Posts Tagged ‘tailor’

Richard Park – Tailor of Market Lavington

July 23, 2016

Richard Park was born in 1841 to his parents, William and Rosanna. William had married Rosanna Cook in 1838 at Bradford on Avon. Richard’s birth was recorded in the first quarter of the year so it’s a real shame that the 1841 census has not survived for we’d have known whereabouts he lived within Market Lavington at the time of his birth. As it is, we can’t catch up with Richard until he was aged ten, in 1851 when the family lived on Northbrook.

By then, Richard’s father, William was aged 45 and earned his living as a tailor. Mother, Rosanna, was 46 and both parents had been born in Market Lavington. Richard, aged ten, was the oldest child at home. He had a younger brother, James, who was five. Both Richard and James were scholars.

In 1861 Richard is described as a tailor. He still lives on Northbrook with younger brother, James. A note on the census says, ‘H Absent’. I’m not sure what the H means but I imagine it means parents for Richard is recorded as a son.

Richard married Ellen Honey in the spring of 1867. The marriage was recorded in the Devizes district.

In 1871 the census transcriber has given Richard the surname Kirk but it clearly says Park. Richard, the tailor lives with his wife, Ellen and children William Henry, aged 2 and Charles David, just a month old, at number 5 Stobbarts Road. This census tells us that Ellen came from the village of Stanton St Bernard, up the Vale of Pewsey.

In 1881 Ellen was away and Richard, the tailor, was living with his two sons. This time the address is given as number three Stobbarts Road. Ellen was staying with George Pearson and family in St Pancras, London. George was a Market Lavington man by birth as was his one year old daughter. A second Ellen Park, aged 7 is also in the house – so Richard and Ellen now had a daughter as well as the two sons.

By 1891 Richard and Ellen had moved to the High Street – not so far from the Vicarage which is now the nursing home. As in 1881, Ellen gives her place of birth as Devizes. Richard is still at work as a tailor and the only child at home with the couple is Alice, aged six.

In 1901, Richard reached the age of 60 and Ellen was 57. Alice, with middle name Gertrude was still at home and a visitor at the house was a twenty year old son of the Pearsons – the family that Ellen had been staying with twenty years earlier.

Richard died on January 11th 1909 and was buried in Market Lavington churchyard on the 16th January with the Reverend Sturton officiating.

Grave of Richard and Ellen Park in Market Lavington churchyard

Grave of Richard and Ellen Park in Market Lavington churchyard

In 1911 Ellen was still on High Street with single daughter, Gertude aged 26. They had a house with 5 rooms. This time, with Ellen writing the census herself, she gives her birthplace as Stanton St Bernard. She had filled in that she had four children, all still living.

Ellen died on February 18th 1920 and joined Richard in the churchyard on the 23rd of that month with the Reverend Sturton, again officiating.

The Elisha Family by their shop

August 5, 2015

These days people know the name Elisha because a playing field up Drove Lane is named, ‘The Elisha Field’. This honours Bill Elisha who had been a stalwart of the local football team as player and general organiser. He had also been a chairman of the Parish Council and had many other interests and hobbies.

His wife was May Elisha – the teacher who taught in the 1920s and was still doing occasional supply teaching into the early 1980s. She had been born Helena May Potter.

The first Elisha in the village, though, was Bill’s father – William George Elisha who opened his tailoring business on High Street in Market Lavington in 1910/11.

This photo probably dates from that time – 1910 or 11.

The Elisha family outside their shop in about 1911

The Elisha family outside their shop in about 1911

This is quickly recognisable as the building next to Chapel Lane. The current fish and chip take-away was once a Baptist chapel – hence that name.

William George Elisha stands on the steps. His second wife, Sarah stands in front of him. She was step mother to Bill who is holding the dog. One of the girls may be Bill’s older sister, Emily Gladys.

The Elishas were tailors

The Elishas were tailors

The shop name is clearly displayed and sewing machines could be purchased to order.

We can also see a bracket for a gas lamp underneath the larger Singer advert.

A gas lamp bracket on the corner of Chapel Lane

A gas lamp bracket on the corner of Chapel Lane


Freddy Chapman

April 25, 2014


For many years Freddy (sometimes Fred and sometimes Freddie and sometimes Frederick) Chapman was the manager of Walton’s store in the middle of Market Lavington.

