Posts Tagged ‘Factory’

In the jam factory

August 30, 2015

Back in 1985 the Easterton jam factory – Samuel Moore Foods – was in the throes of expansion. It was quite a large rural employer and perhaps that is why the factory was able to get one of the leading royals to officially open an extension to the factory.

It was Princess Anne who came to do the honours. The children from St Barnabas School went to be part of the cheering crowd and Easterton was very much ‘en fête’ for the day.

We suspect it was a worker at the factory who captured the photo below.

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

It isn’t clear that the Princess is in the photo – she’s in the group of three wearing a very white peaked cap. But apart from HRH, we see a glimpse of the interior of the factory when it was working.

Not being commercial jam makers we have no idea what the machines were, but huge ‘cooker hoods’ on the right presumably caught steam/fumes and sucked it all to the outside world. Presumably they are boilers, for cooking the jam, underneath them. The worker at bottom right appears to be stirring a vat of fruit.

The jam factory is now but a memory, completely swept into oblivion. It won’t be long before the first houses built on the site are occupied

We’re jamming again

November 5, 2014

Today we’ll feature another photo of jam factory workers. Maybe, once again, we’ll get valuable information about these people.

jam factory ladies at Samuel Moore Foods, Easterton - probably in the 1960s

Jam factory ladies at Samuel Moore Foods, Easterton – probably in the 1960s

These three ladies are clearly sporting the latest in jam factory wear with elegant aprons and lovely gloves. In a sense it is a shame they have posed for a photo. It doesn’t tell us what job they did but presumably it was potentially hot and messy.

We believe these three ladies to be (from the left) Mary Burry, Dolly Wiltshire and Rosie Twiss. They were working at Samuel Moore Foods, the Easterton jam factory and we think this dates from the 1960s.

It would be good to learn more about them.

More Jam Factory Workers

October 17, 2014

Often, when we think of workers at the former jam factory we think of ‘the girls’. But men worked there as well in quite large numbers. And of course, this included the actual manufacture of jam. So today we feature two men at work amongst the hot sugary product.

Two chaps at work at the jam factory - probably 1960s

Two chaps at work at the jam factory – probably 1960s

This picture, which we believe dates from the 1960s, shows Preston Law and Nigel Marston. Almost inevitably we know nothing about them but thanks to John in Oz for identifying them.

Their old place of work is now no more. This photo was taken earlier this month and shows where the factory once stood.

The former jam factory site - October 2014

The former jam factory site – October 2014

We’ll keep you posted on this site as developments occur.

And we’ll come up with more photos of jam factory workers too.


A Royal photo for display in 2012

December 17, 2011

Market Lavington Museum is nominally shut, although we have decided to have a couple of openings during the Christmas period (27th and 28th December form 2.30 to 4 pm). But work is already underway on a Royal themed display for Diamond Jubilee year – 2012.

The one royal visit to the area that we know about was the one made by Princess Anne to open an extension to the jam factory in Easterton in 1985. We have memorabilia from this event and today we show a picture published in the local paper, the Gazette and Herald.

Princess Ann with jam factory workers in Easterton in 1985

It is good to get a picture of Ann with the ordinary workers at the factory and here we have Kath Stockley, Maureen Kelsey and Valerie Miles.

A look at a current edition of the newspaper shows just how far newspaper printing has come on in 25 years. All photos are now colour and they are nothing like as dotty in appearance. The photo above has been smoothed by computer trickery to improve it.

Old newspaper photos will not form the bulk of our display next year for we have many photos of local celebrations of royal events in the past as well as other artefacts.

The final pot of jam

April 8, 2011

Preserving fruit was an Easterton industry from the time when old Sam Saunders decided, in his old age, to be a fruit farmer and preserver towards the end of the nineteenth century. One of his employees, Samuel Moore, took over where Mr Saunders left off and turned what was more a cottage industry into a thriving business in the early years of the twentieth century. Samuel Moore’s sons, Wilfrid and Billy continued the business into the 1970s at which point the firm was sold to a large company who continued to trade under the Samuel Moore Foods name.

With further takeovers, the factory at Easterton became a small part of a very large organisation. Access was difficult and, although the business was trading at a profit, the factory was closed. The last pot of jam completed its journey along the production line on October 9th 1998.

This jar was especially labelled and then kept by the floor manager at the time and it has recently been given to Market Lavington Museum.

The pictures show the final pot of jam.

The final pot of jam came off the production line at easterton. It was intended to be sold at a Mace store but it never got there.

Ingredients of Samuel Moore Foods final pot of jam. This jar is now at Market Lavington Museum

The 'use by' date. Sadly the jam is already 11 years out of date.

The final jar lid was specially printed - 'LAST POT EVER S M F 9 OCT 98'. S M F is for Samuel Moore Foods.

Princess Anne at the jam factory again

March 21, 2011

We have already seen press coverage of Princess Anne’s visit to Easterton on 30th April 1985. She came to open an extension to the jam factory – Samuel Moore Foods.

Today we’ll look at the plaque she unveiled, which has now come to Market Lavington Museum. We’ll also see some work by an 8-year-old lad at St Barnabas School who went to see the royal visitor.

