Posts Tagged ‘newspaper’

Advertise in the Wiltshire Times.

February 13, 2015

Or Mr and Mrs Thomas Whitchurch

This flyer was an attempt to solicit adverts to go into one of the local newspapers – The Wiltshire Times.

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

A Wiltshire Times flyer inviting people to advertise

It isn’t dated, but the list of agents with the average number of copies sold gives us a clue and provides the Market Lavington interest.

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

A list of Wiltshire agents for the newspaper

Just one line of this applies to Market Lavington. Easterton does not appear to have a Wiltshire Times agent.

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

Mr Whitchurch (chemist) was the Market Lavington agent

We can see that Mr Whitchurch, the chemist sold an average of 42 copies of the paper each week.

So where and when can we find Mr Whitchurch? We have his shop (just) on an Edwardian postcard.

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

An early 20th century photo of High Street in Market Lavington

This is High Street in Market Lavington. The present day chemist stands on the corner with Market Place, behind the lady in the dark skirt and straw boater – but this has nothing to do with Mr Whitchurch’s premises which are at the extreme right, next to Chapel Lane which is the path that leads down to the fish and chip/take away shop. We often call that property Kyte’s Cottage. If we enlarge the sign above the window we can just about read it.

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch's shop

The sign on Thomas Whitchurch’s shop

Mr Whitchurch had his drug stores there – and also sold the Wiltshire Times. Or maybe his wife did, for on the 1891 census Thomas is listed as a druggist and his wife, Mary, as a news agent. Earlier censuses have Mary as a druggist’s wife. They had taken on the druggist business in about 1870 and were still running the two businesses in 1901.

Thomas died in 1906. In 1911 Mary was still at the shop premises but the business of stationer and confectioner was being carried out by her daughter, Mrs Sheppard.

We date our Wiltshire Times flyer as between 1891 and 1906.


A news article in 1965

January 24, 2014

Newspapers always tend to go in for things being a bit sensational. This feature comes from a Wiltshire paper, The Times and Echo for Thursday February 11th 1965.

Newspaper feature about Market Lavington in 1965

Newspaper feature about Market Lavington in 1965

Had Market Lavington really slipped into quiet obscurity in 1965? Two locals are quoted at the top to give a bit of balance in what is quite a negative article. Archdeacon Johnston was a retired churchman who had recently come to the village. Peter Francis was and remained a lifelong villager, best known as our professional photographer in post war years.

But the headline and comments such as, ‘But the village is an old man. Some would say that rigor mortis has set in’. Leave little room for doubt. The unnamed author of the piece didn’t think much of our village.

He goes on to tell us that,

There is nothing for Market Lavington to look forward to.  A few more council houses, perhaps. And one day the High Street may get a decent tarmac surface.

It would be interesting to know what became of the person mentioned in the opening paragraph and what her views are now.  She’ll be certainly in her 60s by now.

The opinion of a teenager

The opinion of a teenager

Her comment was considered to be typical of what teenagers in the village thought.

Now we are probably even more biased than the author of that piece, but we reckon that nearly fifty years on we live in a lovely village with a vibrant community spirit. I don’t think anyone would pretend that Market Lavington is the prettiest place in the world, but we do have varied and attractive buildings and plenty of open space. We still have good shops, a couple of pubs, two different church communities, primary and secondary schools, a library, a purpose built doctor’s surgery, playgrounds for children and, of course, our fantastic Community Hall. This is so busy it can be hard to book a date for an event. Did I forget anything? Oh yes, we have a very active museum, much loved by local people.

But we’ll return to that page in the paper, and in particular, the adverts. Two local firms were brave enough to put there adverts on this page.

One was the Green Dragon Hotel.


Clearly Mr and Mrs Alex Martin were pushing its hotel status by offering, at unseen prices, dinner, room and breakfast along with the presence of a car park. 1965 was before the introduction of legal blood alcohol limits for drivers although it was an offence to be in charge of a mechanical vehicle whilst not capable due to alcohol or other drugs. The judgement was subjective.

And maybe a reader remembers the Martins. If so, do tell us more.

The other advert was for the hardware shop, just about opposite the Co-op.


At this time, then, J R Cox had the shop. That name does not seem to register in the memory of people asked so far. Maybe, again, a reader can tell us more.

And if you want to read that whole 1965 article, then visit the museum.

Cornbury Mill

December 28, 2013

Not long ago we showed a picture of a man apparently fishing in the stream by Cornbury Bridge – just a few yards below the old water mill known as Cornbury Mill.

The stream, which marks the boundary between the two parishes of Market and West Lavington, flows right under the mill so it has parts in both parishes.

Back in 1953 a local newspaper picked on the mill as one of the scenic gems of Wiltshire.

