Posts Tagged ‘election’

The General Election

February 4, 2015

It’s a bit sad that so many people are utterly disillusioned with party politics. Interestingly, it wasn’t always so. Back in 1910 the election appears to have been fought on the streets – certainly in Market Lavington.

Election parade in support of the Conservative candidate - Market Lavington in 1910

Election parade in support of the Conservative candidate – Market Lavington in 1910

This is Church Street and this view is obviously the same occasion as one shown by us back in 2010. Click here to see it.

The picture is taken outside what was Mr Godfrey’s butchers shop. Soon after this passed to Mr Pike who had it for many years. The little strip of building on the left became Potter’s Stores and to the right of Mr Godfrey’s shop was the Merritt’s cycle shop which later became Mr Reid’s garage.

Banners are interesting. The clear ones just say Vote for Peto and Mr Peto was, indeed, elected. One of the banners seems to be featuring ‘German Bread’.

The threat of German black bread if you vote the wrong way!

The threat of German black bread if you vote the wrong way!

The cheaper loaf shown is called Berlin Black Bread. It seems that one side threatened the populace that if they voted the wrong way they’d have to eat German black bread along with horse and dog meat sausages. It also seems that the campaign backfired when it was revealed that the king preferred black bread with its rye content and that many people felt it was healthier than the English white loaf.

Basil Peto won the seat for the Conservative Party. However, the wall of the Merritt’s shop clearly displays a liberal poster.

A Vote liberal poster was visible behind the rally

A Vote liberal poster was visible behind the rally. The liberal party formed the government after this election

How much interest will the 2015 election generate in our area? Probably very little but we can expect that the local electorate will vote in force.

There’s little doubt that elections mattered back then, albeit only the men over 21 could vote.

Electing the Parish Council

January 20, 2015

Time was when more people were willing to stand for the role of Parish Councillor than there were actual councillors. It would be interesting to know when that last happened. Parish Councillors, like all of us who work for the museum and for many other village organisations are, essentially, all volunteers. They give up their time just because they want to serve their community It can be hard to find enough volunteers although we are well enough off at the museum.

We happen to have a rather careworn poster which must have been pinned up on a Parish notice board after the election in 1946.

The results of the 1946 election for the Market Lavington Parish Council are announced

The results of the 1946 election for the Market Lavington Parish Council are announced

There’s the heading and below we have the results. There were 16 candidates up for election for 11 places.

Click the picture to see a larger, readable version

Click the picture to see a larger, readable version

There’s a lovely collection of hard working villagers, both amongst those elected and those who just missed out.

 

 

Vote for…..

January 9, 2014

Well not for me, obviously – but this post does start in a more personal way than some.

Being involved with a museum is an absolutely delightful thing to do. Like all of us at Market Lavington Museum, your blog writer is a volunteer. There is no personal payment at all for doing it. It is just done for love – and loved it very much is. I’d never pretend that our blog is the most read web page in the world. I think in the world of marketing it would be called a niche product. The audience is really quite small (42396 views in 2013) but it is a dedicated and caring audience.

A Christmas card I received this year had a little extra item in it – an election card.

An election card from the 1865 election encouraging people to support Lord Charles Bruce

An election card from the 1865 election encouraging people to support Lord Charles Bruce

We are being encouraged to support Lord Charles Brudenell Bruce in, according to a hand written extra, the year 1865.

This gift had had some research done on it for it might not be natural to imagine Market Lavington and Easterton being part of North Wiltshire – but they were. We do not know that this card was given to a Market Lavington or Easterton elector, but it might have been and other identical cards certainly would have been.

For the record Lord Charles Bruce won the election representing the liberal party and held the seat until 1874. He served in the government of William Gladstone and became a Privy Counsellor.

How lovely that an extra like this should arrive, unannounced, with a Christmas Card.

 

A General Election in Market Lavington

April 30, 2010

Market Lavington forms a part of the Devizes Constituency. In a few days, the people of the constituency will have a new MP. And so they did in the general election of 100 years ago when Basil Peto was elected for the Unionist Party.

Basil was the son of a railway building contractor, Samuel Peto so, no doubt, he was used to a hectic life. A career in politics must have seemed a good idea to him and he got his chance in 1910.

In 1910, the election campaign took place on the streets and in Market Lavington there were rallies to support Mr Peto’s campaign. This one – we have the photo in Market Lavington Museum, took place in Church Street.

1910 rally in support of Mr Peto – Market Lavington

Gosh! It rather looks as though children and dogs had the vote in 1910, but of course, it was not so. This was a time when only adult men could vote.

Behind the supporters of Mr Peto we can see Mr Godfrey’s butcher’s shop and then Mr Meritt’s cycle depot.

A descendant of Mr Merritt gave the museum some new images, just yesterday. Here we have a photo of Mr Peto, sent during the election campaign. It was actually sent to a different Mr Merritt who was a blacksmith in the village. Perhaps, in 1910, a photo of the potential MP was deemed a good thing to have.

Basil Peto – Unionist candidate in the 1910 election for the Devizes Constituency which includes Market Lavington

The picture of Mr Peto – sent to John Merritt

For the record, Mr Peto remained the MP until 1918.