Posts Tagged ‘hospital week’

Carnival time – 1920s

June 6, 2016

People dressed up in all sorts of ways for the annual carnival which raised money for health care and was a main part of the Hospital Week effort. Here we have what appears to be a very relaxed gamekeeper or poacher, with his pony and trap.

Carnival time in the 1920s

Carnival time in the 1920s

Please put us right if this style of conveyance is not a trap.

We reckon the man, leaning on the horse, is too relaxed to be a game keeper. He’s a poacher and he seems to have secured a couple of rabbits tied to the trap. That loose fitting coat could hide a lot of ill-gotten gains.

The venue is Easterton Street. The precise date and the names of the people are not known.


Hospital Week Plans

June 3, 2016

The new season has been underway for a month and so far has gone well. Visitor numbers are good and comments on enjoyment and satisfaction are good too. So far so good and that means our curator is well under way with plans for this year’s Museum Miscellany event which will take place on Saturday 8th October in the Market Lavington Community Hall at 7.30pm.

One topic to be included in the eclectic mix we have got used to is ‘Hospital Week’. Now if that sounds a bit of a drab topic rest assured it is not. For Hospital Week was also carnival week. The profits made from people having fun and enjoying themselves was ploughed into health care.

This extract from the minutes of the committee for the 25th July 1924 tells us just what was planned for the event that year.

Plans for the 1925 Market Lavington and Easterton Hospital Week

Plans for the 1925 Market Lavington and Easterton Hospital Week

Before looking at the content, let’s look at the method. This document has been spirit duplicated. The best known firm involved in the equipment was called Banda. You typed, or hand wrote onto a master sheet which had a piece of waxed paper behind it. When you made an impression on the master some of the wax was transferred to the back of that master sheet. By the time you had finished a wax version of your document was on the back of the master. This was then put on a roller and it was slightly damped with what amounted to meths. A piece of paper was fed into the roller and some of the damp wax transferred to it. You got a copy and that’s what we have here. The whole process, of course, has been killed off by laser printers.

Now to the content. Well, there was something for every day of the week starting with a band concert at The Old House and a sacred concert in the evening at Clyffe Hall. Week days, of course, were working days and so there were evening events – whist drives, film shows and a dance.

The big day was the Saturday which was carnival day. The population would be told just what was on by poster, but one can imagine excitement building as the week wore on and people made sure their carnival entry was ready. This really was the big event of the year and not to be missed.

The final event on the last Sunday was a united church parade. If more excitement was needed bowling for a pig took place through the week at The Green Dragon and the Volunteer Arms and there was a grand raffle – called a tombola.

The big event of the year was well photographed so you can expect lots to be seen at the Miscellany – which should whet your appetite for our famous museum food. As ever, the Miscellany is an event not to miss.

1923 Hospital Week

April 29, 2016

Back in the 20s and 30s the Hospital Week was carnival time in Market Lavington and Easterton. It was the time for dressing up and having fun and generally enjoying life. And at the same time money was raised to assist those in need with the cost of health care in those bleak days before there was a National Health Service.

Hospital Week in 1923. Fancy dress at Easterton pump

Hospital Week in 1923. Fancy dress at Easterton pump

This little group are clearly entering into the spirit of things and have themselves suitably attired for all the fun on offer – and to entertain those less able to take an active part.

For once, perhaps, it is the man who takes the eye.

 image003 This chap is dressed as a shell petrol man complete with a magnificent head dress and a suitable can as well as various Shell logos. Sad to say we don’t know who he is and neither do we know the ladies.


Any help identifying these people would be gratefully received.

The third lady appears to have done something seen as ‘non PC’ these days. It looks as though she has blacked up or at least darkened her facial skin.


The location is interesting for these people are by the Easterton pump which still stands on Kings Road, close by the bridge.

This clearly shows the chute for delivering water into a bowser. Farmers brought mobile water carriers or bowsers to the pump for filling. This helps to explain why the pump was built on quite a high stand.


1921 Hospital Week

April 10, 2016

This photo has recently come to the museum. It is captioned ‘First hospital week – 1921’.

