Posts Tagged ‘Easterton’

The McKinnon boys

September 13, 2016

This tiny photo, not in good condition, shows two lads.

The McKinnon boys

The McKinnon boys


Now that’s not too bad for an original image measuring 5.5 by 4 cms.

The back has a hand written caption.


We’ll amend the spelling a bit and say we have here two McKinnon boys of whom one lives at Northbrook.

Now the one who lived at Northbrook was Thomas McKinnon who was born in 1913. His family had been living in Easterton at the time of the 1911 census. They had two daughters then. Ernest, the other lad was born in 1912 so we surmise we have Ernest on the left and Thomas on the right. The Mckinnons clearly moved about for whilst Ernest’s birth was recorded in the Devizes district, Thomas’s was recorded in Pewsey. Subsequent daughters had births recorded in Devizes with one in Westbury.

Thomas married Vi Hurkett in 1936. They had a son called Malcolm.

This family all lived at Northbrook and are listed there on the 1964 electoral roll.

We know little of Ernest who may have been Frederick Ernest. He lived locally, but does not appear on Market Lavington records.


Easterton Country Fair

August 30, 2016

Let’s put it on record that the sun can shine on a bank holiday. Yesterday – August Bank Holiday Monday was a fine, sunny hot day – perfect for the Easterton Country Fair.

The crowds were out in force to soak up the atmosphere of this event which is held on the field behind the village hall – and in the hall itself.

Of course, Market Lavington Museum was there with a stand for Easterton is very much a part of our museum’s raison d’être.


This is our stall at a time when a small crowd made it almost visible. The punters were, as usual, able to enjoy our museum photos, ask questions and give us information.

Of course, we have competition for gaining the interest of the visitors.

For example, who could resist guessing the weight of the piglet?

He knew where to go in warm weather!


You could learn about beekeeping with a ‘safely behind glass’ demo hive.


Easterton has a regular parade of vintage and classic cars.



The dog show is a big attraction

The band Equinox entertained us. They are great. I don’t know how to style their music but I’ll call it gentle jazz.


We really ought to have photographed more for there was much more to see but time went a tad wrong!

Our stall had an unexpected visitor.


This is the caterpillar of a grey dagger moth. Perhaps they should be welcomed into many gardens for they’ll feed on ground elder. Despite appearances, the name grey dagger comes from the colour and markings of the adult moth.

The museum had a truly lovely day. We hope the organisers did well too.


Samuel Moore

August 13, 2016

Samuel must rank as one of the famous sons of Easterton. He didn’t start the jam making business in the area – credit for that probably goes to Sam Saunders. But Samuel Moore was the one who really turned jam making from hobby to big business. Here we see a photo of Sam Moore sent to us by a descendant. It is not the best photo in the world. But it portrays Samuel as a kind looking chap. We know he was hard working and willing to muck in.

Samuel Moore of Easterton

Samuel Moore of Easterton

Sam’s business began quite small as a cottage based adjunct to his shop on the Drove, now also known as Sam Moore’s Lane. It took off during World War One when it became essential to maximise home grown produce. Easterton had plantations of fruit and local people went out picking wild fruit, notably blackberries, as well. Sam was able to offer a fair price for such produce. Local lads (and no doubt lasses as well) regarded discarded jam jars as treasure for they, too could be sold back to Sam Moore’s business.

Later, fruit was imported in huge plastic barrels and many local houses have some of these as water butts.

The last pot of jam rolled off the production line on October 9th 1998. Sam had long departed the scene by then.

Easterton Street – very ragged photo

July 29, 2016
The Halstead Farm end of Easterton Street

The Halstead Farm end of Easterton Street

We did say it was ragged in the title – but even so, it is a lovely shot and a ragged photo can tell stories or pose questions for us.

Let’s start with the survivor. On the left we have Halstead Farm which would have been in the hands of the Spencer family. It is a delightful building and it still stands, although denuded of farm land, alongside the junction where the road to the village hall and up onto the sands branches off High Street.

Halstead Farm

Halstead Farm

The other buildings shown in this image have gone. There was a barn alongside the stream.

