Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

Butter pats

March 9, 2016

Butter pats should not be confused with pats of butter. At a time when butter was not pre-wrapped, grocers used a couple of wooden paddles called butter pats to shape up a decent half pound of the substance. We have a pair of such pats at the museum.

Butter pats used at Clyffe Hall when it was a hotel in the 1940s

Butter pats used at Clyffe Hall when it was a hotel in the 1940s

These pats are lightly ridged and the total length is about 25 centimetres. Older readers may remember seeing grocers using these implements, showing amazing skill at getting the butter just as customers required it.

But this pair did not belong to a grocer. They come from a hotel – Clyffe Hall – and date from the 1940s. No doubt it was deemed essential to have very trim looking butter available for guests at such an establishment.

Clyffe Hall in 1957

May 25, 2014

This is a second photo originally purchased on 5th August 1957. It shows Clyffe Hall which was being run as a country hotel by the Reynolds family at that time.

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington in about 1957

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington in about 1957

The original owner has trimmed the photo (and not very neatly) but it is still a good picture of the hall in that era. We believe the photographer was Peter Francis.

Clyffe Hall was built in 1732 and in the nineteenth century it became closely associated with the manorial estate. From 1850 the Hon Louisa Hay lived there. Her head gardener, James Lye, was, perhaps, more famous than she was. He produced many new varieties of the fuchsia and if interested you can buy some of his cultivars from the James Lye National Collection whose web site is at  .

The photo has some distant people sitting under trees. They are too far away to recognise, but they could be members of the Reynolds family or maybe hotel guests.

The original owner of this photo recorded that he had dinner at Clyffe Hall back on 5th August 1957.

(If you read the comments, below, you will realise that this photograph was, no doubt accidentally, printed as a mirror image of the real orientation of the building!)

A Potato Ricer

November 1, 2012

Older visitors to the museum love to look at items and say, ‘I used to have one of them’.  Today we are looking at an item that will fall into that kind of category. I’m afraid those older  visitors will have to make do with this ‘virtual museum’ for a few months, for, as from today, we close for the winter season. We plan an opening just after Christmas – you’d better check this blog for details – and then the new season begins at the start of May in 2013.

By then new displays will be in place to replace the royal themed displays of this Jubilee year. One planned display will be about ‘schooldays’.

But back to today’s object which is a potato ricer. Now we don’t really know much about these kitchen items, but would you believe, there is a site at which will tell you about them (and, no doubt, suggest where to buy one).

Ours, of course, is not for sale. It dates from the 1930s and was used at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington. We imagine it was quite a sturdy device in its day, for Clyffe Hall was a hotel and they probably needed gear just a bit above domestic quality. Sadly, we have no maker’s name on this device.

Here it is.

A 1930s potato ricer at Market Lavington Museum

And here’s the underside.

The underside. Strings of mashed potato issued from the perforations,

The idea was that vegetables (it didn’t have to be potato) were put in the perforated bowl. The handle was pulled down and the veg came out in strings which might be about the thickness of a grain of rice. That’s why they were and are called ricers.  These devices are said to make perfect mashed potato.

The ricer is just one of many kitchen items from the past which visitors can see in our kitchen room at the museum.

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.

Market Lavington comes under fire

January 17, 2011

For 100 years, the local villages and areas – Market Lavington, Easterton and Fiddington – have been on the edge of an artillery range. Of course, this also applies to all the other villages which cluster around the Salisbury Plain training area. Local folk are used to living with the noise of high explosives on firing days. Mostly nobody even bats an eyelid. Visitors might exclaim, ‘what was that?’ when they hear a shell explode. Locals probably didn’t even register it.

Very, very occasionally – really amazingly occasionally, a shell may go astray. For Market Lavington, this happened in 1962 and despite a lack of injury or significant damage, this event was picked up by the National Press.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a cutting from The Daily Sketch for May 17th 1962.

A cutting from the Daily Sketch for May 17th 1962 - at Market Lavington Museum

The text from this news clip

So, a shell missed by a mile and fell in the village some fifty years ago. The local villages remain very safe places in which to live.

Clyffe Hall Soap

January 5, 2011

At one time, Clyffe Hall was the home of The Honourable Louisa Hay who lived there in the second half of the nineteenth century. She employed, as her gardener, James Lye the renowned fuchsia grower.

Then in the early part of the twentieth century the hall became home to Lord and Lady Warrington.

And then, for many years it was a country hotel. Hotels everywhere have courtesy items specially produced and Clyffe Hall Hotel was no exception.

At Market Lavington Museum we have one of their tablets of soap, dating from the early 1950s, as a part of our collection.

Tablet of soap packaged for Clyffe Hall and now at Market Lavington Museum

This is one of those small, individual sized tablets. It is clearly marked.

Clyffe Hall soap - Knight's Castile

  • Knight’s Castile
  • Specially packed for Clyffe Hall Market Lavington
  • John Knight Limited
  • This soap was introduced by John Knight Limited in 1919. The original Castile soap, made from olive oil and soda originated at Castile in Spain. The John Knight company became a part of Unilever.

    Soap with the same brand name can still be purchased today.