Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

Henry Hussey requires information

July 23, 2014

This is another in the collection of letters and bill heads received by Mr Sainsbury of West Lavington Manor although perhaps in this case it was his wife.

This is a letter, dated April 20th 1914.

A letter from Hy Hussey of Easterton in 1914

A letter from Hy Hussey of Easterton in 1914

‘Madam’ is being requested to send a large waggon to collect her chairs. We do not know if Henry Hussey made them or refurbished them, but he sounds very pleased with them.

Henry was born in Market Lavington in about 1868. His father was a master cabinet maker and Henry followed him into this business.

Henry, or Harry as he is called in the marriage register, married Agnes Andrews in 1893. The 1911 census tells us they had five children of which one had died. The census tells us that Henry was working as a cabinet maker at Fiddington Asylum, but he also ran a taxidermy business from home.

One of the sons, Walter, married a girl called Ellen Mullings which linked the furniture business of the Husseys with the basket business of the Mullings.

Husseys still live in Easterton today – descendants of Henry


The Oak Settle

September 22, 2013

Here we have a substantial item which is always out in our upstairs room, yet is rarely seen. It is a large oak settle. The wood has been stained giving it a dark, almost black appearance. It dates from about 1800 and is almost a movable wall, no doubt very useful for keeping draughts at bay.

As a little aside, that statement about draughts could cause amusement in Wiltshire. With a Wiltshire accent, the word ‘giraffe’ comes out more like ‘draf’. Indeed, many a Wiltshire teacher will have seen youngsters, when writing about the tall African mammal, spell it just like that – D R A F! As far as we know we have no giraffes to be kept at bay by an old black settle.

An oak settle from about 1800 spent its working life on White Street in Market Lavington

An oak settle from about 1800 spent its working life on White Street in Market Lavington

Our records say this settle belonged to the Gye family, first at Beech Cottage and then at Beech House. The records need checking, for both properties belonged to the Welch family. Our founder curator, Peggy Gye had been a Miss Welch before she married.

The reason this item isn’t noticed is because it gets used as a display stand. It is so good to be able to drape a wonderful fabric over it. In the past it has been a bedspread made by Mrs Crassweller. And then we can arrange a family of people on it. The people change each year. This year we have some people getting up in the morning. The settle looks more like this.

The settle now performs a very useful job at Market Lavington Museum

The settle now performs a very useful job at Market Lavington Museum

The settle is, of course, of interest, but it seems much more human when used in this way.

The Fire Station Bureau

April 23, 2012

A very recent arrival at Market Lavington Museum is a small, rather ordinary little bureau. It’s an ordinary item made special by its history. This is an item which was once used as the desk in the Market Lavington Fire Station.

Many people will not be aware there was such a fire station, but in fact, at one time both Market Lavington and Easterton each had their own fire engines, ready to serve (at a cost) the people of the villages.

Market Lavington progressed from a towed fire engine with a steam powered pump to a proper lorry style fire engine in the 1930s. You can click here to read Marjorie Milsom’s account of how her father came to build the first proper fire engine in the village.

Like the old towed vehicle, the new one was kept in the Market Place although the location for the station moved further back, behind the Co-op. Perhaps the small bureau arrived at that time – paper work had to be done and this item gave a chance to have somewhere to write and to store paper work. The glass-doored front, below the desk, allowed any trophies won by the brigade to be displayed.

When the station closed (about 1960, we think), the chief fireman, Alfie Burt rescued the little bureau. For the last 50 years the item was with the Burt family, handed down from father to son. Now it has been given to the museum where it can serve something like its old purpose. We have paper work in the desk – all items connected with the fire service in Market Lavington and Easterton.

Other museum artefacts are displayed in the glass-fronted section.

Bureau which once was the office desk at the Fire Station in Market Lavington

What a lovely little item this is – and for the first time for many a year, the old Market and Easterton Fire Brigades are remembered at the museum

A 1940s baby ‘in and out’ chair

June 24, 2011

This  chair has the look and style of a high chair but in fact, it stands on the floor and at the back there are wheels to help move it around. But undoubtedly, it could be used as a child’s feeding chair. It is equipped with a chest strap to help hold a baby in place.

A 1940s feeding and potty chair at Market Lavington Museum

The chair takes apart and can be stored flat – ideal for those gaps in life when such a chair was not needed. But it also had a further use in that the flat seat could be removed and replaced by a potty.

Our doll has been dressed in an appropriate 1940s way.  This was the era of ‘make do and mend’ and austerity and rather careworn clothes were the norm.

The chair was used by a baby on White Street, Market Lavington

Photographer’s Balustrade

May 10, 2011

This balustrade has appeared in many photos for it was once a prop in the Burgess’s photographic studio at number 13, High Street, Market Lavington.

The Burgess’s balustrade with Mary in 1920s clothing sitting on it.

Here we see it with a dressed doll seated on it.

She’s sitting in front of a display about William Cambridge, the designer of the Cambridge roller.

And here’s the balustrade featuring in a photo taken in 1924.

A 1924 photo of the cast of a play features the same balustrade

The balustrade is on the left in this image, which is of the cast of a play.

Our doll (called Mary) is on show this year. She has been moved for the photo above, for normally she sits in the high chair once occupied by Flo Burbidge. Flo was born in the museum building in 1908 and the high chair we have was hers when she was little. You can see the chair (and Mary in a different guise) by clicking here.

This year Mary is wearing a cotton dress from the 1920s and a net head square from a similar period.

You’ll find the balustrade, the high chair and Mary in the kitchen room at the museum.

On the Settle

March 26, 2010

As part of our Silver Jubilee displays for 2010 we have dressed a collection of ‘people’ and sat them on or around our 18th century settle. Back in February, we saw work in progress. The display is now just about ready for opening day on 1st May.

Two ladies, we see them as mother and daughter, sit on the settle. The era is about 1900 – the end of the Victorian period.

On the Settle at Market Lavington Museum

Granny is on the left, coping with life without her husband. She is wearing her black shawl, known as widow’s weeds and an all black costume.

Her daughter is on the right. Her skirt is black but she has abandoned mourning clothes and wears an elegant, floral shawl over her other clothes.

The grandson sits between them. Back in 1900, it was quite normal for the boys to wear pretty dresses like this – and we know that boys in the Colman family wore this one.

We have seen the pram before. A granddaughter relaxes in it. We hope the grandchildren prove to be a comfort to the bereaved widow.



Finally, a reminder to museum stewards – tomorrow, Saturday 27th March is spring clean day at the museum, from 10 o’clock in the morning. It would be great to see many of you there and thanks to all those who have already said they will help get ready for the start of the new season.