Posts Tagged ‘tinsmith’

In the New Cabinet – The Baker Shelf

February 18, 2010

One of the reasons that we have a new display cabinet – bringing more life and interest to our upstairs room – is because a member of the Baker family, who lived in Canada, left the museum a legacy in honour of her grandfather, John Baker of Market Lavington. John was a tinsmith and trader as well as being a prize winning sharp shooter with the local Loyal Volunteers, and being ever ready to turn out with the Market Lavington fire engine. The picture shows the Baker shelf.

Baker shelf in the new display cabinet at Market Lavington Museum

One of the items has already been featured on this blog but it has not been on display before because it is a new gift and that’s the pair of scales that the family used.

Another new item is a lovely little brooch containing a lock of hair. This belonged to John’s daughter, Mabel. She was born in 1883 in Market Lavington.

Several of John’s children emigrated to Canada and other items on this shelf have made a round trip, from Market Lavington to remote spots in Canada and back again. There are various items of enamel ware which might have been sold by John Baker, but these pieces were kept by the family and used. There’s also an autograph book sent from Market Lavington to Canada by John’s daughter, Mollie as a 1912 Christmas gift for her sister, Amy, who had already emigrated.

Photos of the family form a backdrop on this shelf.

We have, in the museum, a folder full of photos and information about this family. Do ask to see it when you visit the museum.


Lavington Hardware Loyalty Card

February 11, 2010

A recent gift to the museum has no great age – a Loyalty Card for Lavington Hardware.

Lavington Hardware Privilege Discount Card

The card entitled holders to a discount – an attempt to make our small, independent trader competitive alongside the big DIY stores that had sprung up in the area.

A gift of a card, like this, can bring back memories about the shop and some of the people who owned and ran the business.

Lavington Hardware had premises opposite the Co-op in Market Lavington. One way or another these premises had been in use for what might loosely be called ironmongery for almost 200 years.

In the early part of the nineteenth century the Matthews family lived there. James Matthews was a blacksmith and he and his wife are commemorated with appropriate iron grave markers in the parish churchyard.

Later, the Baker family moved in. They worked as tin or white smiths and certainly sold enamelware as well. After the death of John Baker, the Phillips family took over the business.

In the last quarter of the twentieth century there were a succession of owners running the business which remained an incredibly useful resource to the village. But eventually, despite loyalty cards, the hardware store closed although another shop, Lavington Services, met many of the same needs on White Street.

We are always pleased to receive gifts of posible items for display but they must have a connection with Market Lavington or Easterton.

Weighing Scales used by the Baker Family

January 28, 2010


Weighing Scales used by the Baker Family

John Baker was a tinsmith and trader. He lived and worked in the house opposite the coop which many Lavington residents will remember as an ironmonger/hardware shop until the 1990s. But John Baker’s time was 100 years before then.

John Baker was born in 1843 and lived in Market Lavington for sixty years. He died in 1903. He was probably born to be a tinsmith for his father already ran the business.

We have much information about the Baker family in the museum for we celebrated the family in a 2009 display. This led to family members giving us further items including this pair of scales which was used in the nineteenth century by the Bakers in their Market Lavington home. Whether this was for cooking or for weighing out solder we do not know.