Posts Tagged ‘transport’

The Museum Miscellany – 2013

August 13, 2013

On September 14th, The Community Hall in Market Lavington will be the venue for our fourth annual Museum Miscellany. This year’s topics will include people at work

Bessie Gye at work in Market Lavington

Bessie Gye at work in Market Lavington

Here we see Bessie Gye as a butcher’s van driver

There will be a section called ‘In the Soil’ and this features metal detector finds in the parish.

13th century penny found in Market Lavington

13th century penny found in Market Lavington

This is a Scottish silver penny from the 1280s.

We’ll feature church and chapel life

Plaque on the former Congregational Chapel, Market Lavington

Plaque on the former Congregational Chapel, Market Lavington

There will be a photo tour of the villages


Our venue under construction

All this and more and, of course, our famous food made from recipe books we have in the museum. Maybe, this year, we’ll have Uncle Walter James’s fruit cake.


We hope to show some of our wonderful collection of magic lantern slides as well – a kind of Victorian horror show.

The event starts at 7.30 pm and admission is still just a fiver. Tickets are on sale in Market Lavington Post Office.

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.

A Pencil Sharpener

November 20, 2012

Today we look at a practical device with a different appearance. It’s a pencil sharpener and probably about eighty to ninety years old
It was made in Germany but used by a White Street family in Market Lavington.

Pencil sharpener in the shape of a Zeppelin airship. This item probably dates from the 1920s or 30s and can be seen at Market Lavington Museum.

As can be seen, it takes the shape of an airship – sometimes called a blimp. Being German, it is actually based upon Count Zeppelin’s ideas, with a rigid light alloy framework. It is not really a blimp at all.

If the airship had an era it was in the 1920s and 1930s, Because hydrogen was used, the outcome was not always good and, in the case of the Hindenburg, the end was almost explosive and certainly utterly tragic.

But during the era of hope and popularity, no wonder youngsters were keen to have their own models and a pencil sharpener had utility as well as beauty.

Our pencil sharpener is not in good condition but we are pleased to have it as a reminder of that past era.

Motorbike and Sidecar

November 17, 2012

You don’t really see a family out on a motorbike with sidecar any more. Back in the 50s they were common. It was much cheaper to run a motorbike than a car and with a sidecar attached you could get mum and dad on the bike and a couple of youngsters in the sidecar.

Of course, in the event of an accident there was precious little protection but we have it on good authority that insurance companies liked the motorcycle combination and charged fairly low premiums for them.

Today we are looking at such a motorbike and sidecar at Homestead Farm on Drove Lane, although at the time of the photo it was called Cemetery Lane. James Gye is riding the bike. We think it is his wife in the sidecar.

Mr and Mrs James Gye ‘ride’ a motorbike and sidecar at Homestead Farm on Drove Lane, Market Lavington

Actually, it is a posed photo. James didn’t ride a motorbike. This one belonged to a friend and it wasn’t going anywhere.

No doubt an expert can tell us what make of motorbike it is.

Holloway’s brick delivery

October 18, 2012

Today we are looking at a photo of a traction engine which was, undoubtedly, based in Market Lavington.

Box Patent traction engine belonging to Market Lavington Brick and Pottery Works

The engine belonged to  The Market Lavington Brick and Pottery Works when it was owned by Holloway Brothers.

Front end of the engine – ownership made clear

We have no accurate date and do not know the location.

We do know that the steersman is Charlie Sheppard.

Charlie Sheppard – the steersman on the engine

We do not know the other two men in the picture.

The engine is a Box Patent engine. William Box, who designed this engine was born in Devizes in about 1844. When his father, William Box senior took the Lavington brickworks, the younger William became a Market Lavington resident. Like many in the family he was an engineer and he was concerned at the number of bricks broken because of the rough haulage by traction engines.  Part of his aim, in devizing a different transmission system for traction engines was to reduce such breakages. By the time the patent was issued, William had his own brickworks at Uffington.

Patent awarded to William Box – a former Market Lavington man

As we see, the patent was granted in 1876. Here’s the summary of the ideas.

Preamble to the patent

We imagine the idea was not a great success. Very few Box patent engines were built.

Harvey Lodge

October 17, 2012

Is it a house? No, it’s a person and we have met him before on these pages. Click here for a little of his life story.This time we’ll concentrate on the picture we have, believed to date from around 1930.

Harvey Lodge and his cattle truck outside the butcher’s in Market Lavington in about 1930

The scene is clear. It is outside the butcher’s shop in Market Lavington although at that time Arthur Harvey Lodge operated from Urchfont.

On the door of the lorry

The butchery business carries the name E Doubleday above the door. You can read something of Edward Doubleday by clicking here.