Freddy Chapman of Market Lavington

Freddy Chapman of Market Lavington

Freddy, as we see here, was a dapper little man. We judge from his dress that his heart was in the men’s tailoring side of the business.

Freddy was born in 1889. His father, William, was a market gardener in the Fiddington area. Freddy’s mother, Ann Kyte, came from a family who had been Fiddington market gardeners back in the 1860s.

As a small boy, Freddy lived at Fiddington Clay but in 1898 his father died and in 1901 his widowed mother, with five boys and a daughter to bring up was a tailoress, living on Lavington Lane, just in West Lavington.

By 1911, mother Ann and four of the children were back in Market Lavington and living on High Street, Freddy was a clerk working for a draper – surely Mr Walton. We do, in fact, have a picture of a tiny Fred, outside Mr Walton’s shop in 1907. (Click here).

Our next formal record of Freddy is on the 1926 electoral roll. He was still living with his mother on Market Lavington’s High Street.

Frederick died locally in 1976


Bill Elisha

July 7, 2013

It’s a sad fact that many items in Market Lavington Museum have arrived because people did not produce descendants to hand things on to.  This was the case with Bill and May Elisha – and both of them were truly community minded people. They probably didn’t push themselves forward, but Bill even became chairman of the Parish Council in the 1970s and he was always a stalwart of the local football club.

Today we look at Bill as a very young man.

Bill Elisha in about 1918. Bill's father set up his tailoring business in Market Lavington in about 1910.

Bill Elisha in about 1918. Bill’s father set up his tailoring business in Market Lavington in about 1910.

William Edward (Bill) Elisha was born in 1902 in Reading. His parents were William George Elisha and Kate (née) Burrows. At the time of the 1901 census William senior was a journeyman tailor and lived with his parents in Reading. His wife, Kate and their daughter lived with her parents in Reading.

Kate died in 1910 and, we speculate, William set out for pastures new for in 1911 he lived at 7 High Street Market Lavington along with his daughter and young William.

William senior had set up business in premises now occupied by the fish and chip shop, on the corner of Chapel Lane.

This photo of Bill Elisha must have been taken when he was about 15 – so in about 1918. It has to be said, he looks every inch a tailor’s son.

The High Street in 1911

February 27, 2012

At first sight, this picture, poorly exposed as it is, may look a little dull but the little bit of information we have gives this photo a wealth of interest.

Market Lavington High Street with banners for the Coronation of 1911. The location is Finky Allen's watchmaking shop, close to the Nursing Home

The date is June 1911 – made clear by the banners up on the buildings. They are there to celebrate the coronation of King George V who came to the throne in 1910 and was crowned King the following year.

According to our records the shop was used by a man called ‘Finky’ Allen, who ran a clock and watch repair business there. One of the lovely things about 1911 photos and information is that things can be checked against the 1911 census.

And sure enough we can find an entry in which Victor Allen (Actually Walter Victor Allen) was a 37-year-old watchmaker and dealer who was born in Bristol and who worked on his own account.

As a single man, he boarded with a lady who, no doubt looked after him. She was Mary King, a 66-year-old widow living on her own means and who had been born at Glentworth in Lincolnshire. This brings us to the ladies in the photo – for one of them is Mrs King.

Ellen Park, Mary King and an unknown lady have a chat on High Street, Market Lavington, in 1911

One of the other ladies is Mrs Park. Now Ellen Park, a 67-year-old widow living on her own means occupied the building next to Mary King and Finky Allen. We think the ladies are standing outside Ellen Park’s door. We guess that the middle lady is Ellen Park and the one on the right is Mary King.

Ellen Park was born Ellen Honey. She married Richard Park who was a Market Lavington tailor. He died in 1909 and we think Ellen continued to occupy his premises. She died in 1920. Both Richard and Ellen are buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

Mary King was born Mary Ashley and she became the second wife of Market Lavington plumber, John King. John was much older than Mary, previously married and already had grown up children when he married for the second time. Not surprisingly, he died well before her, in 1897. Mary died in 1936. Both are buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

Finky had been in Market Lavington in 1901 – probably the same premises, and working as a watchmaker and jeweller. Other than that, we have not yet traced him.

If we walked down the street from Finky’s shop, we’d have passed a house occupied by the Ansell family and then we’d have got to the Vicarage – now a part of the nursing home. So, we can pinpoint precisely where this photo was taken.

As ever, we’d love to know more of these people. Do, please leave a comment or contact .