Market Lavington Museum

A drinks bill for the hospital week committee


Before the National Health Service, Market Lavington and Easterton had a wonderful mutual benefit scheme. Every year, they organised a week of entertainment, including a carnival, providing lots of pleasure to local people. The monies raised from hospital week events and competitions were used to support local medical facilities and local families having a hard time due to illness.

We have featured the hospital week in many blogs. These include some great photos of the carnivals of the 1920s and 30s as well as a lot of information about the other events that were on offer during the week. You can find some of these at A Hospital Week poster, A Hospital Week Poster, At a Hospital Week Carnival in the 1920s, 1923 Hospital Week, 1921 Hospital Week, At the 1931 Hospital Week, Another Hospital Week gathering, Hospital Week, Hospital Week – mid 1930s, The hospital in the carnival procession and Hospital week children in 1927.

There was obviously a lot of planning to be done before the week of events and there was a committee involved in this. Here we have a bill from a local public house and hotel, The Green Dragon, who supplied the committee with some drinks.

This dates from 1927 and one of the items supplied was a firkin, presumably of beer. Wadworths, the local brewery in Devizes, makes 6X beer nowadays. We are intrigued by the ‘kisses’ after the word firkin. Did Wadworths ever make a 4X beer?

The Green Dragon also supplied a dozen stone ginger beers, a dozen lemons and a bottle of port.

The Green Dragon’s headed notepaper reminds us that Lavington had a railway station on the Great Western Railway line. This was quite a late addition to England’s rail network, opening in 1900 and only used until 1966.

We can also see that Lavington had its own telephone exchange. There were not so many homes and businesses with telephones and the Green Dragon just has a two digit number. By the time Lavington was subsumed into Devizes exchange, Lavington numbers had four digits. These became six digit Devizes numbers by preceding the old number with 81.