Posts Tagged ‘trade’

A Hopkins Post Card

August 18, 2014

Hopkins who was general builders and builders’ merchants in Market Lavington 100 years ago had their own postcards for quick and simple information transfer.

Here is one posted on 18th August 1914 – 100 years ago.

Hopkins postcard sent on 18th August 1914

Hopkins postcard sent on 18th August 1914

As we can see, plumbing and drainage seem to have been specialities, if we judge by the images on the address side of the card.

The reverse, of course, carries the message.

The message is a simple acknowledgement of an order

The message is a simple acknowledgement of an order

We now have to remember what conditions were like 100 years ago. The telephone was an established item, but most people and companies didn’t have them. Of course, there was no email or text messaging. The postcard was the equivalent of its day.

It was a fortnight since Britain had declared war on Germany when this card was sent and no doubt many a young man was away from home, receiving training or was even overseas. But rural life still went on – as it had to, of course.

How lucky we are to have reminders of this time in Market Lavington Museum.


Doorstep Delivery

August 10, 2014


At Market Lavington Museum we do like to make sure we have a record of the changing scene so today we feature a scene recorded on 25th July 2014.

It’s that doorstep delivery of milk.

The doorstep milk delivery is still going strong in the Lavington area

The doorstep milk delivery is still going strong in the Lavington area

We are lucky still to have a delivering milkman in Market Lavington. Many people now use supermarkets, but for those without a car the milkman is a real essential. Milk is heavy stuff to carry around.

But we are aware that the doorstop delivery of milk may not last for ever, although we hope it’s around for many years to come. We thought we should record what might once have been a common sight – pint milk bottles outside a house.

We can, of course, see potential disadvantages. Those bottles are out in the sun and they are on the side of a street and could be easy pickings for passing thieves. Many of us will remember milk bottles which had been broken in to, via the foil caps, by blue tits!


This is future history in the making. Something so ordinary it could easily be overlooked.

If you live locally, do think to record things before it is too late.

But to re-emphasise – we know of no plans to abandon milk delivery in our area.

Henry Cannings – once more

July 10, 2014

We have met Henry before. He was a plumber starting off being trained by his father back in the mid nineteenth century. He was also called Henry and after Henry (the second) married he had a son called Henry – it all gets a tad confusing.

Henry lived virtually all his life living on High Street in Market Lavington. Born in 1940, he died in 1904.

Now to be strictly honest we can’t be sure if the item we show today – a small trade plate – belonged to Henry the elder or the middle one. We do think it is 19th century.

H Cannings, plumber - a trade plate

H Cannings, plumber – a trade plate

This little plate – is about the size of a current business card. It is made of brass. It is clearly labelled




The odd thing is that this plate was found in a garden in West Lavington.  We do not know what its actual function was, but presumably Henry carried it with him when out on jobs.


A Paint Muller

December 12, 2013

Some tasks have just vanished from life. Once commonplace activities now have no place in anyone’s life. Mulling paint is one of them. Actually, artists do still mull their own paint sometimes.

The idea of mulling is to produce pigments in a very fine powder form and mix them with ‘oil’ to produce a usable paint.

Our muller dates from more than 100 years ago and is made of wood. It looks like a large darning mushroom (perhaps something else which has vanished from everyday life).

It was used in a kind of sweeping, circular or figure of eight motion to get a really good dispersion of the pigment in the oil. It could take hours so no wonder we are willing to let industry do the hard work these days.

A nineteenth century paint muller at Market Lavington Museum

A nineteenth century paint muller at Market Lavington Museum

This is our muller.


The well-worn mulling surface

It has a lovely, comfortable handle and then the head which, as we see, was well worn.

This is a lovely reminder of past times when painters had to produce their own paint.

Jim Sheppard again

December 6, 2013

Today we’ll complete the recently given sequence of photos of Jim Sheppard. Jim, as we know, was the ‘Tip Top’ baker in Easterton. We have seen him with a colleague, using a motorbike and sidecar and we have seen him with his first van.

A second van was needed and Jim purchased a similar three wheeler, this time a late 1930s version. But we don’t see Jim at work here. We see him on a little jaunt.