First, the plaque. This is a hefty slate item, some 75 cm long. When the factory closed down in 1998 it was rescued by an Easterton resident who worked at the factory. It has just been passed to the museum for safe keeping.

Plaque unveiled by Princess Anne at the Easterton jam factory of Samuel Moore Foods on 31st April 1985

And now the work, written by the eight year old at school the following day – the first of May, 1985.

That’s two examples of very different items about the same event, the one being monumental and the other simple and child produced.

We can expect the jam factory to feature again in the coming months for a number of new items have come to the museum

A Royal Visit – 30th April 1985

December 29, 2010

Some newspaper cuttings form another Christmas present received by Market Lavington Museum. They recall a visit made to the Easterton Jam Factory by The Princess Royal, Princess Anne or, as she was then, Mrs Mark Phillips.

The news cuttings, perhaps tell us more about the papers than the actual visit.

This was how the Daily Telegraph reported the visit in their 1st May 1985 edition.

Daily Telegraph reports Anne's visit to the Easterton Jam Factory in 1985

Interesting! It is the Guardian with the reputation for misprints but it seems the Telegraph failed here as well.

The Sun, for the same day, took the opportunity to get a photo of Anne in a silly hat.

Princess Anne is at Easterton and the cutting is now at Market Lavington Museum

The Sun couldn’t get its geography right for of course, the jam factory was never in Devizes.

The Western Daily Express is a regional paper and has more detail, and some awful misprints. The article has been broken into pieces to fit the blog format.

Western Daily Press photos of Princess Anne's visit to Easterton Jam Factory

A local youngster chosen to present a bouquet to the visiting princess.

The article in the Western Daily Press

We’d like to make it clear that the local children gave the princess a warM welcome.

These are lovely items to have in the museum but the local papers probably gave bigger coverage to this story. Has anyone got copies of them? They’d make a great late Christmas present for the museum.

A Christmas Card for the museum

December 27, 2010

No, this is not an actual Christmas card, but rather a postcard depicting a local scene, which has been given to Market Lavington Museum over the Christmas period.

We have hundreds of local postcards in the museum, many made from photos taken by Alf Burgess, the photographer, or his sons. But this one was artist drawn, more recently than the Burgess family were at work and depicts a scene that they would not have known. For the scene is a factory – the largest in the area. It was in Easterton and it made jam.

Easterton jam factory on a postcard at Market Lavington Museum

The artist is John Worsfold. Market Lavington Museum has a number of his sketches – or rather copies of them. It probably dates from the 1980s.

The caption on the back of the card simply reads

Of course, it isn’t Samuel Moore himself, but rather his jam factory. We still await news on what will happen to the site now that the factory has shut down.

Two new display cabinets

August 18, 2010

For some years we have been concerned that many of our 7000 artefacts at Market Lavington Museum have been in store and not easily visible to the visiting public. At the start of the 2010 season we were able to obtain one new cabinet so that more could go on display. This week we have taken delivery of two more similar cabinets so that even more interesting items can be on show,

This time, we had to start by demolishing a handy-angle and chipboard shelving unit and this meant for one day we had the very rare site of a blank wall at the museum.

A very rare blank wall at Market Lavington Museum

Yesterday (August 17th) Tom and Rog assembled the new cabinets and got them positioned.

Blank wall no more! Two new cabinets occupy the space.

Beyond the empty cabinets, you can see through to the storeroom in this shot, stacked, floor to ceiling with boxes

The museum needed to look ready for visitors, so Rog spent a little longer, flinging together very temporary displays.

Ready for visitors, even if displays are not perfect - the new cabinets at Market Lavington Museum

The items at bottom left are mostly concerned with Easterton. Above are items from the former congregational church building and the top two items on the left have various newly received photos, books and maps concerned with Lavington.

In the bottom of the right hand cabinet we have items about Samuel Moore’s jam factory at Easterton. Above it is a shelf which might be called ‘metal’. It holds coins, buttons, belts etc.

Some of the items in the next to top shelf look very scientific, but in fact it is all agricultural. The pipettes and measuring cylinders were cheese-making equipment used in Market Lavington.

The top shelf has a number of different lamps on display.

Over the coming weeks these displays will be improved and explanatory labels will appear. But even now, these new cabinets are already a great asset to the museum. What a great extra for this, our Silver Jubilee year.

Easterton Jam Factory in 1985

July 3, 2010

Samuel Moore of Easterton started jam making commercially more than 100 years ago. His business grew steadily with products sold under his name, for the company was called Samuel Moore Foods. Perhaps changing eating habits caused a decline and after a period of financial instability, the company was taken over and became a part of the Hazlewood Food group.

A number of brochures from that company have recently been donated to Market Lavington Museum. This one dates from about 1985.

Front of 1985 Hazlewood Foods brochure at Market Lavington Museum

Most of the brochure is not directly linked to our area. One page is about the products made and the processes used at the Easterton site.

The Easterton page in the brochure

At the bottom we see some of the products produced or packaged at Easterton.

A part of the Easterton jam factory as shown in the 1985 brochure

Easterton information in the 1985 brochure

Market Lavington Museum is delighted to receive information about this factory where so many local people worked. If you have any items or information that relate to the jam factory we’d be delighted to hear from you.