Decorated car in Easterton High Street - 1921 Hospital Week

Decorated car in Easterton High Street – 1921 Hospital Week

It shows a wonderfully decorated car in the High Street in Easterton.

The Hospital Weeks were always joint events – Market Lavington and Easterton.

Now sadly our knowledge stops at this point. It is a wonderfully sharp and clear photo but we can’t name the driver…


…or his passengers.


That looks like a collection box on the side of the car.

The car may be too well decorated for recognition.


These look like electric headlamps but others may well be acetylene lamps.

image006We’d love to hear from anyone who can add anything more about this image.

Archibald Baker

March 16, 2016

We have met Archibald before – and in this rather strange Michelin Man costume.

Archibald Baker is the Michelin Man in a 1920s Hospital Week carnival

Archibald Baker is the Michelin Man in a 1920s Hospital Week carnival

This was worn for a Hospital Week carnival in the 1920s.

Archibald is clearly the man in the middle and sad to say we do not know who the other two chaps are but this photo was recently given by a person with strong links to the Cooper family. I’m afraid we can’t positively identify the location either but perhaps a reader can help us with this lack of knowledge.

Archibald was a son of John and Louisa Baker. John was a whitesmith or tinsmith and had the premises many folks will remember as a hardware shop opposite the Coop.

Quite what all Archibald’s pipe work was originally is beyond our guess work. We just can’t help feeling he may have needed a hospital after trailing around in that lot. And of course, in those pre National Health Service days he was helping to raise funds so that people with limited means (most people) could be given some form of health care.

This is a high quality original photo so we can zoom in and really get an idea of what Archibald looked like.


And we can also see his friends clearly as well, but they are a tad hidden by their costumes.



What a wonderful photo that is.

At the 1931 Hospital Week

November 21, 2015

Photographs do only provide a snapshot – an instant in the life of a person or place. But we think we can be fairly sure in saying that Mabel Sayer, wife of bus company owner Fred, loved dressing up and taking part in the carnival known as Hospital Week.

We have a number of photos of Mabel in various different costumes and each taken in a different year during that week when Market Lavington and Easterton raised money to support hospitals and those people who could not afford medical care.

Here we see Mabel in 1931.

Mabel Sayer dressed up for the 1931 Hospital Week in Market Lavington and Easterton

Mabel Sayer dressed up for the 1931 Hospital Week in Market Lavington and Easterton

Mabel is dressed as a school girl. She carries a satchel over her shoulder and carries a notice to announce, ‘I have won a skollopship’.

These snapshots certainly give a feeling of fun. Hospital Week had a serious purpose, but was a week to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.

Mabel Weston had been born in Bath in about 1880. She married Fred in about 1900. The couple had one child. The family moved to Market Lavington in about 1912 and later retired to a nearby bungalow. We lose track of Mabel after the death of Fred in 1934.

Carnival line up in Easterton

November 6, 2015

What we see here are three handsome wagons followed by a car. It looks much like a 1920s scene.

Carnival line up in Easterton - 1920s

Carnival line up in Easterton – 1920s

We can’t see a cart owners name on the front wagon – the one with decorated wheels. The other two belonged to the Gyes who are clearly keen to advertise the fact that they had taken up smithing.

It is interesting, too, to note that the Easterton garage area appeared to be in the hands of J Hiscock. He advertises BP motor spirit – presumably petrol.

J Hiscock appears to have the garage area in Easterton

J Hiscock appears to have the garage area in Easterton

Sad to say, we don’t have the names of any people in the photo.

This carnival would have been part of a ‘Hospital Week’. These took place each year and raised money to help people who could not afford health care.

A Hospital Week poster

March 1, 2015

We are really fond of our Hospital Week posters at Market Lavington Museum. They remind us of so many things.

First and foremost they were charity events for both villages – Easterton and Market Lavington. The procession on Carnival Day always started in Easterton and marched to wherever the fete was held.

Secondly we are reminded that we are so lucky to live in the age of the National Health Service which means the whole demeaning business of having to beg for money when ill has been abolished.

