Posts Tagged ‘Edwardian’

Easterton School

August 10, 2013

Easterton School was closed in 1971 (as was Market Lavington School for both were replaced by St Barnabas School on Drove Lane). But Easterton School was soon demolished and new bungalows were built on its site.

Forty years on it is only middle aged people, and older who lived in the area back then who remember the building. A common comment when people see a picture of Easterton School is, ‘I didn’t know Easterton had a school’.

But indeed it did, from the 1870s, and those older residents remember it well with headmistress, Miss Windo at the helm.

We recently acquired a superb picture of the school building – much better than others we had before.

Easterton School in the early years of the twentieth century

Easterton School in the early years of the twentieth century

The picture is not dated but from the clothing worn, we’ll suggest it is probably Edwardian – early 20th century.

The main building sports a bell tower – presumably a bell was rung to summon the children to school. That vanished before the end.

The building had two rooms – there is a break in roof level just this side of the bell tower. The older children were at one end and the younger ones at the other. Certainly in the 1950s – we do not know for how long before – youngsters transferred to the Market Lavington School at age 11 (or Devizes Grammar School if they passed). Of course, when the Lavington secondary school opened, neither of the two village schools had children older than 11.

Returning to the photo, the smaller building in front of the school and with the children in front of it was the toilet block. In keeping with the times, toilets were outside and separate from the main building.

We do not know who the people are. Maybe you can help us with that.

Edwardian Church Street in Colour

June 12, 2013

Postcard collectors seem to prefer ‘real photographic’ images and can fight just a bit shy of those photos rendered into colour by an artist. Certainly the true photograph gives a crisper rendition of the scene, but black and white photos paint a picture of a monochrome world – which it certainly wasn’t. So until the coming of satisfactory colour film, we are reliant on the artist to give an indication of what places and even people looked like – in colour.

If a tinted image was going to be made, the photographer would have jotted down a description of the colours. The artist – who may well have been the photographer could make use of the notes, The coloured image does bear some resemblance to the truth.

At Market Lavington Museum we have recently been given a colour tinted postcard of Church Street.

Church Street, Market Lavingtonj in colour - an Edwardian image.

Church Street, Market Lavington in colour – an Edwardian image.

We think this image is Edwardian and guess that the original photo may have been taken by Alfred Burgess, our resident photographer in Market Lavington. He could have sold the rights to the picture to Woodward’s in Devizes.

It’s good to see that the ladies at left and right, out working at the fronts of their houses, are wearing bright blouses. The more distant man in the middle of the road does look rather more black and white.

The scene is similar today. The pollarded trees have gone and the gap on the right just beyond the woman with the yellow blouse is now occupied by Milsom Court. Many of the other buildings have changed from being commercial to being residential, but most still look much the same.

A Pastry Cutter

February 25, 2013

Making pastry may be a bit of a vanishing skill, for many folks find it easier to buy it ready made. However, whether home or factory made, it will probably need cutting to shape. You need a pastry cutter, perhaps like the one shown here.

A brass pastry cutter and crimper, dating from around 1900. It can be found at Market Lavington Museum

A brass pastry cutter and crimper, dating from around 1900. It can be found at Market Lavington Museum

This is a two in one tool. The wheel end is a cutter which allows the user to create any shape they want to. The other end is a pie crimper. That comes into use when you need to join a pie base to the crust which goes over the top.

This cutter might be said to be utilitarian in design. It is made of brass and we think it probably dates from around 1900. It was used by a White Street, Market Lavington family.

Edwardian Church Street

February 15, 2013

Here we have a fine photo by Alf Burgess showing Church Street in Market Lavington in the Edwardian era.

Church Street, Market Lavington in Edwardian days

Church Street, Market Lavington in Edwardian days

Let’s start at the back.

These properties on White Street were part of Mr Walton's department store

These properties on White Street were part of Mr Walton’s department store

The buildings facing us – outfitter, clothier, draper etc. were actually on White Street and they were all a part of Mr Walton’s empire. He had a range of premises making his business a true department store. He even had an overhead wire system – a so called ‘cash railway’.

On the left the hanging sign is for the Volunteer Arms which would, at the time of this photo, have been run by members of the Trotter family.

