Posts Tagged ‘trade’

A Bill from Mr James

August 8, 2013

Once again, today, we look at one of those marvellous bills from the past – bills that tell us so much.

This one was sent out by W James and Sons, bakers and grocers of High Street, Market Lavington. We know they were at number 1, now the Post Office in the village.

Mr James had a bill head with an advert for a product. No doubt this allowed him to save money on printing and it gave his bills a striking appearance.

The bill, dated September 1938 was issued to Mr Neate. This would have been Norman Neate who was, by then, quite an elderly man for he was born in 1869. Because of that different way of life in pre-war days we can gauge something of Norman Neate’s life.  These days we expect to pay for most goods as we buy them. It looks as though Mr Neate was sent quarterly bills with records kept by Mr James the shop keeper for this bill contains items bought from September 1938 through to January 1939.

A 1938 bill from James the bakers of Market Lavington

A 1938 bill from James the bakers of Market Lavington

We imagine Mr Neate was a poultry keeper for his purchases are of meal and sharps of different qualities. Just what is meant by ‘sharps’ is open to some doubt, but we believe it is a lower grade flour with quite a high proportion of bran.

Interestingly, one of the James family became a poultry farmer himself – in Market Lavington.

Once again, we have the trust situation. Norman ran up a bill for £3-2-3 in the period covered – worth at least £160 in current terms – quite a sum to be waiting for.

Mr Norman Neate died in 1954.


May 24, 2013

The year is 1975 and the shop carrying the name Lucinda looks just a tad careworn.

Lucinda - a former shop on Church Street, market Lavington

Lucinda – a former shop on Church Street, Market Lavington

Lucinda is on Church Street and in a previous existence it had been Mr Pike’s butchery. George Pike had taken over the business from Mr Godfrey.

This shop has a long history. This photo shows George Pike and staff in about 1913.

This shop has a long history. This photo shows George Pike and staff in about 1913.

That’s George Pike second from right.

It is interesting to note the petrol pump in the 1975 picture. This was associated with Mr Reid’s garage next door and was surely out of use by 1975.

Lucinda was about to change too. It was extensively rebuilt although it retained that gable end facing the road.

In this later picture, we can see the new brick frontage and see some of the other commercial premises which still existed on Church Street at the end of the 1970s.

Lucinda rebuilt - a view of Church Street, Market Lavington in the late 1970s

Lucinda rebuilt – a view of Church Street, Market Lavington in the late 1970s

Beyond Lucinda is the Spar shop and in pale blue after that there is Peter Francis’s photographic business. The person on the pavement is just approaching where Saint Arbuck’s is now. This coffee shop is now the only commercial property along the length of Church Street apart from The Drummer Boy pub.

Moving an organ

May 16, 2013

We have seen Hopkins invoices before on this blog.


This one is the February 1911 account rendered to West Lavington Church. . For £1 – 8 – 6 Mr Hopkins cut along the floor, removed the organ forward and blocked up the level for temporary use in church. It was a 100% labour cost as nothing new was built or installed.

By 1911 Market Lavington born William Hopkins had moved to Littleton Panell but his firm was still based in Market Lavington.

One son, also a William, was running the acetylene works in Market Lavington at that time. Another son, Sam, was listed as a builder and employer in 1911. He, too, lived in the West Lavington area.

Postcards from around 1911 clearly show the HQ of the Hopkins business at 21 Church Street in Market Lavington.

Hopkins HQ - Church Street, Market Lavington

Hopkins HQ – Church Street, Market Lavington

Lavington Supply Store to St. Arbucks

April 21, 2013

The name Market Lavington is a bit of a giveaway. It used to be a market town and, indeed, it is still a minor centre for the local area with more shops and facilities than might be expected in a village. A new one, just started is the Saint Arbucks coffee shop in a building which was once a part of the Lavington Supply Store. Their web site is at . We already have paper artefacts like the flyer below, in the museum.

St. Arbucks Flyer - one of the newest items stored for posterity at Market Lavington Museum

St. Arbucks Flyer – one of the newest items stored for posterity at Market Lavington Museum

But we no longer have a department store spread over several buildings in the village centre but we do have reminders. On our stairway, and very hard to photograph we have a sign, similar to the one below but in better condition. This sign, which is in pieces, is in store. From time to time we unwrap the stored items to check for any signs of problems and the opportunity was taken to photograph this one.

A Lavington Supply Store sign dating from about 1900

A Lavington Supply Store sign dating from about 1900

The name, partly hidden, tells us that the proprietor of this business was A M Walton. Arthur Walton came to Market Lavington prior to 1891 with his wife Emily. We think this sign dates from the early 20th century. We cannot find a photo which features this sign.

But here is one which says ‘Lavington Supply Store’ on the building which is now St. Arbucks. This photo dates from about 1904.

