Posts Tagged ‘Market Lavington’

Milsom’s Garage

September 18, 2015

We have seen this photo before on this blog, in connection with the Milsom family but this copy is sharper and shows more of the car on the right. It has damage, but we think it is worth seeing again.

Milsom's Garage, Market Lavington with an interesting collection of cars in 1937

Milsom’s Garage, Market Lavington with an interesting collection of cars in 1937

Let’s start by dating the photo. Our museum documentation gives a date of 1937 and there is evidence here to prove that is certainly within plus or minus 2 years.

The garage sold Essolene petrol

The garage sold Essolene petrol

This style of bulb sign, for Essolene petrol, was, apparently, only in use from 1935 to 1939. So we’ll be happy with that 1937 date.

Mr Milsom may well have been flying Union flags because of the coronation in 1937.

We have no expertise on cars but the leading car looks to have a Jaguar motif on the bonnet. As far as we know such cars appeared in 1935. There will be car experts out there who know more than us and who can tell us what each of the cars actually are.

The garage, it seems, had an agency for Morris cars.

Morris Cars at R. Milsom motor and general engineer

Morris Cars at R. Milsom motor and general engineer

The old garage has completely gone now but the name is remembered for the new houses built in this area have an address of Milsom Court.

This is a delightful period photo of Church Street in Market Lavington.

There is one person in the photo.

Was this Mr Milson - or maybe a member of the workforce?

Was this Mr Milson – or maybe a member of the workforce?

We do not know who this is but just maybe he’d be recognised.

Pencil and Paint

September 11, 2015

Our blog title today is about one section of the Museum Miscellany this year. The event takes places on Saturday 3rd October in Market Lavington’s wonderful Community Hall. Tickets, for the event, on sale at Market Lavington Post Office have been held at just a fiver for the sixth consecutive year.

The pencil and paint section features work by artists in Market Lavington and Easterton over a span of close on 200 years. The earliest images – elegant pencil sketches – date from the 1830s and are by Philip Wynell Mayow whose brother was Vicar of Market Lavington at the time.

Here’s an example of his work.

1837 sketch showing the High Street in Market Lavington

1837 sketch showing the High Street in Market Lavington

This shows the High Street in Market Lavington and we are looking towards the Co-op.

Greystone House is on the right as we look down towards the Co-op

Greystone House is on the right as we look down towards the Co-op

The sketch is located and dated.


It says Market Lavington 1 June 1837.

Looking at the whole sketch it is the buildings on extreme left and right that are most interesting. On the left is a house where the Workmans’ Hall now stands. That house was almost certainly the home of William Cambridge, the inventor of the Cambridge Roller still used by farmers.

On the right and set back from the road there is a rather pleasing looking house. Like William Cambridge’s home that has gone. It is where the nursing home stands now and predates the building of the oldest part of that home.

Our Reverend Mayow must have lived at the original Parsonage on Parsonage Lane at this time for at the heart of the nursing home there is the Vicarage which replaced the Parsonage Lane one.

You can see more of these images, and others showing people as well as places at the Miscellany. The Mayow sketches offer us a good view of village scenes long before the age of photography. They recreate some areas that changed long ago.

Absolute magic.

Who are the Pierrots?

August 13, 2015

Pierrots originated in France. Indeed the name really means little Peter. But the sad character, pining for love of Columbine (who of course goes off with Harlequin) became pretty well an internationally known character.

This leads us to a recent gift to our wonderful museum. It is a postcard featuring a Pierrot troupe.

A Pierrot troupe - but who are they? Where are they? When was this taken?

A Pierrot troupe – but who are they? Where are they? When was this taken?

Sadly we are short of the three Ws. We don’t know who, we don’t know where and we don’t know when. The other side of the card may hold clues.

The back of the Pierrot card

The back of the Pierrot card

Sadly, there isn’t much information there. The card has not been posted so has no post mark with a date. There’s no suggestion as to what stamp should be used. But there is a publisher’s name.

Card produced by Burgess Brothers of Market Lavington

Card produced by Burgess Brothers of Market Lavington

The card was produced by Burgess Brothers of Market Lavington Wilts. This gives us about a thirty year range starting in 1918.

But over to you, the readers. The card clearly has local provenance, but do you remember this troupe anywhere in the area? Or just maybe you were a member of it? Were they locals having carnival fun or was it even a visiting set of professional people? We really would like to know who, when and where.

Do, please, get in touch if you can help.


