Posts Tagged ‘Golden Wedding’

A Golden Wedding Celebration

May 20, 2016

How does a bell ringer celebrate his Golden Wedding? Well in the case of Tom Gye, one way was to have the bells of St Mary’s rung to mark the occasion. A group of six ringers rang a quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles. That’s 1260 changes and it takes around 40 minutes. The Gyes, Tom and Peggy had some cards printed to remember the event and we have one of them in the museum.

Commemorating the quarter peal rung for the Golden Wedding of Tom and Peggy Gye

Commemorating the quarter peal rung for the Golden Wedding of Tom and Peggy Gye

The card says it all. It gives the date of 4th December 1990 and tells us who rang which bell. Bell six, the tenor, was rung by Tom and Peggy’s son, Johnathan. He, like Maurice Baker is, sadly, no longer with us.

Of the other ringers, Sylvia Young is now the Tower Captain and Derick Bailey is seen most practice nights at the tower. Sylvia’s son, Robbie, lives away from Lavington now but sometimes rings when he visits his parents. Rosemary Anderson also lives well away but has rung when visiting the area.

So ringing goes on still in the village and our curator, who is also a ringer, says it is an enjoyable social activity offering a bit of physical exercise and also doing the brain good as you learn new methods.



A Golden wedding in 1950

May 11, 2016

If you are around 65 now you were born in the year this couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. This report, about Mr and Mrs George Ellis of Market Lavington was published in the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald on July 20th 1950. This means, of course, they married in 1900. Queen Victoria was on the throne then.

Mr and Mrs George Ellis celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1950

Mr and Mrs George Ellis celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1950

That’s the photo – now the accompanying article.


News article about the couple

Of note is that George Ellis went to work for Samuel Saunders jam factory in Market Lavington in 1895. This was a precursor of the much larger enterprise in Easterton founded by Samuel Moore. Where the article suggests he stayed with Samuel Saunders for 52 years it seems likely he’d actually have been working for Samuel Moore.

His wife, the former Elizabeth Rickson hailed from Surrey but she had a servant’s job for Samuel Saunders’ sister at Hawthorns in Market Lavington.

Cemetery lane, where the newlyweds lived is what we now call Drove Lane. Their more recent home at 8 New Road is what we more usually call The Muddle.

The couple’s three daughters all worked at the Devizes flax factory during the Second World War. That’s a reminder of the need to be self-reliant in all materials during the time of conflict.

So well done to Mr and Mrs Ellis and also to the local newspaper for publishing the article.

Bert Burnett’s Golden Wedding

April 14, 2016

Bert or Herbert James Burnett to give him his full name was born in Easterton back in 1895. His father, Henry, was a market gardener at first but by 1911 he had become Easterton’s sub postmaster and the family, including young Bert, lived at the Post Office. By then, Bert was an apprentice blacksmith working just up the street in Easterton at the village forge.

When the Easterton forge closed the equipment was purchased by the Gyes in Market Lavington and they also took on Bert and his brother who was a wheelwright.

He married Elsie Lucas at Potterne Church in the spring of 1922. Although the couple lived in the Potterne area, Bert continued in his Market Lavington blacksmith’s employment.

In later life he and Elsie moved to Southbroom Road in Devizes and it was there they planned to quietly celebrate their Golden Wedding in 1972.


Bert and Elsie Burnett celebrate their Golden Wedding in 1972

It seems other members of the family didn’t go along with the quiet celebration and a family ‘do’ was organised and clearly the local paper reported the event.


Bert is certainly remembered at Market Lavington Museum and has been featured on this blog in the past. You can click here to see Bert at work as a farrier in Market Lavington.

Alfie’s Golden Wedding (perhaps)

October 9, 2014

There can never be any doubt that Alfie Alexander was a village character. Stories about him abound, mostly admiring his initiative when it came to money making ventures or being amused by some of them. At one time Alfie was the Market Lavington dustman – an entirely private enterprise venture. But on another occasion he could be seen striding alongside Winston Churchill as he was off to deliver his 1927 budget speech. We don’t think Alfie actually knew Churchill, but it certainly looks like it in the photo.

Alfie could look like the scruffiest down and out you could wish for, or he could be the smartest, most distinguished looking man you might see.

Perhaps we should say that Alfie lived life to the full.

We have recently been given a photo which we believe was taken at his Golden Wedding party. Alfie and Sarah married in 1886 so we think this photo dates from 1936.

Alfie and Sarah Alexander with friends and relations - possibly 14th August 1936

Alfie and Sarah Alexander with friends and relations – possibly 14th August 1936

If we are right that this was the Golden Wedding party, then it was on 14th August for one memory recalls:

On 14th August 1936 Alfie and Sarah celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Apparently it was an all-day affair with waiters in frock-coats and bought-in caterers!

In the photo we see the utterly distinctive whiskered features of Alfie and next to him, his wife Sarah with a bouquet of flowers. From there on in we get into a bit of guesswork, but we think the other four seated adults are the surviving children of the golden couple. Norman was born in around 1888 and Alice in 1891. Deering was born in 1898 and Gladys in 1902. We imagine the children are grandchildren of Alfie and Sarah.

And as for the standees, behind the couple – at present we have no idea, but maybe there’s somebody out there who can give us an idea. The Alexanders were active members of the Congregational Church so perhaps we see other members of that community.