Market Lavington Museum

Silver Jubilee Lady

As usual, we are re-dressing our ‘people’ at Market Lavington Museum, in readiness for the new season. We have three people. Two of them are dressmaker’s dummies. These have no legs – they have a stand – but they can sit on our settle quite well. Their heads are papier maché.

In this, our Queen’s diamond jubilee year, we have decided to dress each of our people in a costume that suits an event in royal history associated with our queen. One is dressed as a smart lady on an evening out in 1937 – the year of the coronation of George VI. He was the father of our queen and she would have been at the coronation, maybe wondering when it would be her turn to be the monarch.

That came in 1952 and our shop mannequin is wearing a smart suit to represent this era.

But the one we’ll look at today dates from 1977. Here, in Market Lavington and Easterton there were big celebrations that year for the silver jubilee. So one of our dummies has clothes from that era. Here she is – in the course of construction.

1977, Silver Jubilee lady at Market Lavington Museum

Our lady has a very ordinary T-shirt and over it a Laura Ashley dress. We do not know who originally owned the dress, but it was bought at a village jumble sale in the late 70s or early 80s and has belonged to a local lady since then. It has been donated especially for this occasion.

Maybe this is the point to put in a plea. We can have difficulty finding appropriate and matching clothes for our people. It is easy to forget that people like to see ordinary clothes that they might have worn themselves as well as the special items that the rich folk wore to their balls. If you have items of clothing that might represent the norm of an era, then do consider the museum as a home. Of course, we’ll need to know that they have a parish connection.

But back to our 1977 lady. She’s very proud of her Laura Ashley dress (they were all the rage then) so she has donned her silver jubilee PVC apron to offer some protection. This was donated to the museum by a White Street woman.

As you can see, our 1977 lady still needs arms, hair and a hat but we are sure she’ll look just the part.