Cornbury Mill - a newspaper photo from 1953

Cornbury Mill – a newspaper photo from 1953

The paper is, of course right. The old mill building and house was and still is a scenic gem.

This is the paper’s caption.


The caption tells us who lived there and that the stream carried trout

The caption tells us who lived there and that the stream carried trout

Aha! Maybe our fishing man was hoping to entice a trout to take his bait.

We do not know which actual newspaper this was in, but we do know some of the incorporated papers


Incorporated newspapers

Incorporated newspapers

It’s a lovely picture and it reminds us of times when newspapers felt able to do little features like this.

And here is a more recent photo of the mill taken in 2011.


A 2011 view of the mill from the rear

Devizes News – 1986

October 27, 2013


Today we feature a page spread about Market Lavington which appeared in the above paper.

1986 newspaper page about Market Lavington

1986 newspaper page about Market Lavington

It was, no doubt, cheap journalism for this freebie paper. They have extracted some writing that was by Peggy Gye, choosing a section that just fits the available space even though it makes a start which must tell you something came before.image006

The editors have surrounded the content with box adverts for local business and, presumably, paid for by those local businesses. I rather suspect they kindly provided the ad for the museum which had opened the previous year.image007

Since then we have extended our season until the end of October so you can still visit this year for our very interesting local displays. These days we open from 2.30 to 4.30pm on those there days a week. We still make no charge but very much appreciate donations towards those essential running costs.

The adverts from 27 years ago make interesting reading. As John Lennon wrote in the song, In My Life, ‘some have gone and some remain’.

Let’s just look at a couple.

Honeychurch Toys advert

Honeychurch Toys advert

As doll’s house manufacturers they are no more although other aspects of the business carry on. Of course, we have a Honeychurch Dolls House in the museum.

Market Lavington Post Office Advert

Market Lavington Post Office Advert

Our Post Office, we are all happy to say, is very much alive and kicking still.

By the way, phone numbers have changed since then so don’t imagine that you’ll reach advertisers from these numbers.

James Welch

October 25, 2013

Three people named James Welch have graced Market Lavington. One was the father of Peggy Gye. This one was her grandfather and his father was also James.

Back in 2011 we featured an advert for Mr Walton’s shop in an 1894 newspaper. You can click here to be reminded of this.

The same newspaper, a copy of the Devizes and Wilts Advertiser contains a whole page – broadsheet sized of course – feature about the Wiltshire Agricultural Association’s Devizes Exhibition.

Part of page from an 1894 copy of The Wilts and Devizes Advertiser

Part of page from an 1894 copy of The Wilts and Devizes Advertiser

As a small part of this page, a tribute is paid to the association’s secretary, James Welch of Market Lavington.

James Welch, sketched and mentioned as a part of the article

James Welch of Market Lavington, sketched and mentioned as a part of the article

James had been born in Glamorgan in Wales in 1856, but his family always had connections with Market Lavington and by 1881 James was a Market Lavington resident. He married Annie Earle in about 1885 and that was about when his involvement with the Agricultural Association began.

James died in 1927 and is buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s, Market Lavington

William Saunders – political firebrand

April 19, 2013

There can be little doubt that the Saunders family from Russell Mill were amongst the most influential of people. This was not only in the Lavington area, but also around Britain and, indeed, the world.

Father Amram was a highly respected miller and leader of people. It was Amram that organised people to buy out the tollgates and get them removed. Today we are looking at one of his sons – William.

William was born on 20th November 1823 and he was to be the youngest son of Amram and Mary Saunders. Their home was Russell Mill which was in the parish of Market Lavington. It got passed to West Lavington in the 1950s.

We know little of his early life except that he attended a school in Devizes.

Our photo of William comes from the book ‘Elizabeth of Lavington’ which is about his younger sister and was written by her granddaughter.

William Saunders, born Market Lavington in 1823

William Saunders, born Market Lavington in 1823

William’s older brother seemed destined to take over the milling business so William looked elsewhere for his fortune. In 1844 he opened quarries near Box Tunnel.


A first business venture for William Saunders

In 1851 William was living with his married sister, Mary, in Kensington in London. William was described as a stone merchant.

In 1852 William married Caroline Spender of Bath. Later, he set up the Plymouth Western Morning News within the help of his father in law. In 1861 William and Caroline lived in Plymouth and William was now a newspaper proprietor.

In 1863 William founded Central News – the first ever news distributing agency and in 1864 he started the Hull based Eastern Morning News which came to be regarded as his real journalistic success. Perhaps William thought more of Central news for on the 1871 census, with William on Finchley Road in London, It is the news agency which he gives as his employment.

In 1881, William was in Streatham with Caroline and was listed as a newspaper Proprietor.

