Posts Tagged ‘Silver Jubilee’

Museum Miscellany

September 18, 2010

(Some of the) Treasures of Market Lavington

Tonight at 7.30pm in Market Lavington Community Hall

Tickets, on the door at £5 each.

We celebrate our Silver Jubilee tonight. The event will take the form of a concert in images and sounds with a number of pieces presented. This has not been done before and the programme may get altered to match the time available but the plan is.

Part 1

  1. “Candown Farm”, one of the lost farms of Salisbury Plain
  2. “Broadwell”, Market Lavington’s water supply, narrated by former curator, Peggy Gye
  3. “A Basket Case”, the story of a basket made and used in Market Lavington
  4. “Transport of Delight”, how we travelled by road, rail and air
  5. “Village Worthies”, some famous people from Market Lavington
  6. “Lavington Songs”, performed by the Lavington Community Choir

An interval so that you can sample some Market Lavington nibbles and refresh your glasses at the bar. You will also have a chance to chat with Tim and Helen of the Wiltshire Museum Service who will tell you how the county support local museums like ours at Market Lavington

Part 2

  1. “Bang it on a Big Bass Drum”, the story of Market Lavington bands
  2. “Chalk and Cheese”, farming in Market Lavington
  3. “Fun and Games”, leisure activities in the parish
  4. “Along the High Street”, shops and shopping in Market Lavington
  5. “In sickness and in Health”, some aspects of medicine in the parish
  6. “The ballad of Sam Rumble”, a folk song about a man from Market Lavington who drove traction engines

Do come and enjoy what will be a fun and interesting evening

William Thomas Gye Confirmation

September 15, 2010

Sadly, the ‘church and religion’ have been squeezed out of the Museum Miscellany, our Silver Jubilee event next Saturday. There is just too much to include everything – but never mind, there is always next time.

Today we feature one of the items there just won’t be time for – the card telling William Thomas Gye when his confirmation was to be, way back in 1896.

Confirmation appointment card for William Thomas Gye - at Market Lavington Museum

 William Thomas Gye was born around 1879. He was the son of James Gye, a wheelwright and carpenter and his wife, Mary Ann. These Gyes came from the Fiddington Clays area.

William went on to marry his wife, Rosa, in 1905. They lived and worked at Homestead Farm. There has been a display about Homestead Farm in the museum this year.

At least one descendant of William Thomas still lives in the area and is a very good friend of the museum.

The vicar was Edward B Cokayne Frith and he has featured before on this blog.

John Davis – Miller and Coal Merchant

September 10, 2010

John Davis was born in Easterton in about 1862. Easterton was then a tithing of Market Lavington. John’s origins were ordinary enough for his father was a farm worker. In 1871 they lived on White Street in Market Lavington and by 1881 young John was lodging on the same street and his occupation was listed as a mason.

In 1891 John was married to Mary and the couple lived in West Lavington. John was a market gardener.

Perhaps things went well, for by 1901 John was a corn miller and coal merchant, working for himself. His address was Lavington Mills on the edge of West Lavington. Mary was with him, as was her father, Thomas Shore and a servant. Perhaps our corn sack dates from this era.

John Davis corn sack at Market Lavington Museum

Ten years on and we find John and Mary on High Street, Market Lavington with John as a coal merchant. We have a small (OO Gauge) plastic model railway truck to commemorate that era.

Davis and Co Coal Truck in OO Gauge and mostly of plastic. This item is housed at Market Lavington Museum

The firm of Davis and Co was in operation (at 50 High Street, Market Lavington) until at least the 1950s. The truck represents an earlier era for it carries the GWR letters and the old Great Western Railway lost its identity in 1948.

You can find out more about the railway through Market Lavington at the ‘Museum Miscellany’ – 7.30pm on Saturday 18th September in Market Lavington Community Hall.

Market Lavington Music

September 7, 2010

A couple of years ago, Nick Hale, a local musician, found a book of services, anthems and psalms for country choirs by a composer called John Smith of Market Lavington. These were written in the middle years of the eighteenth century – around 1750. 

Title page from John Smith's first set of music - at Market Lavington Museum


Sadly we have found no details of the life of John Smith although we will have Market Lavington Community Choir singing his Hallelujah Chorus at our ‘Museum Miscellany – 7.30pm on Saturday 18th September at Market Lavington Community Hall. 

