Posts Tagged ‘Edwardian’

The Grange – Easterton

June 4, 2016

The Grange is a hidden building in Easterton. It is along the main street but is hidden behind a high, evergreen hedge.

Easterton Street with The Grange all but hidden

Easterton Street with The Grange all but hidden

Those chimneys are what you see these days but it wasn’t always so. In times past The Grange was a Public House, known as ‘The Cow’ and landlords would have wanted it visible. Even though its role as a pub went 150 or so years ago, it takes time to grow a barrier hedge like the one shown so The Grange was visible in Edwardian times as shown in this postcard.

The Grange in Edwardian times

The Grange in Edwardian times

There we see quite a handsome house. There is a wall, a low hedge and other shrubs but The Grange is clearly visible.

How many people do you see? Is it 4, 5 or 6? If you don’t make it six, the chances are you’ve missed the chap standing on the wall.

Boy on the wall in front of Easterton Grange

Boy on the wall in front of Easterton Grange

The other people are all together.

Children in front of The Grange entrance

Children in front of The Grange entrance

The Grange clearly had quite a grand entrance.

What a lovely image of a scene now lost from view.


Texting language in 1910

March 7, 2016

We have seen this postcard before on the blog but it certainly warrants another look – just for the sheer size of the crowd at a village event.

Flower Show band concert - 1910 or earlier

Flower Show band concert – 1910 or earlier

The card is captioned ‘Lavington Flower Show. The Band Contest.’ And what a crush of people it is. This is certainly no later than Edwardian and is almost certainly early 20th century.

Bandsmen are visible in front of the Post Office

Bandsmen are visible in front of the Post Office

We can pick out band members just in front of the Post Office. That’s not the present Post Office, of course. It’s where the chemist shop is now on the corner of Market Place. Band members appear to be facing into the Market Place which probably indicates a similar crush of people out of shot to the left. What a fantastic photo this is.

It really is pretty good quality too. These men are recognisable. Does anybody know any of them?

A part of the crowd

A part of the crowd

But what has it got to do with texting language? Well that’s the message on the back.

The back of the card

The back of the card

This was sent on 6th September 1910 from Charlie Coleman to his sister Annie who was in service in London.

We’ve expanded his abbreviations using red type.

Chapel Gardens Easterton

Dear Annie

We shall be in London tomorrow Wednesday at Paddington about 12 o’clock coming up by express.

Should be very pleased to see you if you can get out if not if we have time will look you up hoping we have a fine day your loving brother Charlie

As is often said, postcards were the text messages of their time!


A party at Paxtons

October 8, 2015

Paxtons is an interesting Edwardian built house on the edge of the former jam factory site. It was built in the earliest years of the twentieth century so perhaps this photo show a celebratory get together soon after it was completed.

An Edwardian party at Paxtons in Easterton

An Edwardian party at Paxtons in Easterton

We see a party of smartly clad ladies and gentlemen sitting around a table just outside the house.

Close up on the people

Close up on the people

There appears to be a table laden with goodies. The ladies – we have not identified them – are nearly all wearing large hats. For men the straw boater seems to be required head covering. Those large hats and boaters are very much of the Edwardian era so we certainly date the photo to those early 20th century years.

It looks as though a maid is standing by, ready to jump to it as and when needed – a part of the scene but apart from the grander ladies and gents.

For the record, the occupants of Paxtons at the time of the 1911 census were Eleanor Tindall a 65 year old spinster born in London who was living on her own means and her 18 year old general servant Helen Maria Alexander who had been born in Market Lavington. Helen (sometimes Ellen) was the daughter of Richard, landlord at the Kings Arms

Tiny seeds of love from Market Lavington

August 18, 2015

Postcard producers had backed a winner in earlier times. In days of yore the post card was used where, later, people might have used the telephone and these days would use some form of electronic communication. Of course, postcards were not as instant as modern day methods but you could be pretty certain that a postcard sent one day would arrive at its destination the next day.

Messages on postcards were often something like, ‘Will arrive on the 10.30 train tomorrow morning’. It’s much the same as text messages today.