And thirdly we are reminded of an age when communities were much more reliant on self-made fun.

Here is one of the posters – this one is less bright than some being black printing on white.

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925. Click to enlarge

Hospital Week Poster for Market Lavington and Easterton. Probably 1925.
Click to enlarge

The most annoying thing about these posters is that they don’t give the year. We believe this dates from the 1920s and the only Saturday August 15th in that decade was in 1925 so we expect this poster advertises an even that took place 90 years ago.

The gates opened at 2.30 and adults had to pay 6d admission. Sixpence, in 1915, had the purchasing power of about £1.25 today but we are all richer these days. In the time taken to earn those six old pennies, a typical worker will earn over £6 today. So a 6d entrance fee was really quite a significant sum to have to pay.

But prizes can be similarly upgraded. The guinea (£1-1-0) prize for best horse and harness in terms of income would be much the same as £260 today.

And what entertainments you got for your money – many provided by the 6th Field Brigade of the Royal Artillery. Musical Chairs on Horseback sounds like a sight to behold and we are assured that Nobby the Clown and his Human Horses are worth the entrance fee all on their own.

There were races to be run, and won by somebody who would have felt suitably rich. Fairground type rides and side stalls had been brought in. Excisable (alcoholic) beverages were provided by Mr Greetham of The Green Dragon and the good old Ladies’ Committee were serving teas.

The venue was the Home Field – behind Shires Close which was regularly used as the village recreation ground.

This lovely poster is something like A1 size

Mrs Sayer at the 1927 Carnival

May 5, 2014

In Market Lavington and Easterton the carnival was always a part of Hospital Week. Before the National Health Service people needed ready money to pay for health care and those that didn’t have money had to either go without or rely on charity. The Hospital Week raised money and provided folks with a good time.

Mrs Sayer was wife of Fred who ran the local bus and coach company. She always dressed up as something for the carnival and in 1927 she appears as a banjolele playing minstrel.

Mabel Sayer at the 1927 Market Lavington and Easterton carnival

Mabel Sayer at the 1927 Market Lavington and Easterton carnival

The banjolele had the size of a ukulele but the general form of a banjo – it was a cross between the two instruments. It had four pairs of strings with each pair tuned to the same note. It was actually the instrument of choice for George Formby.

Mrs Mabel Sayer (née Weston) was born around 1880 in Bath.


Mabel Sayer

February 24, 2014

Mabel was the wife of Fred who drove, ran and operated motor bus services in the Lavington area Mabel was born as Mabel Weston in Bath in the year 1880. She married Fred in the Kings Norton area which is in the West Midlands. Their son, Frederick Herbert was born in Bath in about 1906 and in 1911 the family lived at Nailsworth in Gloucestershire but we believe they were in Market Lavington later that year.

Mabel was clearly keen on carnival. It gave her a chance to dress up and be an active member of the community. In this picture we see Mabel taking part in the 1929 carnival.

Mrs Mabel Sayer collects Market Lavington carnival money in 1929

Mrs Mabel Sayer collects Market Lavington carnival money in 1929

It looks as though Mabel has dressed up as some kind of gypsy or fortune teller for this carnival. The collection box she holds is one we now have at the museum.

People and signs in the background add interest.

A E Phillips had a general store in what we now often call Kyte's Cottage

A E Phillips had a general store in what we now often call Kyte’s Cottage

The shop behind Mabel belonged to A E Phillips – tobacconist, confectioner and general store. This was a different Phillips from those at the hardware shop, just further along High Street.

Mr Elisha's tailoring and haberdashery business was on the corner of Chapel Lane

Mr Elisha’s tailoring and haberdashery business was on the corner of Chapel Lane

This sign, on the corner of Chapel Lane, was on Mr Elisha’s shop. Mr Elisha was the father of Bill Elisha who married May Potter. May thus became Mrs Elisha, the very long term local teacher.


Down below, three young ladies wearing cloche hats peer out at the scene.


Behind Mabel’s left arm there’s another group of spectators, men, women and children.

What a lovely photo of times past when money had to be raised to allow poorer people to make use of any medical services.