The Cooksey Family

August 4, 2015

The Cooksey family had all sorts of links with the Lavingtons. We have looked before at Arthur and family who (we think) were the final residents at Pond Farm in 1911 and we have seen their son, Arthur, who was an Easterton school boy in 1905.

Today we look at a large family group partly in the hope that someone might be able to give us and other Cooksey researchers some names.

Elizabeth Annie Cooksey with the baby. But who are all the others? A larger version of the photo can be seen by clicking on this one.

Elizabeth Annie Cooksey with the baby. But who are all the others?
A larger version of the photo can be seen by clicking on this one.

Our information is that the lady with the young child on her knee is Elizabeth Annie Cooksey who was the wife of Arthur at Pond Farm. The date is thought to be late Victorian.

In 1891 Elizabeth and husband Arthur lived near Fiddington asylum. Arthur was a farmer. By 1901 he was farming on White Street in Easterton. The chances are, therefore, that this is a local photo. Can anyone identify the location? We wonder if the one man in the photo is wearing a clerical collar. Perhaps he can be identified. Or, indeed maybe any of the 14 ladies might be named.

If you can help then do get in touch.

Homestead Farm – pre-war style

July 30, 2015

The Homestead Farm of 1936 no longer exists. It was replaced a few years ago by a building more suited to 21st century living. The new building still carries the Homestead Farm name which we at the museum are delighted about.

Back in the late 1930s the old building was more a large detached cottage than a fully-fledged farmhouse. And here it is.

Homestead Farm in the late 1930s. Homestead Farm is on Drove Lane

Homestead Farm in the late 1930s. Homestead Farm is on Drove Lane

It looks homely enough and maybe the ivy covering helped to reduce the penetrating damp. From the fact that the building had a slate roof we imagine it was a Victorian building. Slates are not found in this area and probably were rarely used in Wiltshire, except by the very rich, until railways could transport them cheaply.

The family who lived at Homestead Farm in the late 1930s were a branch of the Gye family. Two of them can be seen in the photo.

The photo isn’t sharp enough to positively identify just who the man and small child are. Almost certainly, though it is James Gye who ran his market garden here and his daughter Elizabeth.


James Philpott

July 26, 2015

We have recently been sent a photo of James Philpott who seems to have been an interesting character. Let’s summarise what we know about him first.

James was born on 10th December 1838 and was baptised at St Mary’s, Market Lavington in January of 1839. His parents were John and Hannah or Anna.

It’s a real shame there is no 1841 census for Market Lavington. It means we can’t trace John for by 1851 Anna Philpott is listed as a widow. At that time she and her eldest son work as gardeners. Twelve year old James was the youngest child and he was a scholar, maybe attending what is now the Old School. Anna came from Edington but the boys were all Market Lavington born.

In 1861 James was a resident at The Royal Oak in Easterton where his sister in law, Caroline Philpott was the victualler. She was a widower at the time. James, aged 22 was a cabinet maker.

At some time in the 1860s James left the Lavington area for he married Louisa Hopkins Tozer in 1869 in the Newton Abbot area of Devon.

In 1871 James, Louisa and baby Ernest were staying in a lodging house in Bristol. James is now described as an organ builder and we can guess at something of an itinerant lifestyle. He’d have needed to be near the building where he was working and when one job was finished he’d have moved elsewhere for the next one.

Our photo dates from about 1875 and is an interesting colour!


James is at back right with his wife, Louisa. Sitting in front we have her parents, William and Frances Tozer and each has a Philpott grandchild on their knee, Ernest and Florence.

In 1881 the family, with a third child called Reginald lived in Exeter. In fact all three children are given Devon birth places so it seems the family home was in that county. James was still building organs and so he was in 1891 when his parents in law, both in their 80s were staying with James and Louisa.

1901 still sees James as an organ builder. Louisa and daughter Florence are still with him. And so they are in 1911. James is now a retired organ builder and the family have remained in the Exeter area.

James died in 1915. Louisa followed in 1920.

The Philpotts had been business people in the Lavington area. We found it interesting to follow James the organ builder through to the twentieth century.




A Red Cross badge

July 5, 2015

Today we look at another item found by local metal detectorist, Norman, on the old recreation ground. It is a Red Cross Badge.

British Red Cross Society Badge found on the old recreation ground in Market Lavington

British Red Cross Society Badge found on the old recreation ground in Market Lavington

This, as we see, is a British Red Cross Society button badge and in remarkably good order for something found in the ground.

The badge measures about 2cm in diameter as we can see in this shot of the back.

The back of the badge

The back of the badge

The badge is made by J R Gaunt of Birmingham.