But postcards had an advantage. They were physical items so the message lasted and after the very early days you could select a picture on the front to suit the recipient. Now who, we wonder, might have received this one.

Copy of postcard at Market Lavington Museum

Copy of postcard at Market Lavington Museum

Could, maybe, a new mum have sent it to a husband serving in the First World War? If so, he might have been horrified at seeing what looks like quads!

No doubt someone was pleased to receive this and, clearly, the card was kept. Post card collecting was, of course, a very popular thing to do.

A pleasing glass jar

May 30, 2015

We are not absolutely certain what this jar’s original use was. From its style we think it dates from the Edwardian era – roughly the first ten years of the twentieth century.

Edwardian glass and gold coloured jar

Edwardian glass and gold coloured jar

On display, it seems perfectly clear.

Labelled as a hair tidy - but is it?

Labelled as a hair tidy – but is it?

This item is clearly labelled as a hair tidy. That’s a container which might find a place on a dressing table into which combed out hair could be put and stored until there was enough for some kind of hair piece..

But it could also be an inkwell, being a container with a small opening, ideal for dip-in pens.

It has been in the museum for a very long time. It would be good if we could get some accurate information about just what this lovely little jar is for.

A much dug landscape

April 1, 2015

The strip of land alongside the road up Lavington Hill has been much dug in the past. Perhaps a clue as to the reason came in the name of a vanished farm just at the top of the hill. It was called Lime Kiln Farm which might suggest that chalk was removed for conversion into agricultural lime.

An old and slightly light spoiled photo certainly shows a humpy-bumpy area on both sides of the hill road.

The road up Lavington Hill - early 20th century

The road up Lavington Hill – early 20th century

We can, of course, see why roads which led up onto Salisbury Plain were called White Street. It is nothing more nor less than a statement of fact. This is the one in Market Lavington, but Easterton and West Lavington have theirs as well. We can see the village down below spread out along the vale with the sandstone ridge rising up beyond.

The photo tends to flatten the scene. From Broadwell to the top of the hill is about a kilometre and in that distance there is a climb of about 100 metres so the average slope is about 1 in 10 or 10%. It’s enough that it would have been hard work for the pony hauling a little cart of some kind up the hill.

A pony and cart wends its way between the heaps of spoil from all the quarrying

A pony and cart wends its way between the heaps of spoil from all the quarrying

This close up really indicates just how much digging had taken place in that area. This is the section that is now set aside – not used for crop growing but left for nature.

Advertise in the Wiltshire Times.

February 13, 2015

Or Mr and Mrs Thomas Whitchurch

This flyer was an attempt to solicit adverts to go into one of the local newspapers – The Wiltshire Times.

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

It isn’t dated, but the list of agents with the average number of copies sold gives us a clue and provides the Market Lavington interest.

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

Just one line of this applies to Market Lavington. Easterton does not appear to have a Wiltshire Times agent.

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

We can see that Mr Whitchurch, the chemist sold an average of 42 copies of the paper each week.

So where and when can we find Mr Whitchurch? We have his shop (just) on an Edwardian postcard.

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

This is High Street in Market Lavington. The present day chemist stands on the corner with Market Place, behind the lady in the dark skirt and straw boater – but this has nothing to do with Mr Whitchurch’s premises which are at the extreme right, next to Chapel Lane which is the path that leads down to the fish and chip/take away shop. We often call that property Kyte’s Cottage. If we enlarge the sign above the window we can just about read it.

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch's shop

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch’s shop

Mr Whitchurch had his drug stores there – and also sold the Wiltshire Times. Or maybe his wife did, for on the 1891 census Thomas is listed as a druggist and his wife, Mary, as a news agent. Earlier censuses have Mary as a druggist’s wife. They had taken on the druggist business in about 1870 and were still running the two businesses in 1901.

Thomas died in 1906. In 1911 Mary was still at the shop premises but the business of stationer and confectioner was being carried out by her daughter, Mrs Sheppard.

We date our Wiltshire Times flyer as between 1891 and 1906.

A Postcard from the recreation ground

December 13, 2014

This card is another recent acquisition at Market Lavington Museum.

