Posts Tagged ‘plumbing’

Plumbing and papering

August 3, 2016

The King family were painters and plumbers. In fact they seemed to do jobs where painting would be required as a final step. This bill, issued to Holloways in 1913 gives an idea of their trades.

J King bill for services rendered in 1913

J King bill for services rendered in 1913

We can see they list plumbing first but also they were glaziers, paper hangers and painters. The bill head images feature the plumbing side and also give an idea of fashion and styles from just before the first war.

What a fantastic loo!

What a fantastic loo!

Yes, high level cisterns with the good old chain to pull and decorated lavatories – this one with a sloping seat – must have been the fashion of their time.

Mr Holloway had purchased plumbing materials from the King firm. Kings had also altered a WC and done wallpapering in cottages, presumably on the West Lavington estate.

Of course, the amount of money exchanged seems laughably small these days. To paper out rooms at Pagnell Villas two men worked for twenty hours and the bill came to £1-12-8 or about £1.63 in decimal money.

We also note the time taken to pay. The bill was opened in April 1913 and paid in March 1914. Tradesmen, like Mr King, had to cope with this.

What great items these bills can be.


Another advert the Gyes kept

December 8, 2013

We all should be delighted with the Gyes who managed to hang on to some items which can’t actually have been that useful to them. Take this double page of adverts they had removed from a magazine.

Alfred Syer advert for taps and fittings - early 20th centuery

Alfred Syer advert for taps and fittings – early 20th centuery

As general builders they may have been interested in taps and valves although we are not aware that they ever did plumbing. This page is believed to date from the early 20th century. The business of Alfred Syer, the advertiser here actually ran from the 1850s until the 1960s.

Surely the Gye’s had very limited use for the items advertised on the other side.


Beer engines and bar fittings offered by Alfred Syer in the early 20th century

Now Market Lavington once had at least seven pubs, but surely there wasn’t a need to keep adverts for beer engines and bar fittings, was there? But three cheers for the Gyes for this fascinating page still exists. We rather like the common pewter pot down at the bottom of the page. The 1 pint size sold for 21 shillings for a dozen. That’s slightly less than 9p for a one pint pewter pot.

This is another fascinating piece of ephemera which can be found at Market Lavington Museum.


A High-level Cistern

August 15, 2010

The oldest residents of Market Lavington remember a time before the sewerage system was laid in Market Lavington. And speak of earth closets and bucket lavatories, which were emptied by people with the contents, spread on allotments.

It wasn’t until the 1940s that flush toilets began to be installed in the village, and even then the flushing just moved the lavatory contents into the local stream via the rainwater drains. The sewerage system was installed in the 1950s.

A reminder of these early days of the flush lavatory has just been donated to the museum. Just a few days ago, this blog featured a quotation for a job from W Hopkins and Son and our new acquisition is a high-level lavatory cistern, supplied by Hopkins.

High-level lavatory cistern - just donated to Market Lavington Museum

Let’s take a closer look at the legend on the front.

The cistern was supplied by Hopkins Brothers of Market Lavington

This cistern comes from a house on Drove Lane where it was probably installed when new and was in use until very recently.

We do not think that the cistern, which is made of cast iron, was actually produced in the village although we can find no manufacturer’s mark on it, just the Hopkins Bros, Mkt. Lavington badge as shown. The Hopkins were builders’ merchants but also produced and piped gas within the village. They had various premises on Church Street.