The name E Doubleday above the shop door

Back in the 30s, Mr Doubleday and his team of men slaughtered animals on the premises so perhaps Harvey Lodge had delivered live animals to the premises.

What we’d like to know more about is the lorry. Can anyone out there tell us its make and approximate age?

More from the scrapbook

October 5, 2012

For the second day we feature an item from Easterton based Liz Merritt’s scrapbook from the 1930s.  Although this undated report was written in about 1937, it is about events in and around 1900. It concerns a cart, a donkey and a man called Shem Butcher.

Do read the report. The tale of the donkey cart at Clyffe Hall and the local scallywags makes it clear that boys have always been boys although these seemed to have a touch of class in their very annoying way. First let’s see the picture in the article – Shem, the donkey and the cart.

Shem Butcher and his donkey cart at Lavington Station on opening day- 1st October, 1900

Now the headline.

And the article.

Does anyone have a non-newspaper copy of the photo? What a wonderful addition that would make to the Market Lavington Museum collection.

Turning the Corner

September 7, 2012

The corner referred to in the title of this entry is Lamb Corner – the crossroads in the centre of Market Lavington. It is a large lorry which is doing the turning. The picture dates from about 1970.

A lorry negotiates the crossroads in Market Lavington in about 1970

It looks like a nightmare scenario. The lorry is obviously using the entire road and also the pavement. In times past that front wheel would have been inside the house which stood on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane.

Behind the front of the lorry we have the Post Office looking much as it does today. Further along is the newsagent and the signs we see hanging from a white building are for Lloyds bank. Next to it, the building with the square top was Ken Mundy’s shoe shop.

Another building can be seen beyond the Market Place. This would have had Midland Bank at the time.

The strange blob at the top of a photo was a streetlamp, suspended from a wire stretched across the crossroads.

On the right, the woman studying a shop seems to be completely ignoring the lorry which suggests it was a regular event.  The shop, now the hairdresser, may have been occupied by Mrs Saunders at that time.

As often seems to be the case we have limited information about comparatively recent history. Can anybody tell us any more about the shops in this photo?

Outside the Co-op

September 2, 2012

Outside Market Lavington Co-op in about 1920

This view is along the High Street. The old buildings on the corner of the Market Place can be seen behind.  The photo dates from about 1920 when Mr Matthews was the shop manager. In this photo we see him, some of the shop assistants and members of the Matthews family.

Mr and Mrs Matthews and some of their staff and family

Here we see Grace Hill, a shop assistant and then, the boss, Edwin Matthews. Mary Matthews, Edwin’s wife is next with their dog, Rover, in between them.  The little girl is a Matthews daughter, Gwendolen who also holds the hand of Mrs Bull, the shop assistant. Then we have three more Matthews daughters,  Queenie, Teddiea and Rosa.

More members of staff (including horses) and the manager’s family outside Market Lavington Co-op

Daughter, Penelope is held by stepdaughter Frances Davies. Shop assistant Gladys Moore (née Alexander) stands by the horse. Another stepdaughter, Dolly Davies holds the more distant horse.

The Matthews lived in the house next to the fire station.

The Horse and covered wagon were used for deliveries.

There must be people who could tell us more about this Matthews family.

Potter’s Charabanc

August 5, 2012

At Market Lavington Museum we knew about Mr Edwin Potter’s horse bus which plied between Market Lavington and Devizes at the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the 20th. We had always understood that once the motor bus arrived, Mr Potter retired from the bus business and concentrated on being a farmer.

But this week, we were given a photo and were told it was Potter’s bus. The donors were village residents in their 70s – Market Lavington folk all their lives. In fact they are grandchildren of Henry Robert Oram and his wife, Matilda who we featured a few days ago.

We are told that Potter’s bus was kept in a shed on Parsonage Lane. Edwin Potter’s son, also Edwin, lived on Parsonage Lane but we have no evidence that he followed his father into the bus business.

Let’s look at the bus. Like so many bus photos, it was clearly taken on a trip out and it concentrates on the people rather than the vehicle.

This is said to be ‘Potter’s Bus’ kept on Parsonage Lane, Market Lavington

We think this picture may have been taken in Weymouth. Clearly a ghost sign advertises a Dorchester brewery (Eldridge Pope) but the name above the door is A Runyeard and a man with that unusual name lived in Weymouth.

A Runyeard may have lived in Weymouth. Was this where the photo was taken?

We have not yet identified any of the people, who would seem to be wearing clothes from the 1920s era. Let’s take a look at the people.

The driver and one male companion on a trip where all the other passengers were women

If the bus is Market Lavington based then the people are probably from Mid Wiltshire, but not necessarily from Lavington. We’d appreciate information – both about the bus and the Mr Potter who ran it and also about the people on the bus.