In 2009 a new Psalter was published and the editors and, in some cases, composers were none other than our Nick Hale along with a Devizes musician, John Ridding. 

We have just been given a copy of this Psalter – The Wessex Psalter – at Market Lavington Museum. 

Title page of 'The Wessex Psalter' at Market Lavington Museum


Future generations will be able to see the music and, hopefully, hear it sung at future ‘Museum Miscellany’ events and they will also be able to see some biographical details about the musicians who produced this lovely work. Our 21st century composer of church music will, thus, not get lost in the sands of time like John Smith, his eighteenth century predecessor. 

For regular readers of this blog, John Smith the composer is not the same John Smith whose notebook was found when a building was demolished in The Market Place. Both John Smiths were 18th century and they may have been related but their ages make them two generations apart.

Jubilee Cottage, Northbrook

September 3, 2010

Once upon a time, the street known as Northbrook in Market Lavington was lined with cottages. Many have now been replaced with larger dwellings but there are plenty that remain. One of them is Jubilee Cottage, a pleasing detached house, which was built in 1887, when Victoria had been queen for fifty years – hence its name of Jubilee Cottage.

Market Lavington Museum has a faded, sepia print photo of the cottage in its early days.

Faded photograph of Jubilee Cottage at Market Lavington Museum

The photographer for this late nineteenth century image was J H Tatton of Trowbridge.

The photo can, of course, be enhanced with computer technology.

Jubilee Cottage - enhanced version of photo

People outside Jubilee Cottage, but just who are they?

The house was built by Robert Oram who we believe we see here in the small front garden. Our museum information suggests that Mrs Oram, the lady, is either his wife or his mother. We now think that Robert’s mother had died before Jubilee Cottage was built.

One can but wonder if, in fact it is Mrs Oram with a son for Robert would have been approaching 50 by the time this photo was taken.

Above the house porch there is the simple inscription of R O 18 JUBILEE 87. This is still there, but the strange head has vanished.

Inscription and head above the porch of Jubilee Cottage

The net curtains and tassels look very proper.

Delightful net curtains at Jubilee Cottage from the photo at Market Lavington Museum

A brief outline of the lives of Robert and Priscilla Oram can be found here.

Easterton Fête quiz (2)

September 1, 2010

Here’s the last page of the quiz sheet, which is based around the Easterton tea towel which we have in the museum, along with its original artwork.

Final page of the Easterton Quiz by Market Lavington Museum

A reminder to competitors, who paid for a quiz sheet at Easterton fete is that they must get their sheets delivered through the door of ‘The Homestead’, High Street Easterton by the end of Monday 6th September if they wish them to be marked.

We at the museum also look forward to hearing from all those people at Easterton Fête who offered information, photos and artefacts. Artefacts do not need to be old for we expect to keep examples of present day Market Lavington and Easterton for future generations to be able to make use of. So at Easterton Country Show (the name the fête was given) we were very pleased to take into our possession a Psalter published in 2009 with some of the composition by a local musician.

For anybody with items to donate, however small, the email address to contact is . Please remember that every item in our collection has a significant connection to the wider parish of Market Lavington, including Easterton and Fiddington.

Easterton Fête 2010

August 31, 2010

Easterton Fête on Bank Holiday Monday – August 30th was a good day for weather and I am sure the whole Easterton ountry fair was a great success. Certainly the Market Lavington Museum stall did very well. We had hundreds of visitors and sold out of our quiz sheets. We received offers of more photographs, information and artefacts. In fact, the stall was so busy that we only got round to a photograph right at the end when our customers were one man and his dogs.

Market Lavington Museum stand at the end of Easterton Country fair in 2010

For those who couldn’t make it, this is a part of the quiz sheet. Maybe Easterton ex-pats anywhere in the worlds would like a go!

The Easterton Quiz


1) Gladys Windo wrote this piece. What was her job in Easterton?