The barn by the stream

The barn by the stream

The trees to the left of the barn are on the bank where the jam factory once stood. That bank has, for many years been a hefty wall and now there are houses up on top.

This house faced back along the street

This house faced back along the street

This house on the junction has gone as well. There is a modern bungalow in that area now. But the enlargement appears to show a village sign standing in front of the cottage. Can anybody tell us anything about that?

Bobby McGregor

July 14, 2016

Bobby was an Easterton evacuee during World War Two and he was a recent visitor to Market Lavington Museum. It isn’t the first time he had returned to the area. In fact he had already had a mention on this blog when we published a piece from an Easterton Echo of October 1975 which was written by Gladys Windo and said:


During the ‘last year several families of evacuees have revisited Easterton. They were billeted here during the Second World War. Sidney Hamshere returned with his wife and family from Australia. He was staying with Mr & Mrs Hussey senior during the war. He called on Bill Hussey and myself and was very disappointed to see the old school gone.

Bill Emery who was billeted at the vicarage called with his wife & family from Germany.

Tony Emery and his wife and family paid a visit. Billeted with Mr & Mrs Davies, he now lives at Taunton.

Mr “Bobby” & Malcolm McGregor also returned. They called on Mrs Topp as they were billeted with Miss Etherington.

They all remembered the great competition to blow the church organ – for one shilling per week. All had happy memories of Easterton and hope to pay a return visit sometime.

Shirley & Mavis Allsop, billeted with Mrs Little at Cedar Farm, have again visited us.

Many in the village remember going to school with these evacuees.

Miss Windo.

For this visit, Bobby came alone and brought a photo of him outside his billet.

Bobby McGregor at Hill View in Easterton

Bobby McGregor at Hill View in Easterton

Bobby was an East end of London lad and he and his brother found a home with Miss Etherington. Frances Violet Etherington lived at Hill View on Kings Road. She had been born in 1874 in Hertfordshire and had, like many another member of her family joined the teaching profession. She became head at Easterton School and we think she retired when Miss Windo came in 1934. So by the time of the blitz, in 1940, Miss Etherington would have been about 66.

Bobby was a youngster and his memories are limited. He thinks he came three times, returning home to London after the blitz but coming back to Easterton when doodlebug and V2 raids started.

One strange little quirk was that Bobby, aged 5, was baptised at Easterton on 18th January 1942.

Bobby attended Easterton School and remembers lardy cakes, which he thought delicious, made by an Easterton baker. He recalls playing in the stream near the pump until that was banned following the death of Ronald Hussey. Some blamed his illness and death on playing in the stream.

Bobby is trying to piece together his time in Easterton and would like to know more about Miss Etherington. She died in 1962 but there will be plenty of people who remember her.

Do get in touch if you can tell us anything and we’ll pass information on to Bobby who now lives in Aberdeen.

Pages from a Gillman’s Devizes Directory

July 12, 2016

Our wonderful president keeps his eyes open and he found these pages on sale in a Devizes Market. The seller had suggested the directory dated from the 1890s. We think it dates from the Edwardian era. It has information about Easterton.

image002This, as is usual with directories, is not a full list of people but shows those in trade as well as the parish councillors. We can but wonder what a marine store dealer sold in Eastcott!

There is similar information for Market Lavington, stretching over two pages.


It is the presence of Charles Awdry as Lord of the Manor which tells us this is the 1900s. He bought the manor estate in 1902.


A useful addition to our stock of genealogy helps and it does include other local villages from Allington to Worton.

Believed to be Reginald Harry Burnett

July 8, 2016

This rather careworn postcard of a First World War soldier has recently come our way. The soldier is not named but we believe he is Reginald Harry Burnett of Easterton.

Reginald Harry Burnett - World War One

Reginald Harry Burnett – World War One

We can see various hand written notes around the edge. At the bottom it says ‘wounded May 3rd died May 7th 1917. Up the side it says, ‘died a prisoner of war on his way to Germany.


How do you identify an unknown soldier? The back of the card didn’t help much. It is by Gale’s Studios with a branch in Manchester.

