Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Starched knickers for Mrs Redstone

April 24, 2016

Mrs Redstone was the schoolmistress at Easterton. Holders of such posts are not always popular with the children and that seems to have been the case revealed here. But let’s first see where Lucretia Redstone lived – a lovely photo of a house in Easterton, just opposite the school or rather where the school once stood.


Mrs Redstone, schoolmistress at Easterton lived here.

Sharp eyed folk will notice a couple of girls in the doorway. They are Mrs Redstone’s daughters, another Lucretia on the left and Mary on the right.

image003Mary was born around 1892 so this dates the photo to very early 20th century.

This, of course, has nothing to do with starched knickers. That comes in a tale from Peggy Gye, our museum founder who was asked to write a piece for the Bratton History Association journal in 1997. Peggy recalled:-

There was a little laundry in the village, which used a pony and trap to collect washing from its customers, some of whom would take their laundry home after it had been washed and iron it themselves, especially if they had daughters. A local man came to the Museum one day, and when he told me a little story about the laundry, I suddenly realised he was talking about my husband’s family. It appeared that my husband’s grandmother used to send her smalls to the laundry. The laundry woman’s little grandson didn’t like my husband’s grandmother who was his headmistress; he thought she was too strict. So he got his own back by starching her knickers.

There could be a moral here – avoid telling tales about people because in a village, your listener might be related to them. But in this case it was harmless enough. I suspect we all snigger just a bit at the thought of the prim and proper school teacher being made a tad uncomfortable by starched knickers!

And we have a chance to show you two ‘daughters’ of Easterton as well.

The career of Miss Ross

June 28, 2015

Miss Ross was, for fifty years, the infant teacher at West Lavington School, but her home, for many years, was in Market Lavington for she was the daughter of a Market Lavington man. This news article was published in the Wiltshire News of 19th February 1982 and, sadly, it was following the death of Miss Ross. Miss Ross is at the left hand end of the back row in this picture.

Miss Florence Ross(back row at the left)as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School.

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

The story with this picture, shown in full below, tells of Miss Florence Ross, daughter of Joseph Ross who was head gardener at Clyffe Hall. When her father died, Florence lived with her mother and other family members in Market Lavington High Street.

Clyffe Hall is close to West Lavington School and Florence attended it as a pupil until the age of 14. That was in 1918. The very next term, Florence returned to the school as a teacher and she taught there until 1968.

The day after she retired she became Mrs John Parr of Swanage and Dorset became her home until after the death of Mr Parr when Florence returned to the Lavingtons. She died in 1982.

image003 image004 image005 image006

Maybe members of the Alexander family could add something to this story???


School Staff in the 1930s

April 13, 2011

Back in the 1930s, Market Lavington just had the village school, on Church Street. Easterton, of course, had its own school and students stayed at these schools until leaving age, unless they passed their scholarship exam and got a place at Devizes Grammar school – or their parents were able to pay for a higher education.

These were school leaving ages through the years.

1870: First compulsory school for younger children
1880: Attendance enforced for 5-10 year olds
1899: Leaving age raised to 12
1918: Full-time education compulsory up to 14
1944: Education Act raises leaving age to 15
1964: Raising of school leaving age to 16 announced, but not in place until 1972

Despite having students of all ages from five through to 14, Market Lavington School coped in its three classrooms and, apparently, with four teachers.

Teachers at Market Lavington School in the 1930s - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

These teachers, shown in the photograph were Mrs Laycock, Mrs Elisha, Mrs Baker and Miss Drury

Mary Laycock had lived on the Terrace near The Market Place in Market Lavington, perhaps when her husband, William Laycock was head of the school. The 1926 electoral roll shows the two of them there, but the names have been crossed out, suggesting they had left by then.

May Elisha was a village girl for all of her life. She had been born as May Potter and had married Bill Elisha whose parents had a sewing machine shop in the village. For the 1939 electoral roll, this couple lived on The Spring in Market Lavington.

We do not know which of many possible Mrs Bakers the teacher was. Can anyone out there enlighten us? She may have been the former teacher who presented a cup for house activities in the 1960s.

Miss Drury is not identified, but we are sure someone out there will recognise her and be able to tell us more.

The Baker Cup

April 9, 2011

The Baker Cup was a silver (coloured) trophy given as an award for house competitions at Market Lavington School from 1963 until 1970. We seek more information about it at Market Lavington Museum.

The Baker Cup for inter house competitions at Market Lavington School - now at Market Lavington Museum

The Baker Cup

We know the cup is of EPNS (electro-plated nickel silver) and it was presented by Mrs Baker, a former teacher.

Winners of the Inter House Trophy - 1963 - 68

We can see that the houses were the patron saints of at least three of the parts of the United Kingdom. It seems fair to guess that there was a fourth house – St. David but they didn’t win in the period covered.

We know a Mrs Baker was a teacher at the school in the 1920s. Was she the one who donated the cup?

What was the cup given for? Perhaps a former pupil, from the 1960s, could tell us about house competitions at the time.

We look forward to hearing from you.

A mantle clock

March 14, 2011

One of the items we have at Market Lavington Museum is this rather attractive inlaid mantle clock.It dates from the 1920s.

A 1920s mantle clock at Market Lavington Museum

This clock is very standard of its era with a neat, small, pendulum regulated movement.

The clock works

The manufacturers do not seem to have been particularly proud of this clock for we have not found a maker’s name.

The clock was a gift to a Market Lavington resident and a plaque on the front of the clock records this.

The plaque records the gift of the clock to May Potter on the occasion of her marriage to Bill Elisha

‘Presented to Helena M Potter by the day and Sunday Schools of Market Lavington on her marriage – 27th July 1929.’

On that date in 1929, Miss Potter became Mrs Elisha and she remained a teacher at Market Lavington School for the rest of her working life. Mrs Elisha was always known as May.

The clock still works you could hear it chiming by clicking here.