On the right is a building on the corner of Church and White Street which is about to open in a new guise. Visitors to Market Lavington will be delighted to find a tea/coffee shop operating there. The building is owned by Trinity Church and they will be running the business under the name of Saint Arbuck’s. We certainly wish Trinity every success in this new venture.

This was to become  lavington Gas Works

This was to become Lavington Gas Works

Here, on the left of the main photo we are looking at buildings which were, for a while, the premises of the Lavington Gas Works. It was here that acetylene was produced and distributed around the village. You can see more of this company here and here.

Now to the right side of the photo.


Shops and other premises on Church Street, Market Lavington

At the left hand end of this photo we have the shop which many will recall as Peter Francis’s photographic shop. Back when the photo was taken it was part of Mr Walton’s emporium. Next to it, the building with the interesting brick front has an interesting history. That building and premises behind it have been almost everything from Baptist Chapel, to village grocery run by Mr Bullock, Mr Potter, the Proust family right through to Mr Dempsey. The white building with gable end facing the street was Mr Godfrey’s butchery. It became Mr Pike’s shop later – still a butcher and has now been completely rebuilt. On this side we have the Merritt’s cycle shop – later Mr Reid’s. At one time this became the petrol station in the village.

In the middle of the photo we have a donkey cart.

Billy Davis was Market Lavington's very own rag and bone man

Billy Davis was Market Lavington’s very own rag and bone man

This is Billy Davis who was what used to get called a rag and bone man – finding uses for people’s unwanted items.

Lovers’ Walk

February 14, 2013

Lovers may walk, but according to this postcard they also find totally impossible places to sit and enjoy a cuddle. Our image for St Valentine’s Day is one of many Edwardian postcards we have at Market Lavington Museum.

Cynicus card of Lovers' Walk in Market Lavington - or anywhere else!

Cynicus card of Lovers’ Walk in Market Lavington – or anywhere else!

Ah yes, The Lovers’ Walk, Market Lavington. But it might just as well have been Easterton, Fiddington or, indeed, anywhere else in the country.

This card was produced by Cynicus. The Victorian artist Martin Anderson (Cynicus) was born in Leuchars, Fife in 1854.  He set up the Cynicus Publishing Co in Tayport Fife in 1902.

Different town names could be added to this card. It could pretend to be at any town or village.

So the image has no connection with our locality at all. It is a generic picture that just has the Market Lavington name stamped over the top of it.

No doubt there were real Lovers’ Walks in the Lavington area but I hope couples didn’t canoodle on the spindly branches that Cynicus shows.


The Flower Show Band Contest

November 8, 2012

The generosity of people seems endless at times. We have recently been able to copy lots of photos held by a former Easterton resident. His pictures cover many aspects of life all around the area. Today we are featuring a photo taken in the heart of Market Lavington – the Flower Show Band Contest

Crowds on Market Lavington High Street for an Edwardian band cotest

Here we see Market Lavington’s High Street. Or maybe we don’t see it because of the sheer number of people. Immediately on the left is the Market Place and as we can see, the old building on the corner was then the Post Office. Now we have a chemist shop there, but it’s a completely different building. The Post Office was there in Edwardian times, which seems to fit with the clothing we can see.

Viewpoints are interesting. There are a couple of people on the rather flimsy shelf above the butcher’s window. (These could be Mrs Laura Eldin, wife of the butcher and their daughter, Florence). Florence was born in 1893 and looks to be the right age for an Edwardian photo. There’s another person on the house next door. He appears to be a police officer

There is no one we can recognise with 100% certainty.

But what a fantastic turnout for a village event. There must be 300 or so people out to hear the bands – probably more because the crowds, no doubt, will also be in the Market Place.

A pen knife/button hook

September 28, 2012

These days we are used to quick fix Velcro or zips as ideal and convenient ways to fasten clothing and shoes. But the humble button still reigns supreme for some items. In times past, clothing, particularly lady’s clothing, was done up very tightly to ensure people had the shape required by fashion. Buttons could be very hard to do up in these circumstances, so enter the button hook.

A button hook was, essentially, a steel hook on a handle. You put the hook through a button hole, used it to grab the shaft of the button and then pulled the button through the hole. They were essential items and very common.