1904 photo of White Street. The staff of Mr Walton's Lavington Supply Store stand outside what is now St. Arbucks, Market Lavington

1904 photo of White Street. The staff of Mr Walton’s Lavington Supply Store stand outside what is now St. Arbucks, Market Lavington

For the record, we believe it is possible that in earlier times this building was an inn – The Lamb. The name Lamb Corner still survives for the crossroads.

An Apprenticeship Indenture

April 3, 2013

Recent communications regarding Mr Milsom’s garage continue. Rosemary has sent a copy of an apprenticeship indenture as shown below. It concerns her father being apprenticed to Mr Milsom.

Apprenticeship Indenture for Robert Godfrety of Easterton to learn the trade of motor engineer from Reginald Milsom of Market Lavington

Apprenticeship Indenture for Robert Godfrety of Easterton to learn the trade of motor engineer from Reginald Milsom of Market Lavington

As can be seen, this is mostly a pre-prepared form with a small amount of handwriting needed to complete the document. It reads

The Wiltshire Society

This indenture made the fifth day of December one thousand nine hundred and thirty two BETWEEN Reginald Milsom of Church Street, Market Lavington, Wiltshire trading as a motor and general  engineer (hereinafter called “the Masters” which expression where the context permits shall include the survivors or survivor of them or the executors, administrators or assigns of such survivor and, in the case of a Limited Company the successors or assigns of the said company) of the first part Robin Edward Godfrey of Oak Cottage, Easterton, Wiltshire (hereafter called “the Parent” of the second part Robert Bernard Godfrey (hereinafter called “the Apprentice” of the third part and Godfrey Emil Rice the Hon. Secretary of the Wiltshire Society (who and whose successors for the time being in the said office are hereinafter referred to and included in the expression “the Secretary”) of the fourth part. WHEREAS the Apprentice with the consent of the Parent  has agreed to bind himself and the Masters have agreed to accept him as an Apprentice upon the conditions hereinafter contained. NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that in consideration of the sum of fifteen pounds shillings charity money paid out of the funds of the said Society to the  Masters on execution of these presents the receipt whereof the Masters do hereby acknowledge and of the agreement to pay the further  sum of fifteen pounds shillings hereinafter contained and in consideration also of the service of the Apprentice to be done or performed to or for the Masters and of the covenants and agreements hereinafter entered into by the Parent  and Apprentice the Masters hereby covenant  with the Parent and Apprentice  and also as a separate covenant with the Secretary in manner following that is to say That they will take and receive the Apprentice as their Apprentice from the fifth day of December One thousand nine hundred and thirty two for the term of four years and also will during the said term to the best of their knowledge power and ability teach and instruct or cause to be taught and instructed the Apprentice in the art trade or business of….. and in all things incident and relating thereto. AND will pay the Apprentice at the rates and in the manner following that is to say:

during the first year six shillings per week

during the second year nine shillings per week

during the third year twelve shillings per week

during the fourth year fifteen shillings per week.

Odd that the trade that young Robert Bernard Godfrey was to learn was not shown. Unlike youngsters who were bound apprentice 100 years earlier, at least Robert had a little money and could lead, legitimately, a bit of his own life.

An Oil Pump

March 28, 2013

Yesterday we saw a group of youngsters which included Marjory Milsom. Today we are looking at an item which she probably used in the course of work. Marjory became a mechanic, working at her father’s garage on Church Street. The location is clear because modern housing on his garage site is called Milsom Court.

A car repair garage has a need for plenty of engine oil and, no doubt, lubricating oil as well. Such quantities of oil tend to be supplied in large metal drums. If oil is to be emptied via a tap, then the drum needs to be off the ground. It was much easier to have a small pump which fitted into the top of the drum, via the fill hole. And that is what we are seeing today.

Oil pump used at Milsom's garage in Market Lavington

Oil pump used at Milsom’s garage in Market Lavington

There is the pump, resting against the top of the stairs. The tube below the label went into the drum. The position of the platform for putting an oil jug on can be adjusted so that the pipe could reach down to the bottom of the drum. The handle at the top could then lift the oil up to pour out of the spout, falling into the jug.

No doubt the fact that this pump was used for oil helped to keep it in tip-top condition. Being largely of brass construction, corrosion would have been minimal.

The pump was made by a company called Prima who operated in Birmingham

Maker's plate on the pump

Maker’s plate on the pump

The pump dates from the 1920s or 30s.

Edwardian Church Street

February 15, 2013

Here we have a fine photo by Alf Burgess showing Church Street in Market Lavington in the Edwardian era.

Church Street, Market Lavington in Edwardian days

Church Street, Market Lavington in Edwardian days

Let’s start at the back.

These properties on White Street were part of Mr Walton's department store

These properties on White Street were part of Mr Walton’s department store

The buildings facing us – outfitter, clothier, draper etc. were actually on White Street and they were all a part of Mr Walton’s empire. He had a range of premises making his business a true department store. He even had an overhead wire system – a so called ‘cash railway’.

On the left the hanging sign is for the Volunteer Arms which would, at the time of this photo, have been run by members of the Trotter family.

