Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Pond Farm Camp kitchen

June 17, 2016

Pond Farm Camp was used by Commonwealth men during World War One but before that it was used as summer training camps, often for territorial soldiers. Many of the postcards of the camp show row after row of tents. This one has concentrated on a camp kitchen

Pond Farm Camp kitchen - 1909

Pond Farm Camp kitchen – 1909

First of all, this is Pond Farm Camp – the card is captioned.


We can get some idea of cooking facilities.

Is this some kind of stove?

Is this some kind of stove?

Large, two handed pans were used, but we can’t make out quite what the stove is but something in the way of a chimney seems to be attached.

This card was posted in Market Lavington on May 15th 1909.

The message on the card

The message on the card

It was sent to a Mrs J Collins of Clunton which according to A E Housman in his Shropshire lad is…

Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun,

Are the quietest places under the sun.

The information really tells us that three thousand men were drilling together. This makes one suspect there were more kitchens than just this one.


A permanent display

February 12, 2015


Our kitchen range is a part of the structure of the museum.  As such it forms a permanent display. We believe it was installed when the cottage was built in the 1840s – and there it still is. Actually, it is not in good order, but is cosmetically OK and it certainly is a real feature of our kitchen display area.

The range in the kitchen at Market Lavington Museum

The range in the kitchen at Market Lavington Museum

There we see it – a small, cottage sized range with rather huge saucepans on top. The range would have been in use in living memory for the Burbidge family lived there until the 1950s.

We have more clutter around the range than would have been the case. On the mantle shelf we have appropriate photos of the Burbidge family along with lamps and a candle wick trimmer. There are also various tins and trinkets.

The walls around the range have displays of items which may have been used in the kitchen area. This includes hair curlers – the house never had a bathroom.

The rug in front of the stove is made from old rags. Nothing was wasted in the domestic economy of past times. It was used in Market Lavington before coming to the museum.

Our museum reopens for 2015 on Saturday 2nd May at 2.30pm. You can come and see it for yourself then.

This might grate

January 18, 2015

Well it certainly would have done once for that was its purpose – to grate cheese and other foods.

Yes, it is a food grater.

1920s cheese grater at Market Lavington Museum

1920s cheese grater at Market Lavington Museum

We believe this grater dates from the 1920s but of course, similar products can be found and used today.

The grater is made of steel and for those who have never used one, the idea of the top holes is that you slide your piece of cheese downwards and the knife like edges at the bottom of each hole takes thin slithers off the cheese and pushes them out of the back of the grater.

The smaller holes at the bottom might be used to take off lemon peel in small pieces suitable for flavouring a cake.

Back in the 1920s, and now, 90 years on, you have to be very careful of your fingers for the device will happily grate them as well. OUCH!

This grater is on display in our kitchen room which shows off all sorts of items from country kitchens in Market Lavington and Easterton from times past.


Opening Day

May 1, 2013

Yes, the new season begins for us today and we look forward to seeing you in the museum during the coming summer and autumn months. Maybe you’ll get there today.

A lot of our work has been done in the closed season. Walls have been painted; the door has been strengthened and painted. The porch has been spruced up.

New displays have replaced the 2012 offerings.  This year you’ll be able to see a display on schools and another on views from the church in past times.  We get a look at the railway in another and can see a different range of clothing connected with getting ready in the morning on our mannequins. The clock which used to grace the village on the Workmans’ Hall is now on display.

Our stewards have helped out with a lovely spring cleaning session, making sure windows, and floors are in good order and removing the cobwebs which appear in the winter. Artefacts out on display in kitchen and trade rooms have all been given attention to make them look as good as possible.

Our stewards have also attended refresher sessions to make sure they know what is going on.

So now all we need are visitors coming to see our lovely, friendly village museum. It is, after all, your museum. We just have the good fortune to help with running it.

And here, as a reminder, is our kitchen range, part of the original house, still in its original place.

The kitchen range at Market Lavington Museum

The kitchen range at Market Lavington Museum

A Trivet

April 12, 2013

These days most people would have no idea on how to cook on a kitchen range. It was a work of skill getting things to the right temperature with judicious addition of fuel and control of dampers. And of course, at the same time you actually had to manage the food as well. It’s so different from our ‘touch of a button’ life with technology managing the heat leaving the cook free to deal with the food.

Back in those old days all sorts of extras were available. What we are looking at today is called a trivet. This one could be clamped onto a range and used to keep a pan warm in front of the stove.

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see this is quite an ornamental piece of cast iron. A utilitarian item could quite happily be cast into something which was ornament as well as useful. The underside, with the clamp, is more complex.

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

There’s a wing nut to enable adjustment to be made. The trivet could be held at varying distances from the fire.

This trivet is believed to date from the late 1800s and had been used by the Gale family of The Spring in Market Lavington. Presumably, it had been unused for some time when it came to the museum back in 1987.

A Pastry Cutter

February 25, 2013

Making pastry may be a bit of a vanishing skill, for many folks find it easier to buy it ready made. However, whether home or factory made, it will probably need cutting to shape. You need a pastry cutter, perhaps like the one shown here.

A brass pastry cutter and crimper, dating from around 1900. It can be found at Market Lavington Museum

A brass pastry cutter and crimper, dating from around 1900. It can be found at Market Lavington Museum

This is a two in one tool. The wheel end is a cutter which allows the user to create any shape they want to. The other end is a pie crimper. That comes into use when you need to join a pie base to the crust which goes over the top.

This cutter might be said to be utilitarian in design. It is made of brass and we think it probably dates from around 1900. It was used by a White Street, Market Lavington family.

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.

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 Kitchen Range

February 21, 2012

Whilst writing about the Baptism of Edward Doubleday Francis and his baptism, a piece of history was coming to light at his former home – the butcher’s shop in Market Lavington.

It seems there was a damp problem in a back room (well away from the produce on sale) and a decision was made to remove a wall to investigate it. Bricked up behind the wall was an old kitchen range. Malc, a museum board member with an office nearby was on the scene to record this item before it was despatched to the scrapyard.

The wall is removed and a built in range – definitely the worse for age and damp – comes into view.

An old kitchen range is discovered behind the butchers shop on High Street, Market Lavington in February 2012

Later, with more brickwork removed,  we can see just what the range was like.

The range may now have gone, but thanks to Malc's smart work we have a photographic record at Market Lavington Museum

To use the modern parlance, the left hand cavity is quite a substantial oven, occupying almost half of the range. Then comes the actual fire area with doors that can be opened or shut. On the right there is a water tank and tap – for heating water. Doors and some of the top are missing. No makers name could be found.

We know little about ranges. Our own range, in the museum, is older than this one. We believe this dates from after 1880 and may well be twentieth century. Perhaps it was installed when Mr Eldin was the butcher.

Maybe yesterday’s blog person, Edward Doubleday Francis, knew this range. And maybe somebody out in blog land can tell us more about the range.

A knife cleaner

November 2, 2011

Older ideas are always likely to get killed off by newer technologies. As soon as stainless steel became suitable for knives, the days of the knife cleaner were numbered. Nowadays, these items, designed to make knives look shiny, are confined to the shelves of museums. And we have one at Market Lavington Museum. You can find in the museum’s kitchen room.

A knife cleaner at Market Lavington Museum

We think this device dates from about 1910. Handy instructions are provided in the iron casting of this knife cleaner. It was very simple – just shove the knife in between the pads, pressed together by the spring and wind the handle.

The messages given in the casting

We can see that our knife cleaner (sometimes called a polisher) carried the trade name Vono and this was the number 2 knife cleaner. It was British made.