Jim Sheppard, Tip Top baker of Easterton relaxes in front of his delivery van

Jim Sheppard, Tip Top baker of Easterton relaxes in front of his delivery van

There’s Jim, relaxing on a deck chair with the van behind.

Close up on Jim

Close up on Jim

He has driven this van up Salisbury Plain, to the top of Easterton Hill. We can see that Jim is a bit older here, but he still retains his jaunty, cheerful look.

He came up the hill with his daughter. She is standing behind a low arm chair they obviously brought up the hill. The family dog appears to have occupied that one.


Jim’s daughter and dog

 What a charming photograph – it looks like a very happy family life.

We would like to thank descendants of Jim for making these photos available to us. They show a way of life that has vanished and yet it was probably very typical of the 1930s rural scene.

The baker’s delivery van

December 5, 2013

We are continuing our look at Mr Shepppard who ran the Tip Top bakery in Easterton today.

Yesterday we saw his motorcycle combination delivery system. Today we see his first delivery van.

Tip Top Bakery van in Easterton - early 1930s

Tip Top Bakery van in Easterton – early 1930s

What a stunning picture this is. Jim Sheppard is driving the van.

Jim Sheppard owned the business and the van

Jim Sheppard owned the business and the van

This looks very much like a motortrike. It appears to have handlebar steering. But having a small van body it had space for advertising.

The side of the van names the business

The side of the van names the business

This vehicle was the forerunner of the Reliant Robin – made famous as Del Boy’s transport in the TV sitcom, ‘Only Fools and Horses’. It dates from the very early 1930s and was actually produced by Raleigh.

Now we’ll turn our attention to the other person in the picture.

Ralph Maule was a neighbour on High Street, Easterton

Ralph Maule was a neighbour on High Street, Easterton

This lad is Ralph Maule. He was a neighbour who later became Jim’s apprentice. We think he was born around 1918 although we find no record for a birth. He appears on the 1939 electoral roll for Easterton, living on High Street, Easterton with Alice who we guess was his mother. Ralph may have had two wives. He first married in 1942 and then he married Monica Burgess, in 1981.

Does anybody know any more about him?

Delivering the Bread

December 4, 2013

Just recently people have been arriving at the Market Lavington Museum blog having searched for items about bread delivery carts and vans. This post, which follows on from yesterday’s offering, adds a different dimension to bread delivery – via the motorbike and sidecar.

The people are the same as those shown yesterday – Jim Sheppard in control with Chris Cooper behind. Jim was Easterton’s ‘Tip Top’ baker and Chris was an employee.

Jim Sheppard and Chris Cooper complete a bread delivery round in Easterton - late 1920s

Jim Sheppard and Chris Cooper complete a bread delivery round in Easterton – late 1920s

The photo isn’t a brilliant one. Clearly it was taken more or less straight into the sun. The location is just outside Jubilee Cottages. Perhaps this was the end of a delivery for the motorbike is about to cross the bridge over the stream in front of the garage. Behind them we see a section of the terrace of houses that still line the Easterton Street.

Unfortunately, we can’t make out what the motorbike is but the sidecar is clear enough. It clearly has boxes for bread and the standard baker’s bread basket for delivering to the door. It was probably very suitable transport for a new business in the late 1920s.

Our next hope is to know more about Chris Cooper. We’ll take a guess and hope somebody will tell us if we are wrong. We only find one Chris Cooper in the area. He was born in 1909 in Little Cheverell but his father, brick worker Sidney was a Market Lavington man and Chris had an Easterton born granny. In 1926 Sidney and his wife Lottie appear on the electoral roll as living at Fiddington Sands so it seems a fair bet that Chris would have lived in the area too, although at a mere 17 years of age he’d not have been an elector. We suspect this Christopher is the young man in both today’s and yesterday’s photo.

Jim Sheppard

December 3, 2013

Easterton’s Tip Top Baker

About a month ago we featured a paper bag we had been given. This bag told us it was used by J Sheppard of Tip Top Bakery in Easterton. At the time we said it would be good to have a photo.

And as a result, we have not one photo but four delightful, period images. They are too good to use up on one blog post so we’ll look at them one at a time.

