Market Lavington Museum

1923 Hospital Week


Back in the 20s and 30s the Hospital Week was carnival time in Market Lavington and Easterton. It was the time for dressing up and having fun and generally enjoying life. And at the same time money was raised to assist those in need with the cost of health care in those bleak days before there was a National Health Service.

Hospital Week in 1923. Fancy dress at Easterton pump

Hospital Week in 1923. Fancy dress at Easterton pump

This little group are clearly entering into the spirit of things and have themselves suitably attired for all the fun on offer – and to entertain those less able to take an active part.

For once, perhaps, it is the man who takes the eye.

 image003This chap is dressed as a shell petrol man complete with a magnificent head dress and a suitable can as well as various Shell logos. Sad to say we don’t know who he is and neither do we know the ladies.

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Any help identifying these people would be gratefully received.

The third lady appears to have done something seen as ‘non PC’ these days. It looks as though she has blacked up or at least darkened her facial skin.

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The location is interesting for these people are by the Easterton pump which still stands on Kings Road, close by the bridge.

This clearly shows the chute for delivering water into a bowser. Farmers brought mobile water carriers or bowsers to the pump for filling. This helps to explain why the pump was built on quite a high stand.