Posts Tagged ‘town crier’

Granny Cooper

January 28, 2013
Church Street in about 1932 with Tom Haines, the Market Lavington town crier and Granny Cooper.

Church Street in about 1932 with Tom Haines, the Market Lavington town crier and Granny Cooper.

We have seen this photo before on this blog. Then we concentrated on Tom Haines, the town crier. But this version we were given recently names the lady standing in the road with two small boys. She is ‘Granny Cooper’.

Granny Cooper and two grandsons

Granny Cooper and two grandsons

We believe that Granny Cooper had been born in 188o as Eliza Ann Pearce. Her birth place was Imber, the lost village on Salisbury Plain. In 1906 she married Herbert Edward Cooper.  We think he was very much a Market Lavington man and the family clearly settled in Market Lavington. Descendants still live in the village.

Daughter Winifred was born in 1909. In 1911 the family were on Northbrook in Market Lavington.

Winifred married Cecil Chapman in 1929 and it is their two sons that Granny Cooper has in the photograph.

The shops in the photo are of interest, but we commented on them in that earlier blog. Click here to see it.


Tom Haines – Town Crier

November 15, 2011

We have seen Tom, and his wife Milla, before on these pages. Today’s interesting photo shows Tom making a proclamation on White Street, just near Broadwell.

Tom Haines, Market Lavington town crier, making a proclamation in White Street, 1934.

Tom makes a fine sight, dressed up in his town crier garb and ringing his bell.

Tom Haines - and isn't that Thomas Moody behind the bell?

This can bring us to other people in the photo. We are fairly confident that the bearded man, behind Tom’s bell is another Tom – Tom Moody. You can click here to read about him.

A copy of this photo can be found in Sybil Perry’s book of memories. She identifies two people in the picture (apart from Tom Haines) and gives a date of 1934.

The first of Sybil’s identified person is Sybil herself. Back in 1934 she was Miss Sybil Brown.

Sybil Brown, later Sybil Perry is the girl amongst the men.

That’s Sybil – the rose amongst the thorns. Maybe some of those men could be identified. We wonder if the pipe smoker might be Shep Perry.

Sybil’s grandmother, Mrs Smith, is also in the photo.

Mary Jane Smith was Sybil Perry's grandmother.

Mary Jane was the wife of pond maker, Charles Smith and they have featured on this blog in the past (click here).


The Town Crier

July 2, 2011

As a former market town, it is no wonder Market Lavington had a town crier. Before the days of mass media, or, indeed, mass literacy, they had a vital role in keeping people informed. They were, in effect, the news readers of their day and their audience was anybody close enough to hear them.

In Market Lavington, at the start of the twentieth century, our town crier was Billy Coleman (or Colman). It was his function to stand out in the street, ring his bell and call, ‘oyez, oyez, oyez,’ before announcing his news. Oyez is based on old Norman and means ‘hear ye’ or, in other words, ‘shut up and listen’.

Our picture shows Billy on High Street with a collection of listeners.

Billy Coleman (with bell) the Market Lavington town crier is seen here on High Street

Unfortunately, we do not know much about Billy.

Billy Coleman or Colman

He was the town crier in 1904 and it is known he also woke up people who wished to catch an early train from Lavington Station.

Market Lavington’s next (and last) town crier was Tom Haines who was certainly the incumbent in 1935.

A possible William Coleman was a shoemaker by trade who worked on High Street in Market Lavington. He was born in the 1840s and the man in the photo doesn’t look to be as old as that birth date suggests for an early 20thcentury photo. If you can help tell us anything about Billy, then do contact the curator.


The man with the beard has been identified as Mr Henry Wells of Easterton.

Henry Wells of Easterton was born in 1850

Henry was born in 1850 which helps give a clue to the age of Billy.