We are also accustomed to the boy scouts pocket knife with a tool for everything, including the one for getting stones out of horse hooves. Ladies would not have wanted anything so bulky, but a pretty, delicate knife with a button hook attachment – now that could be useful. The pen knife could be used for its purpose, keeping a quill pen in good order, and the hook was there as well.

We have such an item at Market Lavington Museum.

Early twentieth century penknife/button hook at Market Lavington Museum

This item is made of steel with the sides of the handle made of bone which is riveted to the steel.  It all folds up to be a small neat item, easily carried. When folded it is about 5cm long. We believe this dates from the early years of the twentieth century. It was given to the museum by a White Street (Market Lavington) lady.

A High Court Judge and bottles of lager

August 14, 2012

Thomas Rolls Warrington was a high court judge. In the early years of the twentieth century, he made Clyffe Hall, in Market Lavington, his country seat. This was probably around 1904, when he was first appointed a judge.

We know he was at Clyffe Hall in 1907 because he sent a complaining letter to his wine and drinks merchant.

Letter from Thomas Rolls Warrington of Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington about bottles of lager

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington, Wilts.

7th October 1907

Dear Sirs
You appear to have sent ½ pint bottles of lager this time. If so, please take them away and send pint bottles in their place.
Yours truly
Rolls Warrington

Letters like this must have terrified business folk. It is cleverly worded to suggest that Warrington is not 100% certain of his facts, but the intended message, that the suppliers of lager have been blithering idiots, is totally clear.

In 1926, when Thomas Rolls Warrington retired from his work as a judge, he was elevated to the peerage, becoming Lord Warrington of Clyffe.

Clyffe Hall’s Tongue Press

August 8, 2012

The manufacture of meat, such as tongue, required pressure to be applied to force out excess moisture and also to mould the meat product into a compact and even shape which could easily be sliced. A meat press or tongue press was the item used for this. Clyffe Hall, as a country hotel, would have manufactured its own meats of this kind and so it is no surprise that it had a tongue press.

Meat press from Clyffe Hall. This item, which may be Edwardian in origin, is now at Market Lavington Museum

The basic idea was that cooked and prepared meat was placed in the container where it sat on what was, effectively, a sturdy metal sieve. The lid could then be screwed down tight forcing the meat together. Liquid would seep out through the bottom sieve and the natural jelly in the meat would bond it into  shape.

Whilst this item was used at Clyffe Hall Hotel, in the late 1930s through to the 1970s, we think the device itself may be Edwardian. A very similar device is very well described by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia – click here. They suggest their tongue press may have been made in Ireland or Australia. We guess ours has a UK origin.

Looking up White Street – Then and Now

August 3, 2012

White Street remains as confusing as ever. The three adjoining villages of West Lavington, Market Lavington and Easterton all have their own, quite separate White Streets. The name is simply based on the fact that these roads all led up to Salisbury Plain. These hills are composed of chalk which is white in colour. Before tarmac surfacing of roads, White Streets were white in colour.

Today it is the Easterton White Street we are looking at and we are taking a look up the hill, more or less from its junction with High Street – the main road through the village. Our first picture dates from about 1910.

Easterton White Street in 1910

Back in 1910, we lived in a black and white world, as far as photos were concerned. Maybe White Street was white then, however. A small pony and cart are making their way up the hill. This could, perhaps, be Billy Davis who was a local rag and bone man.

The White building, facing partially down the street is Fairfield Farm. White Street passes to the front of it. The Clays turns right, just this side of Fairfield Farm. Incidentally, The Clays (named for geology) is also a potential source of confusion. Market Lavington and Easterton both have lanes known as ‘The Clays’.

In 1910, Fairfield Farm had had some of its antiquity hidden under a stucco finish. Parts of this building are more than 500 years old.

On the left of the street we see various cottages and barns.

Now let’s move on to June 2012.

Easterton White Street in 2012

Perhaps photography has changed more than the scene. We have colour! Cars have replaced the little pony cart and electricity wires now do a little to make the scene untidy.

Fairfield Farm now looks like the old building it is, with the stucco removed and the beams on display. Also on display on the steps to the house is a big union flag. This was at the time we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

What had been a barn, with gable end facing the street has had widows put in the roof and has been converted to a dwelling house. Cottages on the left have also gained roof windows, but otherwise, that left hand side is very recognisably the same place.

Thanks go to Jim, once again, for taking the new photo to match the old.