Posts Tagged ‘Merritt’

Annie Merritt – but where?

September 17, 2016

This little photo has a very basic caption on the back.


Annie Merritt, unknown and Mrs Tucker – but where?

The caption tells us that Annie Merritt is on the left and Mrs Tucker on the right. The younger lady in the middle is not known

Annie was the wife of John Hampton Merritt, well known in the village as the bandmaster. They ran the cycle store on Church Street and had married back in 1890. Annie had been a Devizes lass – Annie Louisa Wiltshire. We guess the photo dates from the 1920s.

We think Mrs Tucker was Minnie Tucker of White Street in Market Lavington but we can’t be certain of that.

And as to the location – we have no idea. Maybe someone out in blogland can help us.

A Merritt float

August 26, 2016

Here we have another new image given to the museum this month and this is one we particularly like. It shows a carnival float, no doubt in a trade class, entered by Merritt Brothers. We don’t have a date but we estimate it to be the 1920s.

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Merritt Brothers float at a 1920s carnival

Here we see a simple and pleasing four wheeled waggon drawn by horse power. There is some decoration with branches and a goodly collection of horseshoes.

The identity of the float

The identity of the float

The Merritts were farriers and smiths as their badge says. Their premises were the former smithy at the edge of Broadwell

Let’s take a look at the people.


The man on the left is wearing a bandsman’s cap. More than one member of this family was active in the Lavington Prize Band. John Merritt was its leader for 60 or more years.


Another bandsman’s cap. The Merritts were rightly proud of the band.


Sadly we have no positive names to put to these people.

In the background there is another waggon which belonged to the Spencer family at Halstead Farm in Easterton. So we would assume the photo was taken locally but we cannot identify just where.

And help with identities would be much appreciated.

A view from the Volley

August 24, 2016

The old Volunteer Arms was known as ‘The Volley’. It was on Church Street, close to the crossroads. In fact a present day view would still show the bracket that the pub sign used to hang from.

We have recently been given a large collection of photos of people and events at this former pub which closed some thirty or so years ago. This one, however, was a record of history about to pass taken by an unknown photographer from the Volley’s porch.

View of Reid's house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

View of Reid’s house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

Like many a colour print of its era, it has a red hue. Modern technology makes it easy to make changes and our curator reckons the colour rendition below looks better but he emphasises that colour decisions are often subjective and others might disagree with him.


The red hue is toned down a bit

The back of this photo is captioned, Mr Reid’s before alteration. Sadly no year is given but we think it is about 1977. The car in the garage is an original ‘C’ registration which dates it to 1965 but it doesn’t look to be in the first flush of youth.

Mr Reid’s house had come to him from his wife’s family. These were the Merritts and photos dating from 1910 show this as a bicycle shop. As time moved on the shop started to serve the needs of motorists and had pumps for petrol. These can be seen clearly in the photo.

Showing the petrol pumps

Showing the petrol pumps

By this time the building was no longer a shop and the pumps had long been out of use and it was time for them to go. It is good to have the reminder – and in colour as well.

This is the same building in the 21st century – clearly after the alterations.

The house today

The house today


Easterton milk round

November 9, 2015

The photo we have today, taken well within living memory, may amaze younger readers of this site. It shows a milk delivery round at Easterton Sands in the 1940s.


Albert Merritt on the Vicarage Farm milk round in the 1940s

This is the milk round from Vicarage Farm. Vicarage Farm was opposite what was once the Easterton Vicarage and is now called Easterton House. The farm still exists, up there on Vicarage Lane, Easterton Sands. Back at the time of the photo the farm was held by a branch of the Merritt family and here we see Albert Winston Merritt delivering the milk produced by cows on the farm where his dad was the farmer. Albert was born in 1914 and as a farm worker he was not called up for military service in World War II. He served in the Home Guard and we have seen him in this role before. Click here to see that post

At Vicarage Farm

May 3, 2015

Vicarage Farm is in Easterton. It is on Vicarage Lane and is more or less opposite the former Vicarage which is now known as Easterton House. It is one of many small farms which once flourished on the sands in both Market Lavington and Easterton. These days they’d be deemed too small to offer a living, but in times past these farms supported families tolerably well.

Vicarage Farm was, for much of the twentieth century, owned and farmed by a branch of the Merritt family. Perhaps our best known local Merritt was John who was master of the Market Lavington Prize band for more than 60 years. But he had relatives throughout the area, and further afield and one of them, James Merritt acquired Vicarage Farm. Perhaps he took the photo because it is his wife, Elizabeth we see in the photo outside the house.

Vicarage Farm in Easterton

Vicarage Farm in Easterton


Elizaebeth Merritt (née Fitch)


Elizabeth and James married locally in 1910 but Elizabeth (née Fitch) was a Londoner by birth and spent her childhood in the Paddington area. It must have been a real shock to the system when her dad got a job as coachman at Market Lavington Manor and the family moved out to the country. But she settled and the photo suggests she was happy in her lot as a farmer’s wife.

James and Elizabeth are buried in Easterton churchyard.



William Merritt

April 20, 2015

This photo of William Merritt comes as a result of the visit of Peter from Leicestershire the other day but it is, actually, a photo that was held in Market Lavington. It shows William Merritt.

William Merritt - 1850 to 1892. Blacksmith of Market Lavington

William Merritt – 1850 to 1892. Blacksmith of Market Lavington

So, once again we look into the Merritt family history.

William was born in 1850 and was the son of John Hampton Merritt and his wife Mary Ann. John was the blacksmith based at Broadwell.

After the 1861 census we lose track of William. Our photo shows a young man in military uniform so perhaps he was overseas. But when we find him on the 1891 census he was married (to a Littleton girl called Elizabeth) and children up to the age of 15 were all shown as born in Market Lavington.

That 1891 census shows William as a blacksmith on White Street. It seems likely he had taken over the premises formerly occupied by his father. It is also probable that the census enumerator made a mistake, for William married Emily Jane Lye in 1874.

William died in 1892 and is buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington. Emily followed him in 1914.