Maker's name

Maker’s name

We are not certain of the age of such a badge. Maybe somebody ‘out there’ can help.


A Home Field find

July 1, 2015

The Home Field was the name given to the field which is situated behind the houses on Shires Close. Once upon a time it was used as the village recreation ground and we have posts on this blog which show all sorts going on there including cricket, football (well, a goal post) and political rallies. People remember circuses, fairs, carnivals etc all taking place on this field. These were occasions where crowds of people met up and, inevitably, things get lost.

Step in a metal detectorist, with permission from the owner. A staggering collection of twentieth century coins has been found and also other items and these have very recently been donated to the museum. We’ll take a look at one such item today.

A cricket motif item found on the Home Field in Market Lavington

A cricket motif item found on the Home Field in Market Lavington

This piece of non-ferrous metal obviously has a cricket connection.

This measures some 6½ centimetres across and 5½ centimetres from top to bottom. It clearly depicts a couple of cricket bats, a cricket ball (even the seam is shown) and three stumps. They are not all scaled to match. Damage has been clearly suffered with both bats looking just a tad battered.

If we look at the back we can see this is a thin sheet of metal with the shapes just pressed into it.

This was cheaply made out of non-ferrous metal

This was cheaply made out of non-ferrous metal

There’s no obvious method in which this has been fastened to anything and so no obvious purpose for this item.

Our guess, and it is no more than a guess, was that this may have been attached in some way to a cricket bag – one of those large bags for holding cricket gear.

We can’t begin to put a date on this but it is most probably twentieth century.

We seek further help can you tell us anything more about this? We’d like to get an age and original purpose for this item.


The career of Miss Ross

June 28, 2015

Miss Ross was, for fifty years, the infant teacher at West Lavington School, but her home, for many years, was in Market Lavington for she was the daughter of a Market Lavington man. This news article was published in the Wiltshire News of 19th February 1982 and, sadly, it was following the death of Miss Ross. Miss Ross is at the left hand end of the back row in this picture.

Miss Florence Ross(back row at the left)as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School.

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

The story with this picture, shown in full below, tells of Miss Florence Ross, daughter of Joseph Ross who was head gardener at Clyffe Hall. When her father died, Florence lived with her mother and other family members in Market Lavington High Street.

Clyffe Hall is close to West Lavington School and Florence attended it as a pupil until the age of 14. That was in 1918. The very next term, Florence returned to the school as a teacher and she taught there until 1968.

The day after she retired she became Mrs John Parr of Swanage and Dorset became her home until after the death of Mr Parr when Florence returned to the Lavingtons. She died in 1982.

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Maybe members of the Alexander family could add something to this story???


A Dance Card

June 3, 2015

We were recently given a few items found at Spring Villa. Spring Villa had been the home of the Welch family for at least three generations. Indeed, our museum founder, Peggy (née Welch) Gye had lived there as a little girl and we know her father and grandfather had lived there.

The card donor, who wants no publicity, said to us, ‘You won’t want that card. It’s a grubby little thing’. But we think it is just grand, partly because we have knowledge of the family and can piece together a story.

This is a homemade card on which the names of the dances to be played were written down and against it the name of the partner who had been pre-asked.


One side looks like this. We can see that the dance took place in the school room in Market Lavington on the 17th January 1902. The other side names the dances and has some hard to read names alongside.


Of course it is interesting to see just what dances were played back in 1902 – the waltz, the polka, a gallop, lancers, quadrille and so on. But let’s now think about who wrote this card.

From the writing, as well as the place this was found, we are just about certain this card belonged to Jack Welch – Peggy’s father. James Frank Welch, to give him his full name, was born towards the end of 1888 so he would have been 13 at the time. No doubt he felt very grown up completing a dance card like this.

OK, we can’t work out who many of his partners were but certainly ‘Doff’ features and we think this was his little sister, Dorothy. He had the pleasure of a polka and a barn dance.

Mrs Akers appears as a waltz partner. Her husband was a grocer. In 1901 the family lived in Easterton but between 1901 and 1911 Dad Rupert Akers, his wife Jane Acres and a daughter called Dorothy had moved into the middle of Market Lavington and Rupert was the manager of the grocery department of Mr Walton’s department store.

Later, Jack danced with Miss D Akers. This was Dorothy, the daughter of Rupert and Jane who was a year or so younger than Jack.

Some of Jack’s partners are only given initials and others just first names. We are not sure who they were.

But we do feel we get a peep into Edwardian life with this card – it all sounds elegant and quite formal. We think it is a really lovely item and we thank our donor (who doesn’t live in the Lavingtons) very much indeed.