2) The right hand cottage shown here has been demolished. Describe where it once stood in Easterton.
  3) This object was dug up at Manor Farm, Easterton. What was it?
  4) This piece of tile was found near Kestrels on Oak Lane. From what period of history does it date?
  5) Name this Easterton worthy whose legacy is now dormant and may well soon vanish.
  6) What was the trade of the man who owned these tools which were found in an Easterton cottage?
  7) This item was once the Easterton fire engine. Who provided the money to get it built?
  8) There were regular military camps at Pond Farm before and during World War One. Where in Easterton was Pond Farm?
  9) This piece of wood was found at Kestrels on Oak Lane. It is about 20cms long. What was its use?
  10) This piece of needlework, by Harriot Hunt in 1805, was found in a skip when the old Wesleyan Chapel in Easterton was converted into a house. What are such pieces of needlework called?
  11) This Book of Common Prayer was awarded to James Kyte of Easterton from the Bishop Tanner Bequest. Of where was Bishop Tanner the bishop?
  12) This sketch of 1902 shows an Easterton property nearing completion. What is the name of this house?
  13) These jams were made at the Easterton jam factory in 1985 to celebrate a royal visit. Which member of the Royal Family was it that visited Easterton?

A Farm worker’s red spotted handkerchief

August 29, 2010

By tradition, farm workers wear a red spotted handkerchief tied around their neck. This was definitely the case and, unsurprisingly, the neckerchief served a purpose. Much farm work is dusty and a neckerchief could stop dust and irritating pieces of hay and straw from getting inside the shirt (or in earlier days, the smock). We can guess that the red spotted nature of this garment was mere showmanship.

We have such a handkerchief at Market Lavington Museum. We originally thought it dated from the 1920s but others who know more than us think it is probably more recent. This handkerchief is made of cotton.

Farm worker’s neckerchief dating from the 1920s – at Market Lavington Museum

This was one of the items with which the museum started, back in 1985, and it came from the personal collection of our founder, Peggy Gye. It’s actual origin is not certain, for Peggy was not averse to buying items at jumble sales if she thought they had interest.

With the museum having opened in 1985, it means that this year we mark our Silver Jubilee and our last event to mark the year is ‘Museum Miscellany’ – a look at past ways of life in the parish, and the people who lived them. This takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 18th September at Market Lavington Community Hall. Tickets are on sale at Market Lavington Post Office. Do come and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the village.

Easterton in 1911

August 27, 2010

Easterton was once a tithing of the parish of Market Lavington but by 1911 it was well established as a parish in its own right. A church and a school had been built and there were shops and pubs to provide for the needs of Easterton folk. But one wonders whether they were really prepared for an overhead surprise on 10th June 1911 when the first aeroplane to be seen in the area flew over the village. Fortunately, a photographer (possibly a Mr Wharton) was ready.

First aeroplane spotted over Easterton on 10th June 1911 - a photo newly acquired by Market Lavington Museum

Starting with the village, the thatched cottage with the gable end facing the camera is ‘The Homestead’ so our view is along the village street looking towards Fiddington and Market Lavington.

The aeroplane, high over the village may well have been of the type known as a Bristol Boxkite. A photo of such a plane at Stonehenge, also in 1911, is shown below.

Was the Easterton aeroplane a Bristol Boxkite, like this one seen at Stonehenge, also in 1911?

Residents of Easterton and elsewhere will have a chance to see many more historic images of Easterton, and to enjoy a historic Easterton quiz at the Easterton Country Fete on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon (30th August 2010) at and around Easterton Village Hall.

A brooch to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

August 21, 2010

Sixty years a Queen of England! What an achievement that was, although I’m sure we all hope we’ll have a similar event to celebrate in a couple of years.

But Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in 1897 and we can only imagine the fun and games that might have occurred all over the country, and, indeed, the empire. And of course, that included Market Lavington, Fiddington and Easterton.

Perhaps in those days, well over 100 years ago, people were more inclined to venerate royalty. Jewellery was made for the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee and we have an example of one item – a brooch – in Market Lavington Museum.

Brooch commemoration Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 - at Market Lavington Museum

This would appear to be a cheap, base metal item and portrays Queen Victoria in 1837 on the left and in 1897 on the right. A crown sits over the top.

This is one of many items given to the museum by a former resident, R. N. May, back in 1990.

And of course, this year Market Lavington Museum will celebrate its own Silver Jubilee with the ‘Museum Miscellany’ event on 18th September.