Today’s photo is of the man himself – Jim Sheppard and his assistant.

Jim Sheppard is on the right in this photo of him outside his bakery in Easterton

Jim Sheppard is on the right in this photo of him outside his bakery in Easterton

Descendants of Jim have come up with the following rough chronology for Jim.

Jim Sheppard came to Market Lavington as a qualified baker to work for Waltons.
He then moved to All Cannings to work for Mullings.
He came to Easterton in 1926 and rented a bake-house, now demolished, at the bottom of the High Street.
In 1927 he bought 1 Jubilee Cottages, which already had a wooden garage. He built a brick bakehouse behind the garage and installed a steam oven. At a later date he demolished the garage and replaced it with a brick garage with loft above it which was used to store sacks of flour.
This bake-house was next door to Coleman’s bake-house. Easterton supported 2 bakers.
In 1945 Jim sold the thriving business to Mr Cotton, the baker at West Lavington.
For a period of time after this Jim lived at Easterton Sands and was village postman.

On the left we have Chris Cooper, who was an employee of Jim’s and on the right is the man himself. That’s Jim (or James or Jimmy) Shepherd of Tip Top Bakery, Easterton. He is standing outside his bakehouse at 1 Jubilee Cottages, Easterton.

By the early 1950’s 1 Jubilee Cottages had reverted to a private house.

We can add a little more to this. James Sheppard was born around 1896 in Wiltshire. From census data we think this was at Grittleton. His father was James – a groom/gardener and his mother was Mary. James had an older sister, Mary and a younger brother, William.

By the time of the 1911 census his sister had departed from the family home which was then at Castle Combe. 15 year old James had an occupation then. He was a baker.

James died in 1987.

A wig maker’s hook

November 17, 2013

This item looks horribly like a dentist’s probe but if you think it is, then you are at the wrong end of the head. This is a wig maker’s hook

Wig maker's hook at Market Lavington Museum

Wig maker’s hook at Market Lavington Museum

We know very little about this item. We do not know its age or who used it in this parish. All we know is that hooks of this kind were used to pull hair through the base mesh of a wig.

It has been in the museum since 1985 – when the museum opened and it was a gift from the collection of Peggy Gye.

Similar tools can still be obtained today for the process, which for some reason is known as ventilating a wig. Is this because you are giving them some ‘air?

A stoneware jam jar

November 5, 2013

Yesterday we featured a paper bag and today we have another item of near ephemera – a jam jar.

Back in 1985 a new extension was opened at Samuel Moore Foods – the Easterton jam factory. During the excavations for foundations, quite a large number of old stoneware jam jars were uncovered. It seems workers at the plant, at that time, were able to take one as a souvenir. One of these jars has just made its way to Market Lavington Museum, given by a person who worked at the jam factory back then.

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore's Easterton jam factory

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore’s Easterton jam factory

This jar is about the size of a one pound jam jar made of glass. It stands about 4 inches tall and has a diameter of about three inches across the top. As we can see, it is a yellowy cream colour with a black line around the rim.

We can also see it is not in A1 condition. There is a visible crack down the far side of the jar – and it goes from top to bottom. There is chipping to the glaze near the bottom as well. There is a red staining to the jar as well, albeit cunningly hidden round the back in this photo.

We have to make the assumption that this jar dates from early days at the factory as do the other, similar jars found. There are no marks of any kind on the jar to assist with identifying manufacturer or age.

Similar jars marked with a Hartley badge are quite frequently seen on internet auction sites. They are usually described as ‘Victorian’.

Because of the location where these were found, we are inclined to imagine them as more like 1920. Prior to the First World War, Samuel Moore and his family ran a cottage jam making business at their home, Woodbine Cottage on The Drove in Easterton (Now also called Sam Moore’s Lane). It seems unlikely that they would have dumped or stored jars on what later became the factory site.

We have found very little information about such jars as yet so maybe somebody out there could come up with a likely age and even a possible manufacturer. By the way, we have no interest in or knowledge of any value – except, for what it is worth, we think in cash terms it is worth next to nothing but in local history terms it is a valued treasure. That is what matters to us.