchant, for coal supplied to the West Lavington estate of the Holloways. Although based in West Lavington, the estate included properties in Market Lavington including the brick works.

The Holloways were, no doubt, very good customers and this bill, issued in May 1910 covers a period of nearly 6 months. Good customers would have been trusted with this much credit.


As we can see, the bill has become a receipt, paid in full in 1910.

Of course the prices in 1910 seem laughable to us, in the 21st century. The Holloway estate seems to have used coke – a fuel which vanished into obscurity from the 1960s. A ton of this fuel cost just 17 shillings (85p). These days this hard to find fuel might cost about £350 for a tonne. The metric tonne is not significantly different from the good old British ton. And guess what? In terms of average income it is still cheaper today.

But coke is pretty well pure carbon so very high in CO2 emissions. It may be as well that it no longer finds much use.


John Davis – Miller and Coal Merchant

September 10, 2010

John Davis was born in Easterton in about 1862. Easterton was then a tithing of Market Lavington. John’s origins were ordinary enough for his father was a farm worker. In 1871 they lived on White Street in Market Lavington and by 1881 young John was lodging on the same street and his occupation was listed as a mason.

In 1891 John was married to Mary and the couple lived in West Lavington. John was a market gardener.

Perhaps things went well, for by 1901 John was a corn miller and coal merchant, working for himself. His address was Lavington Mills on the edge of West Lavington. Mary was with him, as was her father, Thomas Shore and a servant. Perhaps our corn sack dates from this era.

John Davis corn sack at Market Lavington Museum

Ten years on and we find John and Mary on High Street, Market Lavington with John as a coal merchant. We have a small (OO Gauge) plastic model railway truck to commemorate that era.

Davis and Co Coal Truck in OO Gauge and mostly of plastic. This item is housed at Market Lavington Museum

The firm of Davis and Co was in operation (at 50 High Street, Market Lavington) until at least the 1950s. The truck represents an earlier era for it carries the GWR letters and the old Great Western Railway lost its identity in 1948.

You can find out more about the railway through Market Lavington at the ‘Museum Miscellany’ – 7.30pm on Saturday 18th September in Market Lavington Community Hall.