A new strand to his career took place in 1885 when he was elected liberal MP for Hull East. He lost his seat the following year when the liberals fell from power. William’s radical views, particularly his belief in land nationalisation, may not have helped him.

In 1889 William was elected to the first London County Council – for Walworth. The same area elected him as their MP in 1892.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a calling card holder which dates from this era.

Calling card holder for William Saunders

Calling card holder for William Saunders

William died in 1895 – in Market Lavington He was buried on 4th May in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

In 1983 his first paper, The Western Morning news published this story.

William's story by his first paper - The Western Morning News

William’s story by his first paper – The Western Morning News

Wordley’s Advertise

February 8, 2013

This advert was taken from the Wiltshire Gazette for 12th November 1953. A. S Wordley were agricultural engineers based in the Market Place, Market Lavington

Advertisement for Wordley's Agricultural Engineers of Market Lavington. From a 1953 newspaper.

Advertisement for Wordley’s Agricultural Engineers of Market Lavington. From a 1953 newspaper.

Many is the time that words can paint pictures and this advert paints a picture of long gone days. One thing that has pretty well vanished in the 60 years since the advert appeared, is adverts in the local paper for anything to do with agriculture. A look through a January 2013 edition found that there were ads for jobs in farming but, despite editorial content about farming no ads for equipment. Times change. Farmers tend to work to a bigger scale and no doubt get much more information from national magazines and, what you are reading now – the Internet

The bigger scale of farming is made clear by the ads for combines. The big one advertised has a twelve foot cut. These days a combine is likely to have had those feet changed to metres. This one worked on Lavington Hill in September 2012 and it has a 12 metre cut.

Large combine harvester at worjk on Lavington Hill in September 2012

Large combine harvester at worjk on Lavington Hill in September 2012

Prices, perhaps more than compensate. The £1625 for a 12 foot cut diesel combine has become in excess of £300 000 for the present day monster. In real terms that’s about fair for you’d have needed three of the old machines to do nearly as much as the present one.

The other thing that has vanished from Market Lavington is the agricultural engineer. T H White, once a Market Lavington firm (click here) still operate in Devizes.

Lastly, we could comment on nice, simple, 4 digit phone numbers. They were so much easier to remember than today’s strings of numbers. Mind you, these days, with the right equipment, we can talk to our phone and just tell it to dial a named person, and it will do it.

Any memories of life at Wordley’s would be greatly appreciated.

More from the scrapbook

October 5, 2012

For the second day we feature an item from Easterton based Liz Merritt’s scrapbook from the 1930s.  Although this undated report was written in about 1937, it is about events in and around 1900. It concerns a cart, a donkey and a man called Shem Butcher.

Do read the report. The tale of the donkey cart at Clyffe Hall and the local scallywags makes it clear that boys have always been boys although these seemed to have a touch of class in their very annoying way. First let’s see the picture in the article – Shem, the donkey and the cart.

Shem Butcher and his donkey cart at Lavington Station on opening day- 1st October, 1900

Now the headline.

And the article.

Does anyone have a non-newspaper copy of the photo? What a wonderful addition that would make to the Market Lavington Museum collection.

Lily Oram – in her own words

November 23, 2011

Lily was a centenarian member of the Market Lavington Community when she  died, 20 years ago, at the nursing home in the village, still very close to her long term Northbrook home. Just a month before her death, the local paper had recorded and celebrated her 100th birthday.

1991 news cutting from the Wiltshire Gazette, celebrating the 100th birthday of Lily Oram of Market Lavington

As Lily says, she had been born in the Chittoe area  – the first child of James Bryant, a local market gardener and his wife.

Lily tells us she married at age 18 – to Bert Oram. This marriage took place at Chittoe Church.

The couple spent most of their married life living at Northbrook in Market Lavington. We think Bert died in 1962. Lily had a long widowhood of almost 30 years. She died a month after that 100th birthday.

Lily is remembered with great affection by many people in Market Lavington.

George Dobson – again

August 9, 2011

Back in 1953, George Dobson was Market Lavington’s oldest inhabitant at the age of 96. Times change and there will now be quite a few residents older than that in the village. This is not all down to people living longer. In part it is because the BUPA Care home in the old Vicarage building and other associated buildings has become a feature of the village.

We described something of George Dobson’s life in an earlier item. This time we’ll content ourselves with a little extra information. In 1939, George and his wife, Mary, lived on The Spring in Market Lavington.

We recently featured a 1953 newspaper article about aspects of Market Lavington. Today we are looking at this paper again and its mention of George Dobson. It includes a photo of George with his motorbike.

George Dobson and his motorbike. George was Market Lavington's oldest inhabitant in 1953

And here’s the extract that is about George.

1953 news article about George Dobson

In fact, George’s motorbike accident led to him receiving a three year driving ban and he didn’t live to see that out.