Posts Tagged ‘show’

Bill Elisha

October 20, 2011

We have featured May Elisha, the infant school teacher, many times on this blog. We might imagine that her husband, Bill, was a minor player in the village, but that wasn’t the case at all. Bill, like his wife, was a community minded person and did a great deal for the village.

Bill’s parents came to Market Lavington from Berkshire. Bill had been born in the Reading area in 1902. His parents set up their haberdashery and sewing machine business on High Street,  at the corner of Chapel Lane.

Bill weas keen on sport, particularly football. He was a stalwart of the local club for many years and so it is no wonder that the sports field and recreation ground up Drove Lane is named after him – The Elisha Field.

Bill was also, at one time, the chairman of the Parish Council – a key (voluntary) job in any village.

But he also had time to pursue his own interests. He was an avid aviary man – a keeper of caged birds. Our photo today shows Bill with awards and the birds (best in show) shown at the 1977 Calne and Chippenham show.

Bill Elisha of Market Lavington photographed in 1977

William died in 1984.

Many folks in the village will have memories of Bill. It will be good to hear them.

Lavington and District Poultry Club

March 1, 2011

First can we thank our readers for the 1571 views this blog received in February. It may be the shortest month, but it now holds the record for the best month for the blog.


And now that poultry club.

In the days before mass media entertainment – TV and the World Wide Web, small communities were much more dependant on their own resources than is the case today. Clubs and societies flourished, amongst them the Lavington and District Poultry Club.

In truth we know little of this group which probably appealed to the small scale poultry keeper, rather than the professional like Fred Phillips of Spin Hill. Back in the 1930s, it was even possible to get teenagers involved although in this case we are considering a teenager who had lost her mother and who may well have been attempting to run a house – and the domestic fowls that were kept. But this youngster still found the time to present her birds to a high standard, winning a Highly Commended certificate at the 1936 show.

Highly Commended certificate for Miss P Welch at the 1936 Lavington and District Poultry Show

We can see that this show was the 31st such show organised by the club, suggesting that the first was in 1905, or possibly earlier if shows were not held during the years of the First World War. Our exhibitor was Miss P Welch. This young lady became much better known in the village as Mrs Peggy Gye amongst whose many achievements was the founding of our museum.

It is interesting to note that Peggy was exhibitor number 92. That, we believe, would mean that there were at least 92 people exhibiting poultry at the show.  Class 8, for which Peggy won this award had 6 entries.

As ever, we’d like to know more. Where were the shows held? Were there regular meetings? When was the club founded and when did it cease its activities? If you have answers then please get in touch with the museum curator.

John Kyte’s Garden Rally of 1981

August 13, 2010

Plaque from John Kyte's 1981 Garden Rally - now at Market Lavington Museum

Back in the 1980s John Kyte lived in a High Street House, on the corner of Chapel Lane. The house itself had a varied past. Older residents remember listening to the juke box there, when it was a café. At previous times it had been a chemist shop and a book lending library.

For a while, some thirty years ago, John invited friends and others to bring engines of various kinds to display in his back garden. There were barn engines which used to do useful work on farms and some steam powered devices. For a few days the village hummed to the rhythm of these engines of various types and savoured the aroma of the fumes from oil engines and coal burning steamers.

These events are remembered with great affection in the village and we, at Market Lavington Museum are delighted to have one of the plaques like those which were given to exhibitors.

Does anybody have any photos?