Our first thought was to look up all those Commonwealth soldiers who died on that single day. There were 836 of them! But we have Richard Broadhead’s book of Devizes and District soldiers who died or were killed in World War One. It came up trumps for us and reminded us that we had featured Reginald before – but without this photo. Click here to see the old post. There you can find Reginald’s military history as well as a family photo.

Now of course, there could have been other men who were wounded on the 3rd May and died a prisoner of war on the 7th. But this photo was in the former home of Tom Gye who employed two of Reg’s brothers. We are sure the Gyes took an interest in the Burnetts. It seems reasonable that they had a card of Reginald.

Merging Market Lavington and Easterton

June 23, 2016

The two church parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton have separate identities but in 1962 they were merged into one benefice.

This document, published by HMSO, explains.

Document setting out the formation of the combined benefice of Market Lavington and Easterton

Document setting out the formation of the combined benefice of Market Lavington and Easterton

It looks as though this document has been used as a drink coaster at some point in the past so let’s transcribe this legal document.


The 28th day of November, 1962



Whereas the Church Commissioners have duly prepared and laid before Her Majesty in Council a Scheme bearing date the 14th day of November, 1962. in the words and figures following, that is to say:

“We, the Church Commissioners, acting in pursuance of the Pastoral Reorganisation Measure, 1949, and the Union of Benefices Measures, 1923 to 1952, now humbly lay before Your Majesty in Council the following Scheme which we have prepared with the consent of the Right Reverend William, Bishop of Salisbury, (in witness whereof e-has signed the Scheme)

for effecting the union of the benefice of Market Lavington and the benefice of Easterton, both situate in the diocese of Salisbury.


“1. Union of Benefices. The benefice of Market Lavington and the benefice of Easterton shall be permanently united together and form one benefice with cure of souls under the style of ‘The United Benefice of Market Lavington and Easterton’ but the parishes of the said benefices shall continue in all respects distinct.

“2. Taking effect of union. Upon the day when notice of the making of any Order of Your Majesty in Council affirming this Scheme is published in the London Gazette the union shall forthwith take effect.

“3. Patronage. After the union has taken effect the right of presentation to the united benefice shall be exercised by the patrons of the two benefices alternately, the patron of the benefice of Easterton having the first presentation to the-united benefice to be made after the union.”

And whereas the provisions of the Union of Benefices Measures, 1923 to 1952, the Union of Benefices Rules, 1926 and 1930, and the Pastoral Reorganisation Measure, 1949, relating to the preparation and submission of this Scheme have been duly complied with:

And whereas the said ‘Scheme has been approved by Her Majesty in Council:

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice of Her said Council, is pleased hereby to affirm the said Scheme and to order that it shall be and become effectual in law immediately upon the publication of notice of the making of this Order in the London Gazette.

W. G. Agnew.

The main effect was to be a shared Vicar. The next Rector that this area gets will have to serve five parishes.

The Oak again

June 21, 2016

This is another fairly recent acquired postcard. The picture may well have been taken on the same occasion as that shown on 13th May this year.

The Royal Oak, Easterton

The Royal Oak, Easterton

This is a ground level view and we can see what a fine old building it was and still is. Perhaps it has been improved by the removal of the single storey slate roofed skittle alley.

The former skittle alley

The former skittle alley

The remainder of the Oak is much as we see it today. But this gives us a reminder of a time when a skittle alley was a pub essential in this part of the world.


Carnival time – 1920s

June 6, 2016

People dressed up in all sorts of ways for the annual carnival which raised money for health care and was a main part of the Hospital Week effort. Here we have what appears to be a very relaxed gamekeeper or poacher, with his pony and trap.

Carnival time in the 1920s

Carnival time in the 1920s

Please put us right if this style of conveyance is not a trap.

We reckon the man, leaning on the horse, is too relaxed to be a game keeper. He’s a poacher and he seems to have secured a couple of rabbits tied to the trap. That loose fitting coat could hide a lot of ill-gotten gains.

The venue is Easterton Street. The precise date and the names of the people are not known.