Posts Tagged ‘glass’

A pleasing glass jar

May 30, 2015

We are not absolutely certain what this jar’s original use was. From its style we think it dates from the Edwardian era – roughly the first ten years of the twentieth century.

Edwardian glass and gold coloured jar

Edwardian glass and gold coloured jar

On display, it seems perfectly clear.

Labelled as a hair tidy - but is it?

Labelled as a hair tidy – but is it?

This item is clearly labelled as a hair tidy. That’s a container which might find a place on a dressing table into which combed out hair could be put and stored until there was enough for some kind of hair piece..

But it could also be an inkwell, being a container with a small opening, ideal for dip-in pens.

It has been in the museum for a very long time. It would be good if we could get some accurate information about just what this lovely little jar is for.


A Bovril Jar

April 9, 2015

OK, glass Bovril jars are almost as common as muck but we are still pleased to have one at the museum.

It was acquired at a day centre sale earlier this month. It’s a small one.

These jars were factory made in a variety of sizes. We believe this one was a two ounce jar.

Our Bovril jar is the same as many, many others.

Our Bovril jar is the same as many, many others.

The shape is distinctive, with the long neck and the flat sides. It is the curved ends that have embossed writing.

The jar makes itself clear. It contained Bovril

The jar makes itself clear. It contained Bovril

One thing we are not sure about is what kind of lid these jars had. We assume it was some kind of ‘prize off’ metal lid. There’s certainly no thread for a screw on lid. The bottle could be 100 years old but may well be newer than that.

We open for the new season on Saturday May 2nd at 2.30 pm. This little jar will be on the new acquisitions shelf in the upstairs room.


Here’s a reminder of our normal opening times:


From May to the end of October on Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and bank holiday afternoons from 2.30 to 4.30 pm. For group visits or opening at other times please contact the curator.


Visitors should park in the Community Car Park and walk up the path to the church. The path behind the church leads to the museum.

Eiffel Tower Lemonade

January 12, 2015

Do you remember this drink? If so that’s slightly hard luck, for you are getting on a bit. It’s hard to discover precisely when production stopped. The firm that made this ‘drink’ ceased production in the mid-1960s but we have seen a reference to people still drinking it in the early 70s.

We have a bottle which once contained the product at Market Lavington Museum.

Eiffel Tower Lemonade Bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Eiffel Tower Lemonade Bottle at Market Lavington Museum

The bottle is clear glass – it has picked up colour from the backdrop here. It is also small. If it contained the actual drink it wouldn’t have done much thirst quenching. What it actually contained was crystals.

The crystals could be dissolved in water to make a syrup and that was then diluted to taste, like bottles of ordinary squash.

Our curator remembers that his family used to have it on camping holidays. There was only the small bottle to carry to the camp site. It could be made up there and it made a delightful sweet drink for the children in the family. And of course, our curator was one of those children.

Actually, he doesn’t remember the bottles and thought the crystals came in sachets, but that may be because his interest was in drinking the stuff, not making it up.

Lots of people, including our curator, remember the taste with great affection. These days we are trying to reduce the sugar intake of our youngsters. Back then it seemed to be used with great abandon and no doubt Eiffel Tower was high in sugar.

Back to our bottle. One side of it is embossed with the name of the product.


The other side has the manufacturer’s name.


That’s Foster Clark Ltd of Maidstone.

You can read a bit of the fascinating history of the company by clicking here –

This little bottle is sure to bring back memories of lovely, sunny, summer days for many people.


An Oxo bottle

December 16, 2014

If we judge from past experience this post could be destined to be very popular. Many users of our blog check in every day but quite a lot of posts are found by people using search engines. As the ‘owners’ of the blog we at the museum can see just which pages are most popular. The home page wins that competition by a huge margin. That’s had over 100 000 views, mostly that will be by regular viewers. But amongst individual pages sought out by far the most popular is the one about a Virol Jar and the one about a Shippams Paste jar is catching up fast.

So we reckon a blog about an Oxo bottle, a late entry at this stage, will soon be sought out. People who find the blog may well have found or just own one of these items.

So here is our Oxo jar.

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

A 1930s Oxo Jar at Market Lavington Museum

We think this elegant dark brown glass bottle (or jar) dates from the 1930s. It looks like similar bottles which contained Bovril, but there is no doubt that this is an Oxo container.


Vital information – moulded on the bottle


It says it very clearly on the bottle and also gives the quantity as 4 oz – 4 ounces or about 55 grams.

And really we have no further information – not even what Oxo in a jar looked like.

Lavington Snails

July 9, 2013


In a recent conversation with Tom Gye, our secretary was told that Bristol glass blowers used to come to Lavington for snails. The reason for this was that eating snails was reputed to give glass blowers more puff.

It sounded an absurd story so our curator decided to contact the Bristol Blue Glass Company to see if there was any truth.

This was the reply.

Thank you for your email. After a brief conversation with a senior glass maker I understand that there is truth in the snail eating story. I am going to seek some more details, and see if I can locate any written references to this, and I will revert to you. My colleague tells me that, apart from anything else, snails were a cheap source of nutrition and became popular with the Romans arrival.

Apparently, there was a belief among glass makers that eating snails would help one expunge glass dust and other dangerous air borne pollutants involved in glass making.

