Posts Tagged ‘news’

A scrap book of news photos.

March 27, 2016

Another item recently loaned to the museum to allow us to copy relevant items is a scrapbook of photos, published in local papers. The scrapbook starts in 1950. This cutting comes from 1953 by which time the scrapbook was on Volume 2!


What we have here is largely a Northbrook family but it tells us as much about local newspapers as the family really. It seems unlikely that space would be found for four generations of one family today. And it seems almost unthinkable that married women would be given their husband’s name – but it was the norm then.

The little lad is Michael John Hibberd and with him are his mother, Mrs M Hibberd (the M was her husband’s initial. She was called Honor), Grandmother, Mrs Harry Cooper (her own name was Edith) and great grandmother, Mrs Emily Burt.

The Coopers and Hibberds lived on Northbrook in Market Lavington. Great Granny lived in Devizes.


Helena May Elisha

April 15, 2014

We have met Helena before on this blog. It would be impossible not to come across this wonderful lady if talking about Market Lavington in the 20th century.

Helena came into this world in 1903 at a time when her grandfather’s horse bus service was the main link between Lavington and Devizes although that was beginning to founder with the opening of the railway and Lavington Station in 1900. Helena, who was always known as May, lived with her parents on Parsonage Lane. Ed Potter, her father, was assisting his father in the business interests he had, by working on the farm.

We know that Canadian Soldiers were billeted with the Potters at one time. Maybe they inspired May to want to do her bit for she worked on the land and later did Red Cross work too.

She was still Miss Potter when she started teaching the infants at the Market Lavington School. That was a job she had for life and people in the village in their nineties recall being taught by Miss Potter and some perceptive sub 40 year olds recall that Mrs Elisha still came in to do supply work on occasion. But teaching at the day school was not enough and Miss Potter also was the Sunday School teacher. When May married Bill Elisha in 1929, the children all clubbed together and bought the couple a clock.

Perhaps sadly, the Elishas had no children of their own, but May had an extensive family of real relatives and an even wider family of the children in Market Lavington.

After retirement, May continued to serve the village. She became a member of the Parish Council – Husband Bill had once been chairman.

This news clipping recalls her long years of service.

Mrs Elisha of Market Lavington receives a gift for 31 years as a Parish Councillor

Mrs Elisha of Market Lavington receives a gift for 31 years as a Parish Councillor

The hand written note tells us this was in the Wiltshire Gazette on 18th October 1990. May is looking frail, but we learn she had only recently retired from her 31 year stint on the Parish Council. She is being given some photos of old Market Lavington by fellow councillor Bob Francis.

May died about a year after this photo was taken.

Sadly, the other person in the photo, Bob Francis died before the end of the 20th century as well.

Here is the news – for 1936

January 12, 2014


We have a number of old newspapers at the museum – kept for ages by locals for some reason of interest and then passed on to the museum. This is one of them – The Wiltshire Gazette for Thursday 23rd January 1936.

Amongst articles in it we have this one.



We’ll skip the first couple of bits although, of course, the passing of a King was sad news, and move on to ‘Appropriate’. Here’s the transcription.

