Market Lavington Museum

Another fine wedding photo


Weddings are well photographed these days and many were in times past. This photo, a particularly lovely one, was recently sent to us by Virginia in Australia. The photo shows a bridegroom who was a relative of hers.

The bride was Mary Ethel Cooper who was more usually called Ethel and the groom was William Blake.

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Mary Ethel Cooper was born around 1880. She was the daughter of Jacob Bolter Cooper who we have met before on this blog (Click here). The family had premises on Parsonage Lane and it is possible that this photo was taken at that location. The wedding took place in 1920.

William Blake lived in West Lavington, but William was a Londoner by birth which was around 1890.

After their marriage the couple lived on The Terrace, Market Lavington in one of the cottages along the path above Northbrook. As far as we know they lived there for all of the rest of their lives. Both died in the 1950s and are buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

Because the photo came from a member of the Blake family, we know more about them. Virginia wrote the following.

Identified by my parents – Dad being the only son of Jimmy Blake (James Robert Christopher Blake)

Back Row

4th from left – Mary Blake (sister of William the Groom). The children in the photo belonged to her. She never married. They are Margaret Blake & Henry Blake.
2nd from right Jimmy Blake my Grandfather.
I suspect that the two people sitting behind the little girl are John & Mary Blake – William’s parents but that is a guess.
William had three sisters in all – Mary already identified, as well as Charlotte (Lottie) & Eva. They are probably in the photo but I can’t identify them.  The bridesmaid sitting between the children could possibly be a sister?
William had another brother John but I believe he died fairly early on.
My Dad seems to think that the lady next to Jimmy Blake is Dad’s mother Lilian (nee Cutting) although my Mum seems to think not.  Jimmy & Lilian were married in 1924 (4 years after this wedding) so I suppose it could be my grandmother. Jimmy was only 5 ft 1 ½ inches & Lilian was 5 foot exactly. This fits in with the photo.

It seems likely to us that Jacob Bolter Cooper is in the photo for he was still alive at the time, aged about 80. His wife, Ethel Cooper’s mother, had died some years earlier.

We believe that William and Ethel had one daughter, Lilian. Lilian Blake married Percy Wilkins in 1948 and we know that Percy and Lilian lived on the Terrace as well.

Market Lavington Museum and Virginia have the same hope now – that other people in the photo can be identified.

Do contact us if you can tell us any more.