Posts Tagged ‘dance’

A Dance Card

June 3, 2015

We were recently given a few items found at Spring Villa. Spring Villa had been the home of the Welch family for at least three generations. Indeed, our museum founder, Peggy (née Welch) Gye had lived there as a little girl and we know her father and grandfather had lived there.

The card donor, who wants no publicity, said to us, ‘You won’t want that card. It’s a grubby little thing’. But we think it is just grand, partly because we have knowledge of the family and can piece together a story.

This is a homemade card on which the names of the dances to be played were written down and against it the name of the partner who had been pre-asked.


One side looks like this. We can see that the dance took place in the school room in Market Lavington on the 17th January 1902. The other side names the dances and has some hard to read names alongside.


Of course it is interesting to see just what dances were played back in 1902 – the waltz, the polka, a gallop, lancers, quadrille and so on. But let’s now think about who wrote this card.

From the writing, as well as the place this was found, we are just about certain this card belonged to Jack Welch – Peggy’s father. James Frank Welch, to give him his full name, was born towards the end of 1888 so he would have been 13 at the time. No doubt he felt very grown up completing a dance card like this.

OK, we can’t work out who many of his partners were but certainly ‘Doff’ features and we think this was his little sister, Dorothy. He had the pleasure of a polka and a barn dance.

Mrs Akers appears as a waltz partner. Her husband was a grocer. In 1901 the family lived in Easterton but between 1901 and 1911 Dad Rupert Akers, his wife Jane Acres and a daughter called Dorothy had moved into the middle of Market Lavington and Rupert was the manager of the grocery department of Mr Walton’s department store.

Later, Jack danced with Miss D Akers. This was Dorothy, the daughter of Rupert and Jane who was a year or so younger than Jack.

Some of Jack’s partners are only given initials and others just first names. We are not sure who they were.

But we do feel we get a peep into Edwardian life with this card – it all sounds elegant and quite formal. We think it is a really lovely item and we thank our donor (who doesn’t live in the Lavingtons) very much indeed.

A Dance in the 1950s

February 1, 2013

This photo has been given to Market Lavington Museum very recently. The donor knew it was taken at Clyffe Hall, along The Spring, but had no idea when or why. He didn’t name any of the people. We guessed it was in the 1950s, for the clothes looked like that era.

Dancers line up for a photo prior to a 1950s get together at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington

Dancers line up for a photo prior to a 1950s get together at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington

We took the photo to Pat and she was able to furnish us with quite a bit of information. Dances were held quite regularly in the early 1950s and the attendees quite often were lined up for a photo first. This was one of those occasions and was definitely in the early 1950s.

Pat then went through the photo, naming people.

We’ll start with the back row, from left to right. First is Percy (known as Perce Webb who came from Easterton. The next two men are not known, but Pat said they came from West Lavington. The fourth man is Raymond King followed by Jim Gye who lived up Drove Lane at Homestead Farm.  After him we only got the name John and after him came Charlie Batt and Eric Pollard. The next chap was Don Baker and we must record that he recently died down in Cornwall. He and wife Mo moved there some years ago. We now reach the tenth man from the left and he was Frank Phillips who came from Marston. Next we have Gordon Baker who was Don’s brother. The last man at the back, wearing the trilby hat was one Pat couldn’t recognise.

So to the middle row where the first young lady is Pat Hobbs – the very same Pat we were getting information from. Next to Pat is Ada Askey and then Mrs Kyte from West Lavington. Fran Francis comes next.  The following two we just have as Maureen and Maureen’s mum. Then we have Sally Buckland and Annie Buckland who was Sally’s mum.  The first man in this row is Geoff Alexander and next to him is Vic who came from Potterne. Then we have Joan Baker who married Ernie Tilley of Potterne. The final two are not known.

Now to the front row sitters. At the extreme left is Ron Francis of Grove Farm (his wife, Fran, was in the middle row) and next is one of the Francis sons. The other lad is Ray Chapman. Next is Bill Askey (his wife Ada was in the second row). The first woman in this row is Mrs Webb, wife of Perce at back left. Then we have May Proust. The Prousts ran the shop on Church Street which later became the Spar and even later Dempseys. Then we have Harry Hobbs in the short sleeved shirt. His shop on High Street was more or less opposite The Green Dragon and he was Pat’s father. Next to Harry is Mrs Davis who lived at Palm House on High Street and then we have Mrs Gye, wife of Jim of Homestead Farm. The final two are Mr and Mrs Dodge of White Street in Easterton.

How lucky we are that we have friends in the villages who can turn an almost unknown picture into something so fully described. Huge thanks go to Pat for naming so many of the people.

A Dance at Lavington School

August 4, 2011

This blog entry is very much a request for help. We have, in our collection at Market Lavington Museum, this ticket.

Ticket for a dance at Lavington School, possibly in 1972.

All we know about the ticket is what it says on it – that the Lavington School Parents Society ran a family social and dance, at the school, on Friday October 20th at 8pm. We know that dancing was to Vic Jones and his music and that tickets cost either 15p or 35p to include refreshments.

We can take a guess as to the year and we think it was 1972. The 20th October was a Friday in that year. 1978 would be the next possible year but the ticket price sounds very cheap so we favour 1972. It cannot have been before 1971 since the price is given in decimal currency.

We know nothing of Vic Jones and his Music. Can anybody tell us where they came from? Maybe somebody at the event can tell us something about it. Do, please, get in touch.