Posts Tagged ‘toy’

Another new cabinet takes shape

February 2, 2011

It’s lovely, the way the museums in Wiltshire help one another. Our latest new cabinet at Market Lavington isn’t new at all. It was given to us by our friends at the museum in Mere. At Mere, they had called this cabinet ‘The Salisbury Cabinet’ because they, in their turn, had received it from the Salisbury museum. It came as a godsend to us, for one of our older, wooden cabinets had a dose of woodworm and had to go.

A problem provided us with the opportunity to revamp some of our displays and these are now taking shape in the entrance room downstairs.

New cabinet in the entrance area of Market Lavington Museum

The top shelf has head related items. These include a bowler hatbox and a helmet box, hatpins and hair tidy boxes. There are hairgrips and adverts for hair products.

The next shelf features school items. Prominent is the old school bell, which was once atop the Old School on Church Street, but there are other items too, including donated prize cups, books, a slate and statements of account.

The second shelf up is devoted to lighting and has oil lamps and candle lamps – both domestic and vehicular. There is also memorabilia from Market Lavington’s very own gas works.

The bottom shelf is for toys. At the moment there are a couple of Victorian home made boats and an Edwardian xylophone but more will be added to this area.

When the museum opens in May visitors will see this cabinet as they enter the building.

Children’s building bricks

December 7, 2010

At Market Lavington Museum we like to record the ordinary ways in which people led their lives. Photographs help with that but we are also pleased to receive items of a general nature, which help to tell the story of life in the parish. The museum ‘rule’ is that items must have a connection with the parish, past or present.

The history of parish boundary changes has been mentioned before on these pages but let’s just summarise, again, those areas that we count.

  • First of all, any area which is in the current parish of Market Lavington. This includes Fiddington, which was once a part of West Lavington
  • Secondly, we include those areas which were once a part of the parish of Market Lavington but are now part of different parishes. This means Easterton which is now a parish in its own right, but also areas that are now part of West Lavington, including the Russell Mill area and the area known as Gore around the crossroads of the Ridgeway and the main road from West Lavington to Salisbury at Gore Cross.
  • Thirdly there is one location which has never been in Market Lavington but which provided a major service to the parish. That was Lavington Railway Station.

We are always happy to receive artefacts and photos about any of those areas.

But back to today’s item which actually came from residents on The Spring in Market Lavington. It is a general item – a toy used by youngsters in the family and it dates from the late 1930s.

Box of toy building blocks from the 1930s - at Market Lavington Museum

The bricks inside the box don’t seem to match the picture on the lid!

The bricks in the box

Now had these toy bricks been post World War II they would probably have been made in Asia. But these were actually made in Germany.

The box seems in remarkably good condition for a child’s toy. Maybe the bricks didn’t get all that much use.

Toy Boats

November 10, 2010

Market Lavington Museum has two hand made toy boats. It has to be said that they are not in pristine condition, but they are a real part of the history of our parish.

Two toy boats made by two men called James Welch, father and son

Our labels tell us that the boats were made by James Welch and that they were sailed on Broadwell.

The older boat – the green one – probably dates from around 1860. At this time the Welch family lived in South Wales where James was assistant manager at an iron works. One assumes that James made the boat for his son, also James, who was born around 1856.

The Welch family moved to Market Lavington before the 1871 census and lived on White Street, probably at Beech House, which is opposite Broadwell. So perhaps young James found Broadwell an ideal spot to play with his boat.

In 1887 young James Welch married Annie Earle in East London. By 1889 they were back in Market Lavington where their first son, yet another James, was born. Clearly the new James Welch needed a boat for Broadwell so his dad made the red one around 1890.

To complete the Welch story, that third James Welch, in the fullness of time married Florence Page. They had a daughter called Marjorie and she became Mrs Peggy Gye – the founder of our museum.

Who made the brick rabbit?

September 13, 2010

This little chap, found in Market lavington has featured on the blog once before.

Brick rabbit (minus ears) at Market Lavington Museum

He’s a rabbit and we believed he was made at the Market Lavington brickworks.

This weekend, a museum visitor declared she had one just the same at home and her dad had made it – at the Market Lavington brickworks.  Her dad was Leonard Davidge, and, even better, our visitor gave us photos.

Leonard Davidge - the man who probably made the rabbit

Here we see Leonard Davidge who we now believe was the maker of the toy rabbit.

Leonard had been born in Market Lavington in 1903. His father, Edwin Davidge was a carter at the brickworks.

Brothers Alf, Herbert and our rabbit maker Len Davidge in about 1910

This studio photo shows Leonard on the right with older brother Alf and younger brother Herbert. This must have been taken in about 1910.

Gifts of photographs are always welcome. Originals are, of course, lovely, but often people want to keep their originals. Our visitor, at the weekend, allowed our curator to photograph the images with a digital camera. This can allow a little enhancement to be done so that the copies can look better than the originals. Do contact the curator on if you have any Market Lavington or Easterton related items to offer the museum.

These days, we do not put original photos on display for they will deteriorate if left in the light so even if originals are given, they would be kept in dark conditions to preserve them.