Posts Tagged ‘Hopkins’

Ada Hopkins

July 10, 2016

This photo comes from an album of mostly Victorian photos which we have at the museum at the moment. The vast majority of photos are of members of the Durnford or Dunford family. They were south Londoners although one of their number married into a local family. We may well seek a more suitable home for this album at some point.

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s - but which Ada Hopkins

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s – but which Ada Hopkins

The picture clearly has a Market Lavington connection for the photographer was our Mr Burgess of Market Lavington.

This is a cabinet sized photo with the whole card measuring some 6½ by 4¼ inches. The album carries the name, probably added by our founder curator, Peggy Gye – ‘Ada Hopkins’.

Now this presents us with a problem for there were two Ada Hopkins locally. One was born in about 1870 as Ada Dark. She was born in West Lavington. In 1894 she married Sam Hopkins of the building firm. This could be her.

The other Ada Hopkins was born Ada Mullings in 1873. She was a part of the basket making family and she married Edward Hopkins in about 1903. So the picture could be her.

I wonder if anyone out there can help. If so, do get in touch. If not, enjoy a fine photo of a local lady, we think in the 1890s.

A Hopkins Bill

May 18, 2016

We love our bills and receipts at Market Lavington Museum. This one, from Hopkins and Co was made out to Mr Heggie who was the agent for the Holloways of West Lavington. It was dated May 18th 1908 and was clearly paid for on the day. That’s 108 years ago on the day we publish this post.

Hopkins Bill - 18th May 1908

Hopkins Bill – 18th May 1908

We are not sure what the items were. It appears to say linen but it is being sold by the ounce. Any ideas anybody?

We particularly like the list of items featured as possible purchases from Hopkins – tile register grates, mantel registers, kitchen ranges, portables, cottage grates, furnace pans, sash weights, builders’ castings, locks, latches, hinges etc.

These items speak of a long gone past when solid fuel was king and used for all purposes. We can also note that there is no phone number, let alone email or anything like that. Instead people are advised on how to address a telegram – also now something from the long ago past.

It makes for a lovely item.

A nineteenth century pulley block

December 3, 2015

This little pulley wheel looks ordinary enough but its cast iron construction and the style of rivet holding the wheel in identify it as 19th century.

19th century pulley block found at 21 Church Street in Market Lavington

19th century pulley block found at 21 Church Street in Market Lavington

This was found attached to a first floor joist at 21 Church Street in Market Lavington. Presumably, when it was installed, there was no ceiling above the ground floor. For ease of photography, we see this pulley block upside down here.

Of course, we cannot be certain as to why this was used, but this building was once the shop and headquarters for the Hopkins family business. They operated a builders’ merchant and general ironmongery business from here.

21 Church Street in the Edwardian era

21 Church Street in the Edwardian era

During shop opening hours some of the wares were on display outside on the pavement. Perhaps there was limited floor space inside the shop. The pulley could have been part of a system to lift such items off the ground and leave them hanging above head height.

It’s a lovely little pulley. Thanks to Bob for donating it.

A Hopkins Bill Head

October 22, 2014

We have a wonderful collection of Hopkins bill heads. Retailers got bill heads on the cheap by having a manufacturers advert on them – like this one below.

A Hopkins of Market Lavington bill of 1913

A Hopkins of Market Lavington bill of 1913

This one dates from 1913 so is just over the 100 years old as this is written. Of course we can marvel at the price of what appears to be a range back then with a smaller one at 18/5 (92p) and the portable one at £1-16-0 or £1.80 in present decimal coinage.

But it is the advert at the head of this bill that really appeals and recalls a bygone age.

These days the electric lamp is just about everywhere in the UK but back in 1913 most smaller places did not have mains electricity and locally produced gas could be used for lighting – particularly by the well to do folks. Most gas does not burn particularly brightly and so an incandescent mantle was used. When heated by the burning gas these mantles produced a wonderfully bright light. And the advert tells us that if we used the Veritas mantle we’d be quids in because we’d get our light burning less gas.


And these points are pressed home by a flag waving Boy Scout.


A problem with mantles was that once put into use they became very fragile. It didn’t take much of a knock to damage them beyond use so advertising as strongest was, no doubt, a good ploy. It rather looks as though our flag waving lad has broken the lamp cover but the mantle is still there and intact.

A lovely item here which says much about life 100 years ago. These days heating, cooking and lighting are all ‘at the flick of a switch’. It was so different back then.