Posts Tagged ‘Red Cross’

May Potter and the Red Cross

December 29, 2012

May Potter, later, Mrs Elisha, was an all-round good egg. Apart from her paid job she was active in all sorts of voluntary ways in the village, even when not much more than a child.

Helena May Potter was born in Market Lavington in 1903. She’d have just celebrated her 15th birthday. The following year, 1919, May had done enough to earn a certificate from the Red Cross.

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Sadly, we have not been able to find out just what May did, or where. But one can imagine that injured and sick men appreciated her cheery smile and dedication. These happy attributes were something that generations of school children in Market Lavington were soon to benefit from.

Our Day – Market Lavington

March 2, 2012

First, shall we forgive Mr Burgess, the photographer, for getting a letter N back to front. The picture is a delight, captioned ‘Our Day’ Market Lavington.

Our Day, Market Lavington - a postcard at Market Lavington Museum

This looks like a market in full swing – except that the photographer has been spotted and many people have made sure they are in the picture. The location is, indeed, the Market Place in Market Lavington. The date is November 24th 1915 as can be made out in this image of a poster for the event.

Poster for the Market Lavington event on November 24th 1915

This poster tells us that the event was organised by the British Red Cross Society & Order of St John and it was to ‘help at the front our wounded from home and overseas’. Yes, this was the time of the First World War. The event would have been organised when the first Battle of Ypres was raging.

So yes, there was a Market – a charity market to raise Red Cross funds. Formal markets in the village had ended in the mid 1800s.

The Market Place has changed out of all recognition more than once. The large house at the back of the Market Place had been in the possession of Dr Lush and was often called ‘Doctor’s House’. It has completely vanished, although older residents do still remember it. It became a bus depot, then an agricultural engineer’s yard and then the bungalows we have now.

On the left, behind the hay cart, we are looking into St James’ Square, an area of housing that vanished in about 1960. Also in the Market Place you’d have found the fire station and a maltings.

From our point of view it is delightful that this event was organised, for we can get a feel of what markets in the village would have been like when Market Lavington was a market town.