Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

A grand start to a new year

January 5, 2014

The first donation to Market Lavington Museum, in 2014, is an entirely appropriate one for it relates to World War One. In this year, of course, we mark the centenary of the outbreak of that truly awful event.

Of course, nearly 100 years ago, the people did not know how awful the war was to become. Young men saw it as a superb chance for a bit of adventure and they volunteered in droves. The new gift lists all those men of Market Lavington who had volunteered for war service in 1914. It is in the form of a large poster and was produced by a local newspaper.

Market Lavington men who volunteered for war service in 1914 are remembered on this poster

Market Lavington men who volunteered for war service in 1914 are remembered on this poster

Those with memories will know that we already had such a list in the museum. Our first one was in rather fragile condition. This one is neatly framed behind a plastic covering which makes it altogether much safer for display. You can expect to see this new one if you visit any museum events this year.

We’d like to send thanks to Tessa for her fine donation to the museum.

Oh, and if anyone has a similar item for Easterton we’d love to see it and make a copy.


A Volunteer Driver

June 21, 2013

Today we look back to the dark days of World war II when the future of our country hung in the balance, But let us not say that nothing changed as a result of the war. Fifty per cent of the population had skills which could no longer be wasted as they had been before. I refer, of course, to women. Before the war many jobs and activities were deemed to be beyond the capability of females. But with the men away fighting, somebody was needed to do vital jobs at home. Women took over. Sometimes, of course, they had paid jobs but others volunteered. The Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) did so much to help the country that, eventually ‘Royal’ was added to the name and it became the WRVS.

Much of what the WRVS did was in what might have been thought of as traditional female roles – caring and catering. But these activities could be in any location so women took up driving.

There was a voluntary uniform for the WVS, but it was not given. Women who wanted it had to buy it so most just had lapel badges or arm bands. Today we show such an arm band.

A WVS arm band from World War II. It canm be found at Market Lavington Museum.

A WVS arm band from World War II. It canm be found at Market Lavington Museum.

We’d love to know what the obliterated small writing said!

This armband reminds us of tasks carried out by a million or more volunteer women, who turned their hand to any job that needed doing. It was given to Market Lavington Museum by Mrs Pullan of Drove Lane in Market Lavington.

In the W. V. S.

November 3, 2012

The WVS was the Women’s Voluntary Service. It has taken wars, sadly, for men to realise that women were perfectly capable of doing most tasks that men do. Yes, there are differences and we only have to study sports records to see that men, on average, are just that bit faster and stronger. Most jobs don’t require these extremes. Driving certainly doesn’t.

During World War II, women were often left at home whilst their men folk served overseas or away from home. It was still believed that a woman’s place was in the home. But many women had time on their hands and wanted to do something for the war effort. They volunteered – some joining the WVS.

Today we are looking at an arm band worn by a WVS member who was a driver.

This WW II arm band from the W. V. S. is at Market Lavington Museum

The band is made of coarse linen and has an elastic strip (which has long since lost its elasticity) to hold the band on. It’s label is clear W. V. S.  Motor Corps  Medical Service. It gave clear indication that the wearer was a volunteer but engaged in work to help the war effort. We don’t have full information, but it sounds, very much, as though the wearer may have been an ambulance driver.

This item was given to the museum, some 20 years ago, by a Spin Hill Lady.

Creating the Davis Field

June 11, 2011

Market Lavington’s old recreation ground was behind the place where we now find Shires Close. Perhaps an older resident could tell us why and when that ceased to be used. We can see it in use by clicking here.

As far as football was concerned Frank Davis came to the rescue. He owned a field of suitable size at the top of Northbrook. It needed work to make it suitable for football. There were trees to grub out and levelling to be done, but a team of willing volunteers worked at it and the field was ready for use in the early 1950s.

A photo of volunteers was recently brought to the museum by John Cooper. John not only had the photo but also the knowledge of all the people on it. (Actually, a couple of people were named by the blog’s friend, John in Australia.)

Here are volunteers, taking a breather from the hard work.

Volunteers take a break from work on the Davis Football Field in about 1950 - a photo now at Market Lavington Museum

And here’s the same photo with the people numbered.

And the names to go with the numbers.

1)    Walt Merritt
2)    George Stone
3)    Ern Baker
4)    Fred Shepherd
5)    Olive Baker
6)    June Baker
7)    Ken Ellis
8)    John Cooper (who brought this photo to the museum)
9)    David Cooper
10) Laurie Cooper
11) Frank Davis (who gave the land for the football field)
12) Stan Cooper
13) Stan Ingram
14) George Burgess
15) Cliff Burgess
16) Harold Ellis
17) Bill Elisha
18) Ern Razey
19) Alan Baker
20) Taffy Jones
21) Walter Cole
22) Carol Davis
23) Philip Cooper
24) John Burgess
25) Nick Burgess
26) Gordon Ellis
27)   Keith Davis

Apparently a copy of this photo used to hang in the pavilion built on the Davis Field. The photo was lost when the pavilion burned down. Thanks to John we’ll now be able to replace it.