Posts Tagged ‘dressmaking’

A skirt marker

December 28, 2014

The items that arrive at a museum are varied and wonderful. This one (there is a part missing) has recently been given. It was, no doubt, deemed very useful in its day. Indeed, we believe similar items can still be purchased.

A Singer skirt marker at Market Lavington Museum

A Singer skirt marker at Market Lavington Museum

It is, as we can see a skirt marker produced by the Singer manufacturing Company. The device enabled dressmakers to get a straight hem line at the height they required on any dress or skirt they might make.

Inside the box there is a heavy metal base.

The base

The base

The base has a slot in it. The ruler (the missing part) fitted into this. The other part, the marker could slide up or down the ruler to the height required by the dressmaker. And here is that marker.

The marker

The marker

The red pot contains chalk dust and on the right side of it is the slot the ruler goes through. The white piece on top of the pot is the sprayer which can produce a horizontal line of chalk dust when the squeezy bulb is pressed.

So the dressmaker puts on her unhemmed skirt, stands next to the device and turns around gently squeezing the bulb. A line of chalk dust will be deposited on the skirt to mark where the hem line is wanted.

We think this dates from the mid-20th century and was used by a High Street resident of Market Lavington.

Does anyone have the ruler that goes with this?

Parsonage Lane 100 years ago.

December 31, 2010

This photo was taken from near the crossroads in the middle of the village (Lamb Corner) and looks up Parsonage Lane past the side of the present Post Office, which is on the right hand side, The group of ‘girls’ on Parsonage Lane are believed to be dressmakers.

Parsonage Lane about a hundred years ago - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

But let’s first consider the name of Parsonage Lane. It might cause surprise since there has been no parsonage along this lane for 150 or so years. But once upon a time the parsonage stood in front of the existing house known as the Racquets Court. Stories abound about the reasons this building was demolished. At the museum we’d be interested to hear from anyone who thinks they know the reason for the demise of this old parsonage, which looks to have been a fine old building in this etching.

Parsonage House - demolished in the 1850s

But back to our photo and a chance person in it. Can anybody name the chimney sweep who is making his way along Parsonage Lane?

The Chimney Sweep on Parsonage Lane

And now those girls. Could one of them be Rose Polden who has featured recently in these pages?

Is this Rose Polden?

We believe this is Rose Polden and below we see her in a known photograph.

Rose Polden in the photo studio

Rose Polden, as we know from kind research and the 1911 census was a dressmaker and employer.

The other girls, we don’t have names for. Let’s hope a reader can help us. In particular, and just because she looks quite elderly, how about this ‘girl’?

One of the dressmakers on Parsonage Lane

If you have any information about the people or places shown here then please contact the curator.

Rose Polden

December 18, 2010

Rose has had a mention on this blog before as the niece of dewpond digger, Jacob Smith.

This photo, a studio portrait shows a very glamorous and elegant Rose.

Rose Polden - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

So who was this lady? Rose was born in about 1892, probably in the first quarter of that year for the birth of a Harriet Rose Polden was registered then. This was in the village of Chitterne, which is a few miles from Market Lavington, across Salisbury Plain.

In 1901, according to the census, Rose was living with her aunt, Mrs Mary Ann Smith on White Street, Market Lavington.

In the early years of the twentieth century we think Rose Polden ran a dress making business from a cottage on the corner of Parsonage Lane and Church Street.

In 1911 Harriett Rose Polden lived on White Street. She was a dressmaker.

Another photo we have of Rose shows her with three children. We do not know who the children are.

Rose Polden with unknown children

We’d appreciate help with:=

  • identifying Rose Polden’s early life.
  • discovering just how Rose was related to the Smiths.
  • whether she really was running a dressmaking business when a teenager.
  • knowing the identities of the children in the photo.

If you can help, do contact the curator.