The Church from the Recreation Ground - possibly Edwardian

The Church from the Recreation Ground – possibly Edwardian

Market Lavington’s recreation ground used to be the field behind what is now Shires Close. It was clearly used heavily for football – the goal mouth area is very worn. The flock of lawnmowers (sheep, of course) are making sure that the field’s grass is kept under control.

Colour in this picture is, of course, artist added and may not always be a close representation of reality but certainly where plants survive in the old ‘rec’ it looks to be a floral area of grassland.

Behind the recreation ground we can see, at the left, Meadow Cottage under what appears to be rather mossy thatch. The other house below the church is Spring Villa.

Further round and under the spreading cedar tree we can pick out the tiled roof of the village school which is now, of course, The Old School

This is a high summer image. The pollarded trees which form the perimeter of the church land are in full leaf and a young man enjoys a siesta amongst the flowers on the rec.

A Walton's series card

A Walton’s Series card

This card was never posted but we note it is in Walton’s series. Mr Walton owned the department store in Market Lavington.

Printed in Belgium

Printed in Belgium

It is also interesting to note that the card was printed in Belgium. It is a cheap card. The board is very thin – hardly more than paper. Mr Walton would have been selling in competition with Mr Burgess and no doubt sought to be as cheap as possible.

Pond Farm again

November 24, 2014

We looked at Pond Farm back in 2013 and you can click here to see that post.

Pond Farm was one of the hill farms up on Salisbury Plain. It was up above Easterton and the area remains in the Easterton parish. Although used for agriculture, until 1910, Pond Farm land was also used for summer camps by reservist soldiers for some years prior to 1910.

But as the Edwardian era ended the War Department decided that areas of Salisbury Plain in both Market Lavington and Easterton should become a part of a permanent military range. This scene, showing a farm, was to become history.

Pond Farm in Edwardian days - the loneliness of Salisburyn Plain is clear to see

Pond Farm in Edwardian days – the loneliness of Salisburyn Plain is clear to see

This postcard was recently acquired – an EBay purchase then donated to the museum. The card seller dated it as 1905. We’ll just call it Edwardian. It shows the isolated farm, with its shelter belt of trees.

Close up on the farm

Close up on the farm

We can see there is more than one dwelling – a house and a cottage at least. There are sheds and a large barn and a very neat and well thatched stack up on the hill.

A farm was sited here because it was possible to access water in this little valley. That also made it suitable for an army camp and Pond Farm took that role again in 1914 when Canadian soldiers were stationed in the tented encampment whilst training for front line duties.

But by then the farm had gone. It was used as a target by training UK soldiers and no trace of it remains today.

Sadly, too, the location is not now accessible to the public.




The Corner of White Street

June 27, 2014

Recently, visitors to museum, and indeed fetes and elsewhere, have been surprised that Market Lavington had a department store.

‘Where was it?’ they ask and presumably they expect one large building. But rather, the establishment owned by Arthur Walton was in several buildings. All were roughly on the corner of White Street with High Street and Church Street. Maybe this photo will help.

White Street in Edwardian times

White Street in Edwardian times

This is an Edwardian view along White Street from the crossroads. We can see the name board Walton on the left and a high level painted sign saying Cash Supply Stores. This is where the hairdresser, Gemini, is as of 2014. This was the Gents’ outfitter department. The next building down, under a top level painted name of Lavington House, was the drapery department. Mr Walton had the Post Office at one time and this was just round the corner on High Street. Across White Street, and not visible in this shot was his bakery  and going round the corner where St Arbucks now is we had his ironmonger and household goods departments.

Outside the Gents' outfitters

Outside the Gents’ outfitters

We wonder if the very smartly dressed man just outside the shop door could be one of the Gents’ outfitters. The lad on one side of him and the young girl on the other both carry baskets. Perhaps they were made by Alf Mullings on The Clays.


In the street

In the street

Alf Burgess, the photographer, has managed to include a bicycle. One lad is clearly in the saddle, but two others view for a position with this item which might still have been regarded as a bit of a wonder.

Behind we can see the entrance to Gye’s Yard and there is a man in a white apron on some kind of a cart there.

Then there is the lad in the middle with a bucket. Perhaps he has been down to Broadwell for water.