Market Lavington Museum

A show schedule

This is another recent gift from items discovered at Spring Villa. It’s an agricultural show schedule from 1902.

Wiltshire Agricultural Show schedule for 1902

Wiltshire Agricultural Association show schedule for 1902

OK, so what’s its specific connection with our parish? Well first of all, it was where it was found and secondly local farmers were almost certainly exhibitors. But mostly this schedule would have been put together by the secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association and he was James Welch who lived at Spring Villa. He’s named on the back of the schedule.

James Welch of Market Lavington was the association secretary

James Welch of Market Lavington was the association secretary

The schedule lists all the different classes of item which could be exhibited and which might win a prize. The value of the prize is given. Most of the classes are for livestock. There are 21 different classes for horses plus extras for harness etc. Sheep and pigs have four classes each and for cattle there were 15 different classes.

For this blog we have chosen the cheese category. Wiltshire is not now a county we associate with cheese.

The different cheese categories

The different cheese categories

Clearly cheese making had been important. Class 50 is for the best one hundredweight (just about 50 kg) cheese – Wiltshire make and class 51 was only for past or present students at Wilts County Council Cheddar Cheese schools.

And clearly, from class 52 we can see that North Wilts cheese must have been different from Wilts cheese.

Cheese was produced in Market Lavington. The cheesemaker we know of was Mr Seymour who operated at Frieth Farm in the extreme north of the parish.