Perhaps Market Lavington’s snails were a particularly tasty variety.

Good old Tom! It seems there was truth in the tale he told.

Since then, the glass company have sent us a few web links which all point to glass blowers eating snails. Seemingly Italian glass blowers who arrived in the Pontefract area of Yorkshire thought snails helped ward off TB. Some reports say that Bristol glass blowers, who often called snails ‘wall fish’, definitely thought they helped ease the throat and helped with puff.

We do not know why Lavington was a chosen source for snails. Investigations continue.

But we’d better see a special Lavington snail. This one had taken its time to climb more than 70 centimetres up an allium spike. I do hope whatever it found at the top was good.

A Market Lavington Snail

A Market Lavington Snail

And of course, if you have more on this snail eating habit, then do let us know.

Can we offer huge thanks to the Bristol Blue Glass Company for their help and enthusiasm.

The Brewery Tap

January 27, 2013

The Brewery Tap was a small pub on White Street, Market Lavington.  It closed its doors to the drinkers – beer brewed on the premises – in the mid 1920s. It survives as a building although it is not recognisably the same, for ‘the old tap’ was a single storey building and it was converted into two dwellings with an extra floor added. Tom Gye remembers the alterations being done and thinks it was about 1924.

The old building was recorded in photos and we have seen some before. You could click here to see one of them.

Today we are looking at a relic from the pub – in the form of the window which was in the pub door when it closed.

Window which was in the door of The Brewery Tap pub on White Street, Market Lavington when it closed in the 1920s

Window which was in the door of The Brewery Tap pub on White Street, Market Lavington when it closed in the 1920s

We believe this window, which has the pub name sand blasted in it, dates from about 1900. How amazing that it has survived.

Bottles and Bowls

May 20, 2012

Bottles, made of glass, are amazing survivors. Museums like ours at Market Lavington are almost certain to have collections of bottles from the past. They can form a good basis for a display, often falling into that category which visitors loved of, ‘Oh I remember those’.

Along with bottles, some corner shelves in our kitchen room also contain tins, bowls and other items.

Shelves of bottles and bowls at Market Lavington Museum

Items here like the knife polisher and cheese dish you may recognise from other blog entries.

There are all sorts of other little items there – including a pastry cutter and a device for pushing the marble in those old fizzy drink bottles. There are obviously graters and a pestle and mortar.

But our aim. here, is just to give an idea of one little corner in one of our display rooms.

A Silver Jubilee glass

April 22, 2012

Today we complete a collection of three ‘royal event’ glasses which came from Clyffe Hall and formed part of the scene when it was run as Clyffe Hall Hotel. This one dates from 1977 – our present queen’s Silver Jubilee year.

1977 Silver Jubilee glass which as part of the decor at Clyffe Hall Hotel, Market Lavington

This wine glass is, very much, in the style of the 70s. It’s a no frills affair, designed to be functional and sturdy enough to cope with less formal meals. By the 1970s we had entered the era of TV meals on trays, sitting on the sofa. Glassware needed to be chunky to make sure there were no breakages when the inevitable drop onto the fitted carpet happened.

If you like the style, then with the current 70s revival you are in luck. It is possible to buy almost identical glasses today – minus the Silver Jubilee logo, of course.

Our item, with the logo, forms part of the museum display this year. Make sure you visit us this year. There are a huge number of new exhibits to see.

A Coronation Glass – 1953 style

April 3, 2012

Our Queen Elizabeth II had her Coronation in 1953. For many, this was the dawn of the new Elizabethan age. The war had ended 8 years before, and whilst we still lived in austerity Britain, it was a time of hope for the future. Most rationing had ended and the new cult of consumerism was beginning. It was time for manufacturers to try out new styles with a look  to suit the new age that was just beginning.

And what better than to update the old ideas for Coronation memorabilia. We have seen an  elegant glass produced for the 1937 Coronation of the Queen’s father, George VI. It was time to produce a new item with a new design.. With austerity ending it was time for a touch of glamour, with gold (coloured) logos and rims to remind people of earlier ages of plenty.

A Coronation Tot at Market Lavington Museum

Or maybe it was time to drown sorrows, for this was a glass for whisky or other shorts – and came in a box of six.

The box of 6 Coronation Tots came from Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington

At Market Lavington Museum, we have the boxed set of six Coronation Tots and, of course, the toast was, ‘The Queen’.

These glasses, like the 1937 glass, were part of the décor at the Clyffe Hall Hotel.

George VI – Coronation Memorabilia

March 30, 2012

No doubt many an item was produced for people to buy, to remember the coronation of King George VI back in 1937. We featured a handkerchief last year and you can re-read that page by clicking here.

Today we feature two more items that may well have found there way to many a home. The first is a recording of the coronation service at Westminster Abbey.

Label of a 1937 coronation record

Actually, this is probably one record from a huge boxed set for it appears to be number 28. Back in 1937, we were still in the days of the old, brittle 78-rpm records. About 5 minutes was the absolute maximum play time per side of record. How things have changed! This record belonged to a Northbrook resident.

Our other item is a very elegant glass.

Glass used at Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington and on dispaly at Market Lavington Museum for the 2012, 'Royal' season

This item will be on display, in the museum, for our 2012, ‘Royal’ season. It once formed part of the décor of Clyffe Hall when it was a hotel.