Posts Tagged ‘women’

A garden party/fete in 1932

May 16, 2016

There are times when we rely on the judgement of others at a museum. This postcard has two captions on the back, both in different hands.

Information on the back of a postcard

Information on the back of a postcard

The large writing which says garden Party & Fete Aug 17th 1932 was written by our founder curator, Peggy Gye. We assume this to be correct, partly because Peggy was so hugely knowledgeable and partly because a precise date is given. The other bit of writing says, ‘nr the manse, Market Lavington’ and has had Brook House added to it, again in Peggy’s hand. So we really do assume this was some kind of Garden Party at Brook House on August 17th 1932.

Women at a garden party at Brook House - August 17th 1932

Women at a garden party at Brook House – August 17th 1932

It is a grand photo of women in costume clothing. Sadly we have no idea of any names. We’ll zoom in hoping somebody will tell us some of them.

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Please do get in touch if you can tell us any more

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.

60 Homely Years

January 3, 2013

The Women’s Homely was a part of the Congregational Church in Market Lavington. It was, as the name implied, a group for the ladies of the church to get together and enjoy the company of each other. They first met in 1923 – now 90 years ago. But it meant that in 1983 the group celebrated its diamond jubilee – 60 years of existence. The ladies had a bit of a party and a rather splendid cake was shared – as shown in our photo.

The Women's Homely  clebrate 60 years - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The Women’s Homely clebrate 60 years – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The cake was cut by Mrs Lily Oram – the older of the two ladies wearing blue. She was assisted by Mrs Ken Ellis.

Lily Oram had been born in 1891 as Lilian (or Lillian) Rose Bryant. She was born in Chittoe which is near Bromham in Wiltshire. Her parents were James, a Chittoe born farm worker and market gardener and Alberta who hailed from London.

In 1910 Lilian married Market Lavington born Herbert Oram and in 1911 the couple lived in Market Place, Market Lavington.

Herbert died in 1962 with his address given as ‘Vale’, Northbrook.

Lily just made it to the age of 100. She died in 1991 and she was still a Market Lavington resident. By that time she had left the Northbrook house and was a resident at Dalecare – then the name of the nursing home based in the old Vicarage in the village.

We do not know, but Lilian could have been an original member of the Homely.

We’d love to know who the onlookers are.

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.