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The tale of Wiltshire Moonrakers

In a pond up ‘Vizes way – smugglers ‘ad ‘idden a keg ‘o brandy & us wur trying to get at un. Us were scrabbling away with gurt ‘ay rakes when us spied ‘zizeman ‘a’watching. So us pointed to moon’s ‘flection in water & told un us wur “raking vor that gurt chase”. ‘e thought us wur caddled & ‘ad ‘ad too much tiddley. So off ‘e went, laffing fit to bust ‘is britches. That’s why Wiltshiremen be called “Moonrakers”, s’now.

This plate depicts the tale of the Wiltshire Moonraker’s legend. The plate is one of three that were produced by Mary White in a studio in Malmesbury, during the late 1970s. Mary White is a renowned artist, ceramicist and calligrapher who has several pieces within museum collections and has published books on using lettering on ceramics. The plate was donated to the museum by lifetime Wiltshire resident, Mrs Marjorie Couzens, who was responsible for writing the text, which is inscribed in to the plate. The plate wonderfully describes the well known Moonraker’s tale in the local Wiltshire dialect, a story which has been passed down locally through the generations.

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