On the right is a building on the corner of Church and White Street which is about to open in a new guise. Visitors to Market Lavington will be delighted to find a tea/coffee shop operating there. The building is owned by Trinity Church and they will be running the business under the name of Saint Arbuck’s. We certainly wish Trinity every success in this new venture.

This was to become  lavington Gas Works

This was to become Lavington Gas Works

Here, on the left of the main photo we are looking at buildings which were, for a while, the premises of the Lavington Gas Works. It was here that acetylene was produced and distributed around the village. You can see more of this company here and here.

Now to the right side of the photo.


Shops and other premises on Church Street, Market Lavington

At the left hand end of this photo we have the shop which many will recall as Peter Francis’s photographic shop. Back when the photo was taken it was part of Mr Walton’s emporium. Next to it, the building with the interesting brick front has an interesting history. That building and premises behind it have been almost everything from Baptist Chapel, to village grocery run by Mr Bullock, Mr Potter, the Proust family right through to Mr Dempsey. The white building with gable end facing the street was Mr Godfrey’s butchery. It became Mr Pike’s shop later – still a butcher and has now been completely rebuilt. On this side we have the Merritt’s cycle shop – later Mr Reid’s. At one time this became the petrol station in the village.

In the middle of the photo we have a donkey cart.

Billy Davis was Market Lavington's very own rag and bone man

Billy Davis was Market Lavington’s very own rag and bone man

This is Billy Davis who was what used to get called a rag and bone man – finding uses for people’s unwanted items.

Market Lavington or Pewsey?

December 11, 2012

This picture of the staff of Mr Walton’s Market Lavington shop is said (according to our records) to have been taken at Pewsey in the run up to Christmas 1907.

Staff of Mr Walton’s shop in Market Lavington – probably on White Street in the village. It is the run up to Christmas 1907

Let’s name the people first. From left to right we have Jasper Chapman, Jo Bowyer, Billy Knowles, Kit Laver, Win Merritt, Fred Chapman and Alice Gale

So now to the location.

Market Lavington – White Street from the Cross Roads – 1913

This is the shop in Market Lavington. Look at the section round the corner on White Street, with a lady at the entrance.

Surely this is the same shop as the one above?

Now we are fairly certain this is one and the same shop. Of course Mr Walton may have set up different branches under his control as similarly as possible, but these appear to be identical.

Maybe our colleagues at Pewsey Heritage Centre can tell us more about Mr Walton’s premises there.

Alf and Marion Burgess

December 3, 2012

Here we see Alf Burgess and his wife Marion outside their shop which was at number 13 High Street.

Alf and Marion Burgess outside their shop at 13, High Street, Market Lavington – about 1905

Let’s look at the signage first. Above the window it says, ‘A Burgess and Sons, Photographer, Picture Frame Maker’.

The other sign reads ‘The shop for local postcards. Any view taken to order. The trade supplied.’

Alf was the village photographer until his untimely death in 1918 at the age of 58.

This time, we thought we’d take a look at Marion.

Marion was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in about 1858.

Alf has written Marion’s birthplace on the 1911 census

Here’s the place as written by Alf on the 1911 census. It appears to give the place as Dalserf which is, indeed, a place in Lanarkshire.

However, we can’t trace Marion’s early life. We find five possible Marions born in Dalserf within a couple of years of our Marion. None of them is surnamed Gray.  This leads us to the idea that perhaps Alf was Marion’s second husband for we know that Alf married Marion Gray in the Westbury area in 1887.

So Marion would have moved to 13 High Street, Market Lavington on her marriage for Alf had set up business there in 1886.

By 1911 Marion had born Alf seven children of which five – all sons – survived.

Marion died in 1935. She was aged 78 and had moved to Littleton Panell by then. She joined Alf in Market Lavington churchyard.

We have several photos of Marion at the museum but it would be good to know more of her early life and how she managed to end up in Market Lavington after that early life near Glasgow.

Tom Jefferies

November 30, 2012

Tom was an Easterton based carpenter with a lifespan covering most of the twentieth century. At one time, Tom was almost Mr Easterton for he was heavily involved in local affairs and he was the voice of Easterton on the BBC Wiltshire Radio.

It is no wonder that Tom was selected to be presented to Princess Anne  when she visited the village in 1985.

Tom was a founder and long term supporter of Easterton Village Hall and we have an undated photo of Tom and the committee when they won an award for the best run village hall in the Kennett district.

Tom Jefferies holds the framed certificate for the best run village hall. He is surrounded by other hall committee members

Tom’s main trade may have been as a carpenter, but he also did other tasks. At the museum we have a drain inspection cover badged with his name.

Inspection cover marked T E Jefferies, Builder, Easterton

Just recently, our curator was doing some different research and came across a Jefferies family in Easterton in 1851. John Jefferies, who was born around 1809 was a carpenter.

Tom’s 1851 ancestor, John Jefferies was also an Easterton carpenter

We believe John was the direct ancestor of our Tom.