Posts Tagged ‘photograph’

Ada Hopkins

July 10, 2016

This photo comes from an album of mostly Victorian photos which we have at the museum at the moment. The vast majority of photos are of members of the Durnford or Dunford family. They were south Londoners although one of their number married into a local family. We may well seek a more suitable home for this album at some point.

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s - but which Ada Hopkins

Ada Hopkins in the 1890s – but which Ada Hopkins

The picture clearly has a Market Lavington connection for the photographer was our Mr Burgess of Market Lavington.

This is a cabinet sized photo with the whole card measuring some 6½ by 4¼ inches. The album carries the name, probably added by our founder curator, Peggy Gye – ‘Ada Hopkins’.

Now this presents us with a problem for there were two Ada Hopkins locally. One was born in about 1870 as Ada Dark. She was born in West Lavington. In 1894 she married Sam Hopkins of the building firm. This could be her.

The other Ada Hopkins was born Ada Mullings in 1873. She was a part of the basket making family and she married Edward Hopkins in about 1903. So the picture could be her.

I wonder if anyone out there can help. If so, do get in touch. If not, enjoy a fine photo of a local lady, we think in the 1890s.


Unknown lady

December 8, 2014

This photo was in a collection of photos which arrived at the museum years ago. The source is unknown and this photo has never been accessioned. We simply do not know who the lady is.


Lovely lady - but who is she? Should she be kept at Market Lavington Museum?

Lovely lady – but who is she? Should she be kept at Market Lavington Museum?

The photo itself has no photographers name or anything to help identify it. It does not look like Alf Burgess’s studio in Market Lavington.

It would be sad to get rid of this lovely photo but space is at a premium and if we can’t identify any local provenance then it will have to go.

So do let us know if this lady means anything to you.

The gaining of knowledge

October 8, 2014

Back in March we published this photo.

The unidentified lady of March 2014...

The unidentified lady of March 2014…

It appeared under the heading of ‘Unidentified young lady’ – click it to see that post.

Then in September we did a page about Betty James and used this picture to illustrate it. Betty James as seen in September 2014

…is Betty James as seen in September 2014

They are clearly the same person with a younger Elizabeth framed in gold and a slightly older one has now been identified.

By one of those little quirks of fate, the day before we published the unidentified lady, we had published something about Walter James who was Betty’s husband.

Now we didn’t ever really expect to identify the unknown lady, but we are delighted to have done so, via making use of our own blog.

The Easterton Fire Engine

September 26, 2014

This wonderful old fire pump has featured before on this blog, but it seemed like time to give it another airing – using a photo previously unused – and here it is.

Easterton's Victorian fire pump - last seen in the village in 1975

Easterton’s Victorian fire pump – last seen in the village in 1975

This device was, at first, the Market Lavington and Easterton fire fighting machine, but it became the property of Easterton and found a home in a cave dug out near the village pump and actually under the grounds of the former jam factory. It was a simple enough device, and would have been effective provided it was near enough to a source of water.

Getting the pump to where it was needed required man power. The pulling handle, attached to the small front wheel, can be seen on the right of the picture. Once in place and with hoses connected, men – perhaps up to three on each handle, could operate the pump so that the fire could be doused with water.

At the end of each stroke of the pump handles, the pump action inevitably had to stop and this might have led to a jerky flow of water. However, the pump is equipped with a pressure smoother. It’s that bubble thing on top. When a handle was pushed down, some of the water went into the bubble and compressed the air in it. That compressed air kept the water flowing whilst the handles were temporarily still.

This fire engine was preserved by the Wiltshire Fire Service. We do not have it at Market Lavington Museum. It had been brought to Easterton as part of the church centenary celebrations in the 1970s.

It had been kept at the fire service museum in Potterne, but that has closed and we do not know where our old engine is now. Neither are we certain of the age of the old engine but maybe somebody out there can help us.

The Class of 1891

June 22, 2014
Market Lavington School class in 1891

Market Lavington School class in 1891

For this photo we can answer the ‘where?’ question. It is outside Market Lavington School.

We can also answer the ‘when?’ question for it is dated as 1891.

We can only answer the ‘who?’ question in general terms. It is clearly a school class with a collection of women teachers.

Of course, we’d love to know more but recognition of children from more than 120 years ago is no easy matter. Let’s enlarge some of the children. Maybe somebody out there could help identify their ancestors.

Close up on some of the children

Close up on some of the children

Do get in touch if any of these strike a chord with you.

Unidentified young lady

March 29, 2014

Old and unlabelled photos are something of a nightmare. The one we show today is labelled only by the name of the photographer who was (who else) A Burgess , photographer of Market Lavington.

That, of course, gives it the provenance we need to have the photo as an item at our local museum, but of course we’d love to know who the young lady is.

Unidentified lady as photographed by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington in about 1900

Unidentified lady as photographed by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington in about 1900

The photo is cabinet photo size and it looks as though it has been mounted in a hand cut frame to get the photographer’s name on the front. The back of the photo is entirely blank. The subject of the photo, the lady, has been vignette – no background has been included and only the head and only her head and shoulders show.

Virtually everything about this photo and mount point to it being from the first decade of the twentieth century. If a single year had to be picked we might suggest 1900 itself.

But who is the lady?


If we enlarge the lady and alter the contrast we can see that she was a glasses wearer and has the most wonderful and elaborate hat.

If anybody does recognise her, then do get in touch. Bear in mind that she might not be a Market Lavington lady. Photographers were few and far between in rural Wiltshire at that time.

Copying photos

February 26, 2014

In times gone by, original photos were put on display at the museum with the inevitable results in terms of fading.

