Posts Tagged ‘temperance’

Sarah Gye of the IOGT

July 28, 2012

Sarah Sophia Gye Was born in the spring of 1864. We can find her on the 1871 census when she lived on Stobbarts Road in Market Lavington with her parents, James and Mary Ann and her three sisters. James was a carpenter.

On 25th February 1874, Sarah became a member of the Lavington Juvenile Temple of the Independent Order of Good Templars. You can read more about this organisation here.

Sarah Gye of Market Lavington is initiated into the Independent Order of Good Templars in 1874

By 1881, Sarah had left Wiltshire. The 17 year old lass was a kitchen maid at a house in Westminster in London.

Our next record is ten years on. Sarah was, by then, a servant in Hove, Sussex.

Sarah married in 1899. Her husband was James Weston. At the time of the 1901 census, James was a Hackney Carriage driver and the couple, with baby son Francis, lived in Kennington in Surrey.

By 1911 another son and a daughter had been added to the family. A fourth child is recorded on the census as having died.

After that date, with the family not in Market Lavington, we have no records. Maybe someone can help.


The Workman’s Hall, Market Lavington

November 27, 2011

Today we are featuring some research and writing carried out by Mrs Kirby of High Street, Market Lavington back in 1985 – the year the museum opened. Mrs Kirby included a sketch of the hall and some floor plans.

The Workman’s Hall, Market Lavington 

Sketch of the Workmans' hall in Market Lavington

The Workmans’ Hall was built in 1865, financed by a legacy of £1000 (to be known as the Edward Saunders Temperance Fund) in the will of Edward Saunders , landowner and business man of the area and one time Councillor of the City of Bath, and Market Lavington. His wishes were executed by his brother Joseph.

Edward a founder member of the Temperance League, enjoyed the comforts of his home, and his pipe dream was a place in Market Lavington where working men could be warm and comfortable, and so not be tempted to frequent the Inns in the village of which there were five.

The building was to provide a meeting room, library, and reading room, well supplied with books and newspapers, a room for refreshment and also a small accommodation for a caretaker.

The Workmans’ Hall was one of the first Temperance Halls in the country and here was started a Branch of the Independent Order of Rechabites, whose motto is “Truth and Temperance, love and Purity”. The membership was mostly Chapel.

The front elevation is quite impressive, built of local brick, with stone pillars, and portico, five stone framed windows, an archway entrance to the rear, with clock over, and a bell tower.

Strict regulations in the will regarding the conducting of the Hall made it difficult to run as a viable concern. Descendants of Edward helped both socially and with finance, but the membership dwindled.

A local butcher, Mr. George Pike, with help, took matters in hand and installed billiard tables, introduced card games, dominoes and draughts, and refreshments. There were also “Pleasant Sunday Afternoons” when local talent entertained. Wives and children were allowed, and no doubt a good time was had by all, despite of or because of the off-key singing, duets and quartets and brass bands.

The Temperance element was still active, and despite this effort the membership declined.

The Hall was used by the Services during the war, and when released an attempt was made to run it in conjunction with the Parish Rooms opposite. This failed.

In 1952 Rendells Ltd, builders, of Devizes started negotiations to purchase the Hall, which by then had deteriorated badly. On April 12th 1953 it became the property of Rendells and changed use. From 1953 to 1958 it seems it stood empty and unused.

At this time the local Scout Group were without a Hall. In July 1958 they purchased from Rendells this almost derelict Hall, and change of use to a Scout Hall was granted.

Since owning the Hall, the Scouts, generously helped by patrons, business people, friends, parents and the local councils, with interest free loans, gifts of money and kind and very essential hard labour, have been renovating the building.

In 1977, there was a change of Trustees, and a new Community project was mooted. It was decided the Scout Hall should also be an Amenity for the people of Lavington.

On September 7th 1985, 2nd Lavington Sea Scouts are putting on show their years of hard work. The Community project is almost finished and the Workmans’ Hall has thoroughly changed its use. It now houses the Doctors Surgery , The Community Library, all the Amenities the Sea Scouts need including a boat house, all ship-shape and Bristol fashion, a credit to all concerned. This building and its history have been conserved.

floor plans of the Workmans' Hall

Written by Mrs Kirby of High Street, Market Lavington in 1985

The Independent Order of Good Templars

June 3, 2011

This organisation is one for those people who feel alcohol is a bad thing. It was founded in 1851 in America although the organisations name really came when the first British group was set up in Birmingham in 1868. The movement spread rapidly – and Market Lavington was not left out. There was a substantial local group. The name has changed but the organisation still exists as The International Order of Good Templars.

Today we show a picture of them although the location is not entirely clear.

A meeting of the Independent Order of Good templars - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

There we see  a group of some 80 people of all ages. We can name just two of the people in the photograph.

George and Mary Ann Pike

These two people are Mr and Mrs Pike. George Pike was born in 1877 in Trowbridge. Mary Ann came from Warminster and was a little older. The couple had married in 1899 and in 1901 they lived in Market Lavington with their first child, Lilian. George was a butcher’s salesman but later he acquired his own butchery business. Descendants of the couple still live in Market Lavington to this day.

from the ages of George and Mary Ann, we think the picture dates fronm the early years of the twentieth century.

Of course, we’d love to know who the  others on the photo are. Can you help with that?

The Workman’s Hall and the east end of The High Street in about 1900

February 25, 2011

The Workman’s Hall was a Victorian building provided for the village by members of the Saunders family. Their aim was to further their temperance ideals but whatever anyone thinks of that, they provided a meeting and eating house for local people, with games and books for them. They also provided a fine building, still in use in three ways. Market Lavington Library, under threat of closure as we write, is in one downstairs room. There is also a local firm’s office downstairs and the large upstairs is used as a scout hall by the local Sea Scouts.

The Workman's Hall and High Street in about 1900 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

In our photo, the hall is the building with a carriage arch and a young man with cart standing outside. A square section gas lamp hangs over the carriage arch. The bracket for this still exists.

The building is a listed building and the citation reads:-

Workman’s Hall, now library, surgery and meeting hall over. 1865-6 for Edward Saunders Temperance Fund. Flemish brickwork with slate roof. Tall 2-storey facade of 4 bays, with carriage entry in fourth bay. Entrance central to the three bays, with flush stone portico on four pilasters and attic bearing inscription and date. Bays defined by giant brick pilasters with stone caps, eaves and sill bands. Sixteen-paned sashes with eared moulded stone architraves and cornices. Carriageway arch is of gauged brick with stone keyblock, and clock over with stone surround and dripmould. Gable stacks. Late C19 two-bay wing on left. Rear elevation altered. Loading door over carriage arch and simpler 16-pane sashes. Dentilled eaves. Interior has the large meeting hall on first floor. Window shutters in reveals. The building was erected by the temperance society and provided dole of soup and bread pudding when needed. Included for group value, and as an interesting example of the confidence of the social provision for the needy in the mid C19.

A boy with a cart stands outside the hall. No doubt it’s asking too much to hope anybody might recognise the lad.

Boy with cart outside the Workman's Hall

Next door to the hall is Palm House which, in the early 19th century was the forerunner of the Fiddington House Asylum. Mr Willetts set up his home here and some say it was noise and disturbance from residents which caused him to move to Fiddington House. Others rather feel he thought bigger premises offered scope for bigger profits.

Palm House was once a private lunatic asylum

Further down High Street, one of the properties still had a thatched roof. It no longer does. The same building is now under tiles.

This house, thatched in 1900 is now under a tiled roof