One of the artistes at a Market Lavington entertainment in aid of the Devizes and District Hospital extension fund was actually born in the hospital, while the little programme seller who was chosen to select a prize winner from the purchasers of programmes has been a patient there. The entertainment was held in the Market Lavington parish room, the arrangements having been made by the local hospital committee. The programme was provided through the good offices of Mr and Mrs Shephard of Easterton who made themselves responsible for the actual items. The proceedings opened with a balloon dance by the Misses R Clark, J Cooper, H and M Shephard and subsequently the same performers were seen in national dances with songs. Others contributing to the entertainment were Miss C Draper (songs), Mr W Harding of Erchfont (songs), The Misses M Harding and Joy Shephard (dialogue), Mr E Plank (monologue), Mr Crocker of Erchfont (songs), Mrs J Shephard (recitation), Miss Little and Mr S Sainsbury (“Darby and Joan”). Taking part in a diverting little sketch were Messrs W Austin, R Maule and J Shephard. There was a grand finale in the form of a well mixed variety turn by Mr and Mrs J Sheppard, and during this the winner of the programme prize was selected, the lucky holder being Mrs E Potter. The prize was given by Mr Jack Hill. Miss Milsom and two little girls dressed as nurses (little Miss Blake and Miss Dulcie Clark) were responsible for the sale of programmes and in this direction thanks are due to Mr Wilfred Moore for printing the programmes free. In fact a notable feature of the whole entertainment was the absence of overhead expense, and the unselfish work of the organisers was well rewarded when it became known that by their efforts £11 7s was available for the Hospital extension fund. At the close of the evening Mr G H Pike briefly thanked everyone whose work or support had contributed to the success of the concert.  The useful sum raised has been forwarded to the Hospital through Mr Robert Gauntlet and a grateful letter of thanks has been received by the organisers.

We had better add that our museum is wonderful, lovely and a great resource, but if you want to see a full range of local papers then we are NOT the place. You’ll need to head up to the Wiltshire and Swindon History centre in Chippenham

A Special Bible

January 19, 2012

The Bible is said to be the world’s best selling book. It means bibles are common and something special is needed to make them worthy of inclusion in a museum.

One given to Market Lavington Museum recently does have coloured plates to accompany its King James Bible text.


Daniel in the Lion'a Den - a biblical image

But what makes this bible special for us is the inscription.

Inscription in the bible. Marjorie Oram and her parents, Henry and Matilda were Market Lavington residents.

So, the bible was a gift for Marjorie P Oram from her mum and dad for Christmas 1929.

Marjorie was born in 1910 although anybody seeking her birth record had better type her name as Margery. In 1911 she was the youngest of seven children of Market Lavington born Henry Robert Oram, a bricklayer and his wife Matilda. Matilda had come from Imber.

In 1947, both Marjorie and her father were recorded by a Pathé news reporter who was dealing with a story about very heavy bombing on the ranges causing damage to houses. This 1 minute’ news clip is available on line (in preview quality) at In this amusing film you will see and hear Marjorie, her father Henry and also Charlie Davis standing at the gate of his Northbrook house.

Henry died in 1953 and Marjorie in 1984. Marjorie has children still living in Market Lavington. It got quite emotional when Ted, one of her children saw the clip for the first time ever, recently.

Charlie, too, has relatives still in the village. His nephew is Keith at the newspaper shop.

Hail – Market Lavington

May 22, 2010

Weather is always a topic of conversation, in Market Lavington as elsewhere in the United Kingdom, but a hailstorm, which hit the village in 1862, does seem to have been exceptional.

1862 Newspaper Headline at Market Lavington Museum

It warranted a whole page in the Devizes Advertiser. We have a copy of this page, framed and on display at Market Lavington Museum.

The headline ran right across the page, which was then packed with text. Photography was still in its infancy in 1862 and photographs were not, then, part of the news.

These extracts, just a small part of the whole article, set the scene.

The scene is set for Market Lavington’s hailstorm

Mr Neate and Mr Blake, well enough off to insure their crops, probably coped well enough from the effects of the hailstorm.

The 1862 hailstorm in the Northbrook area

Mr Axford, the dog breaker was probably badly hit by the disaster.

The storm hits Easterton

Easterton was away from the centre of the hailstorm but still suffered damage with property of Mr W B Gauntlett, Mr B Hayward, Mrs Williams and Dr Hitchcock getting a mention.

Wildlife is badly hit by the 1862 Market Lavington hailstorm

It wasn’t only humans that suffered although Mr Fowle lost a long length of wall and Mr Rymer’s house was barely saved. The local bird life suffered more with 78 dead birds found in the fairly small churchyard area.