Technology has made copying and printing much easier in recent years and these days we display copies, often much enlarged when compared with the originals. We might crop out large areas of sky or plain foreground. Any other alterations are recorded and reported to viewers.

Recently, the process of copying photos has taken almost a conveyer belt speed. Museum friend Roger, a fairly new resident in Market Lavington, came forward to offer his time and the services of a high speed copier. Here’s Roger in action.

Roger at work with the high-speed photograph copier

Roger at work with the high-speed photograph copier

The kit consists of a truly hefty laptop computer and the copier, the device in the middle. Photos can be stacked in the upper tray and the machine takes them in one by one and churns them out. It takes about 2 seconds to do both sides of the photo – and yes, the backs are important to us for the museum code numbers and, in some cases, other information.

The nearer computer is only used for checking all is well.

The slowest part of the process is taking original photos out of storage and then returning them afterwards. In a two hour session, Rog and our curator can get both sides of more than 300 photos digitised and stored electronically. Scanning is done at 600 dots per inch, a minimum museum standard.

Please note that the table we work on is used as a dual surface. It has displays and regular readers might recognise the J Sheppard paper bag and photos of Jim Sheppard, the Easterton baker. But these items are protected under a Perspex sheet so the large table can still be used for research or other purposes.

So far, more than 1000 of our photographs have been digitised and stored. It’s a truly wonderful device with a truly wonderful operator. We extend huge thanks to Roger.

Who are they?

September 29, 2013

Today we look at another photo which has just been given to the museum. It is a fabulous studio portrait by Alf Burgess.

A delightful studio portrait by Alof Burgess of Market Lavington

A delightful studio portrait by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington

The photo was recently sold on an internet auction site.

Sadly, we do not know who the people were and we have no date for the photo. We’d love to identify the people and, as ever, we hope a blog reader might recognise these people.

Of course, they may not have been Market Lavington residents, but they were, presumably, comparatively local.

Let’s zoom in on the older lady.


Can you name this lovely lady?

She appears to have a fairly elderly face – but what clothes! Because the photo is monochrome, it is easy to see them as black – but we can’t be sure of that. However, the hat and the bodice of the dress are beautifully decorated.

Her hair looks to be rather severely parted and swept back. She’s a handsome lady.

The girl, on the other hand, looks to be a bit of a cheeky miss.


Who is this girl?

 She has an interesting, rather wild hair-do and again, a beautifully decorated top to her dress. And she holds an interesting basket.

What a great basket the girl carries

What a great basket the girl carries

It surely is a delightful photo. It will be wonderful if we can identify the people so do get in touch with any suggestions.

Fete benefits

September 21, 2013

At Market Lavington Museum we do not attend the local fetes to make money for ourselves. We go partly to show the community – not all natural museum goers – that we are interesting and have things they’d like to see. It helps to keep our community profile high.

But we also go because we can learn much from local people who visit the fete.

Here’s a case in point from Easterton fete which took place at the end of August.

We took along a picture showing a school performance. All pictures we take out are copies and laminated to make sure bad weather doesn’t spoil them. It means we can also stick bits of paper on them. And here is this photo.

Children performing at Easterton School

Children performing at Easterton School

Our picture came back looking like this,


Same picture but with names added by the wonderful people of Easterton

Same picture but with names added by the wonderful people of Easterton

We basically have three rows of people and now have the names for several of them

Of the ten people in the back row we know that the 2nd (from left) is Robin McKinnon, the 6th is Robin Kent and the 7th is Piers Kent and the 9th is Paul Delancy.

In the middle row of eight we have, from the left, Peggy Buck, Jane Shergold, Maureen Stockley, Carol Foster, Lynne Stockley, Kasha Zubek and then two we don’t yet have names for.

In the front row of eight people we have, from the left, Hugh McFadzean, Judith Maule and Mary Lodge. Then we have an unknown one and then Carol Foster who seems to be in the front and middle row.  After another unknown we have Susan Jefferies, an unknown and the row ends with Brenda McBeth.

It is great to get so many people named. We offer huge thanks to the Easterton folk who provided the information.

But of course, there are more to name so do get in touch if you can help.

The Museum Miscellany

September 14, 2013

The day has come. This evening at 7.30 in Market Lavington Community Hall the team will present their mix of photos, talk, sounds and food – all with a local theme. It’s a fantastic fivers worth.

Our men at work section (including women of course)  takes us from the farms of Eastcott through Easterton and Market Lavington and includes builders, publicans, shop workers, demolition – in fact many of the jobs that people do – in this case its local people – it could even be you.

Porters on Lavington Station in the 1950s

Porters on Lavington Station in the 1950s

We’ll do a tour of the villages – mostly photos we haven’t used before – maybe that will include your house, school or place of work. People appear in this too – like this photo at St Barnabas School in the late 1980s.

A performance at St Barnabas School in the 1980s. There are lots of people to recognise there.

A performance at St Barnabas School in the 1980s. There are lots of people to recognise there.

The chances are you won’t see yourself during our piece on the extraordinary Saunders family. They form part of our village history in the nineteenth century – and not just our village. Family members had huge influence right round the world.

In Church and Chapel life we’ll look at the people and how religion influenced social life. Expect to see people performing in theatrical events or just having a knees-up at the seaside.


A Congregational Church outing at Edington

In ‘Sybil Remembers’, we’ll share some of the memories of Sybil Perry who was a pupil at Market Lavington School in the 1920s who, later, became a teacher there.


Sybil and Des Perry in 2005

 We plan to end the evening by showing just a few of our magic lantern slides. These date from about 1860 and were owned by Charles Hitchcock who owned Fiddington Asylum.

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If time permits, which it probably won’t, we’ll share some metal detector items, ‘Found in the Soil’ with you.

And don’t forget the food interval – the high spot of the evening for some.