Posts Tagged ‘motoring’

An Oil Pump

March 28, 2013

Yesterday we saw a group of youngsters which included Marjory Milsom. Today we are looking at an item which she probably used in the course of work. Marjory became a mechanic, working at her father’s garage on Church Street. The location is clear because modern housing on his garage site is called Milsom Court.

A car repair garage has a need for plenty of engine oil and, no doubt, lubricating oil as well. Such quantities of oil tend to be supplied in large metal drums. If oil is to be emptied via a tap, then the drum needs to be off the ground. It was much easier to have a small pump which fitted into the top of the drum, via the fill hole. And that is what we are seeing today.

Oil pump used at Milsom's garage in Market Lavington

Oil pump used at Milsom’s garage in Market Lavington

There is the pump, resting against the top of the stairs. The tube below the label went into the drum. The position of the platform for putting an oil jug on can be adjusted so that the pipe could reach down to the bottom of the drum. The handle at the top could then lift the oil up to pour out of the spout, falling into the jug.

No doubt the fact that this pump was used for oil helped to keep it in tip-top condition. Being largely of brass construction, corrosion would have been minimal.

The pump was made by a company called Prima who operated in Birmingham

Maker's plate on the pump

Maker’s plate on the pump

The pump dates from the 1920s or 30s.

Petrol in Easterton

October 15, 2012

Easterton Street with the petrol station in the foreground – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

These days, in Market Lavington and Easterton, we do not live in a good place for petrol. It is four miles in a straight line to our nearest (and very good) source of petrol in Tilshead and more like five miles in a straight line to Devizes where petrol is also available. Roads don’t go in straight lines so actual distances are more.

Of course it wasn’t always like it. Once upon a time just about every village could supply petrol. Certainly a motorist on the B Road from West Lavington, through Market Lavington and Easterton to Urchfont and beyond, would not have been more than a mile from a petrol station some 40 years ago.

Easterton’s was one of the first to go. It may have gone because of regulations about petrol storage. There was nowhere to move a tank any further from the road or from houses.

We have recently been given a delightful photo of Easterton’s High Street showing the petrol station. It complements another picture which we have previously shown on this blog.

The pumps at the petrol station in Easterton

The scene is barely recognisable as the Easterton we know today. Easterton has changed a great deal. At the moment, an Easterton resident is working on an update of Sheila Judge’s book about the village. He has commented on how hard it is to get a handle on the location of older pictures. We think the photographer was standing in the High Street, not that far from The Royal Oak and was facing towards Urchfont.

It doesn’t look as though the petrol station owner was going to be rushed off his feet serving motorists. But what delightful pumps he had to use.

We can see that the brand of petrol was Shell Mex. The garage also advertised Mobiloil. We can also see that the pumps were right on the edge of the road with no space anywhere for a petrol store tank away from the roadside.

A Motoring and Hiking Map

February 18, 2011

Another new map? Well actually, it is quite an old map and a very battered and worn map it is too. But it has period charm.

A Motoring and Hiking Map at Market Lavington Museum

It is a Motoring and Hiking Map and the illustration on the front shows a pair of hikers, studying their map whilst a period car trundles past on the road.

This map was printed by a well known firm of cartographic printers – W. and A. K. Johnston Ltd. Of Edinburgh and London.

There is no indication as to year of publication. From the cover illustration we believe it dates from about 1930. Several maps from this series can be found offered for sale on Internet auction sites. Most sellers suggest either 1920s or 30s.

The map owes its origins to, and gives credit to the Ordnance Survey.

As a map for hikers it must have been almost useless. The scale is three miles to the inch and at that scale very little in the way of detail can be shown. The size of the map is about 60 cm by 50 cm so it covers about 70 miles from north to south by 60 miles from east to west. That’s a huge area for hiking.

A series of these maps covered the whole country. This is map J. The area it covered can be seen described on the illustration. But that does not mention Market Lavington or Easterton, which do appear on the map. The section shown is about 7 cm across on the actual map.

The area of the map which includes Market Lavington, Fiddington, Easterton and Gore

The selective nature of the map is surprising. Northbrook, one of the more populous parts of Market Lavington is not shown at all. Market Lavington Church is marked with a cross. West Lavington’s has been missed. On the other hand the map shows West Lavington with an inn whereas Market Lavington has no such service shown.

Up on Salisbury Plain, above Easterton, Pond Farm is shown. That probably means the map survey predates the First World War, for the farm was in an area taken over for artillery training and used as target practice. Similarly, New Farm is shown above Market Lavington. The farm at that outpost of the parish, Candown, is not shown but the area is named as Candown and looks to be a major road junction. In truth there was a selection of vague track ways, ready to ensure the unwary traveller got utterly lost.

This is a delightful addition to our range of old maps at the museum.

The Heel Glove

September 30, 2010

Some strange items can end up in a museum. Today we feature ‘The Heel Glove’, a ladies’ shoe protector when driving.

At Market Lavington Museum we have many objects linked to the shoe business. At one time many shoe makers and repairers lived and worked in the parish with the last being Ken Mundy who gave up in the 1980s.

The Heel Glove was designed to protect heels from wear and tear when driving a car. These days, driving shoes can have a continuation of  heel and sole material around the back to offer protection

The Heel Glove - an item at Market Lavington Museum

Our protectors were priced at 4/11 a pair which means they must have been on sale before 1971 when decimal currency came in. Perhaps they date from the era of the stiletto heel – the 1950s

Presumably these items never caught on.  One wonders how many ever sold. Our heel protectors may have sold, but they have never been opened or used.

Can anybody provide any further information?