Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

A Victorian Evening

October 21, 2013

Back in 1993 the organisers of the village festival in Market Lavington decided to hold a Victorian Evening./ The event was a miscellany of items, a bit like a ‘Music Hall’ evening.

The audience were invited, if possible, to turn up appropriately dressed. Some could whilst others had nothing to hand and so came in normal clothes. Our photo shows some of the audience.

Audience at the Market Lavington Victorian Evening - 1st September 1993

Audience at the Market Lavington Victorian Evening – 1st September 1993

Clearly the photographer has picked out some of the audience in Victorian costume and they are none other than Peggy and Tom Gye. Peggy appears to be sporting an apple on her hat whilst Tom looks very dapper in his waistcoat and neckerchief.

As we can see, most of the audience for this event in the old Parish Room wore mufti – normal clothes.

Next to Tom is Ron Francis who had farmed at Grove Farm but we do not have names for other members of the audience.

Here’s hoping that next year, we can hold similar events in the villages, dated at around 1914 and suited to the start of World War One.

Robin Hood

June 23, 2012

Tales of the outlaw of Sherwood Forest have been popular for a very long time. No wonder local drama groups set up an event featuring Robin Hood and his merry men and women.

Cast of ‘Robin Hood’, probably in the mid 1920s. This photo is at Market Lavington Museum

This is one of the wonderfully well documented photos in terms of names, although we do not have a date. Here’s a copy of the photo with each person numbered.

And here’s the list of who is who.

  • 1 Ellie Gye
  • 2 Ethel Cooper
  • 3 Marjorie Burgess
  • 4 Mary George
  • 5 Lily Shepherd
  • 6 Cherry Hoddinott
  • 7 Winnie Mundy
  • 8 May Bullock
  • 9 Ena Gye
  • 10 Maisey Kiddle
  • 11 Ivy Pomeroy
  • 12 Vi Dunford
  • 13 Cyril Arnold
  • 14 Doreen Ashley
  • 15 Mabel Shepherd
  • 16 Edie Potter
  • 17 Rene Cooper
  • 18 Eric James
  • 19 Vi Davis
  • 20 Annie Buckland
  • 21 Edith Perry
  • 22 Marjory Pomeroy
  • 23 Lucie Potter
  • 24 Eileen Baker
  • 25 Jack George
  • 26 Ern Raisy
  • 27 Jack Davis
  • 28 Jack Saxton

To help us date the picture  we have picked on number 25 – Jack George.

Jack George was born in 1914 at Market Lavington. His father was manager of the brickworks.

There’s Jack who was born in 1914. From that we feel the photo dates from the mid 1920s.

Of course, we always like to know more about residents of Market Lavington and Easterton. Do get in touch if you can tell us more about these people.

It’s Phantasmagorial

May 11, 2011

What is phantasmagorial? A new acquisition at Market Lavington Museum is. The museum is now in possession of a magic lantern projector. We didn’t know much about these items so we asked The Magic Lantern Society for help and this is what they said.

A magic lantern, newly arrived at Market Lavington Museum

‘The lantern is what is known as a “Phantasmagoria” lantern. Probably dates from the 1860’s. It is missing its very characteristic chimney.

You can see other examples on the Society website at

We were aware that ours was missing something on top.

We have digitally borrowed a chimney to give an idea of what it might have looked like.

Digital magic adds a chimney to the lantern

Our lantern was made by W E and F Newton as its makers badge says.

Maker's badge on the magic lantern

The Magic Lantern Society told us that ‘Newton were at 3 Fleet Street from 1858, so 1860’s would be about right. By the 1870’s this style was obsolete, so the date between 1858 and 1870 is pretty firm.’

Apart from not having a chimney, this lantern has no real evidence of what the source of light was. But The Magic Lantern Society were able to tell us that ‘it would probably have had a candle light burner and the curved back you have would have fitted into the candle holder. It may have had a paraffin/oil burner but that is less likely.’

Our lantern, and a collection of slides were once the property of a local resident, Dr Charles Hitchcock. A future blog entry will look at his life.

At our next Museum Miscellany, on 17th September 2011 in Market Lavington Community Hall, you can expect to see this device in operation – powered reasonably safely with an electric lamp – which, of course, needs no chimney to allow fumes to escape.

An Evacuee Remembers

January 25, 2011

Here we present extracts from the memories of  Fred, Albert, Tom, Dora and Poppy Emms. They were world war 2 evacuees from London. They spent a little while on a farm near Chippenham, then some time in Devizes and then…

… the Billeting Officer offered our Mum and Aunt Bella two joint cottages behind the fire station in the market place Market Lavington. The cottages were very old, had no plumbing and we had an old pump outside the door. It was shared by all the neighbours it was not nice for drinking. We got our water from Broadwell and that was very nice. For the toilet we had to walk about seven hundred yards through the gardens to some tin sheds with buckets that you had to empty every week but we did have the Daily Mirror for toilet paper. The toilets were by Mr James’ field. A brick wall kept us apart.

At the cottage we did have electricity but no kitchen. I do not remember all the names of our neighbours. The ones I do remember were Mr and Mrs Owen with son Basil and daughter Poppy, Mr and Mrs Jackson and family, Mrs Robbins and son Chuffy, Mr and Billy Cooper and Mrs Ingrams. I know there were a lot more but I have forgotten the names.

Once we settled down we made lots of friends such as Mr and Mrs Chapman, Aubry, Tony, Roy, and Gran, Mrs Cooper, the Jenks, the Orams, the Wells, and the Burt families.

Bella Marshall and her son Jimmy - World War II evacuees at Market Lavington

This is the Aunt Bella referred to – Bella Marshall and her son Jimmy who were evacuated to Market Lavington.

Another extract from these memories reads…

… I know we were too young to go in pubs, but our mums did. They used the Volunteer. The landlady was, I believe, Mrs Trotter. It was there that Bobby Mapp and Howard May, two soldiers from the army barracks, entertained. Howard played the accordion, and Bobby sang.

Bobby Mapp and the accordion player entertained in Market Lavington.

This photo was given to Eliza, Mrs Emms, by Bob Mapp on 25th September 1941. Our museum information differs from these memories for we have it that  Bobby Mapp is on the left and possibly Arthur Golbur with the piano accordion. Maybe a reader can put us straight on that.

A Music Box at Market Lavington

May 8, 2010

These days the world seems to walk about with earphones plugged firmly into ears with, at the other end of the wire, a tiny device which can hold weeks worth of continuously playing music.

In former times, recorded music was much simpler. At Market Lavington museum we are delighted to have a simple music box which dates from sometime around the end of the nineteenth century. It gives an idea of the simplicity of entertainment in those days. Similar music boxes, though, were certainly still being made into the 1960s.

A music box at Market Lavington Museum

The box was not made in Market Lavington. We assume, from its paper label, ‘Musique à 2 AIRS’ that it is French (or maybe Swiss) in origin. However, the box was owned by a Market Lavington family.

The two tunes the box plays are selected by moving the right hand button on the front. They are ‘Coming through the Rye’ (click here to hear this tune in You Tube) and ‘Your Flower, Waltz’.

The movement had some restoration, by John Martin of Easterton in 1988 but the start switch – it should be a matching left hand button – is missing and so, too, is one tooth in the comb. The winding key, for of course, such a device is totally mechanical, is more modern than the box as well.

Key used for the Market Lavington Museum music box

This probably was originally a key for a Triang toy.

As is often the case, we would like help. If you can tell us more about our music box then do get in touch.