The old ‘Volley’

September 1, 2015

The Volunteer Arms, always affectionately known as ‘The Volley’ was on Church Street in Market Lavington, on the North side of the street near the crossroads. It closed in about 1989 which reduced the number of pubs in the village of Market Lavington to three. This photo shows the building at about the time of closure.

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

Two things, in particular, are visible. They are the pub signs.


The bracket for that one is still in place in 2015.


That’s stretched a bit far but is just about readable.

Locals very much missed the Volley when it closed yet we have few memories of this pub, which had once been called ‘The Angel’ at the museum.

The view alongside the pub and into High Street is interesting.


Badgerline bus on High Street

The bus dates from the era when they went under the name of Badgerline. At that time the buses all terminated at Easterton and turned round at the road junction just below the jam factory. There was no regular bus service linking Market Lavington with Urchfont.

So a simple photo of a pub on the verge of closure can remind us of other things from the same era.

100 years ago

August 31, 2015

August 1915

by Lyn Dyson

During August we lost three men at Gallipoli, so it seems appropriate to give a brief account of the campaign there. The following paragraphs have been taken from

It is easy to forget, given the quite proper place that Gallipoli has in Australian and New Zealand legend, that Gallipoli was by no means purely an ANZAC affair; in fact, both the rest of the British, and the French army contingents on Gallipoli outnumbered the ANZACs in terms of men deployed and casualties lost.

By 1915 the Western Front was clearly deadlocked. Allied strategy was under scrutiny, with strong arguments mounted for an offensive through the Balkans or even a landing on Germany’s Baltic coast, instead of more costly attacks in France and Belgium.

These ideas were initially side-lined, but in early 1915 the Russians found themselves threatened by the Turks in the Caucasus and appealed for some relief. The British decided to mount a naval expedition to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula on the western shore of the Dardanelles, with Constantinople as its objective. By capturing Constantinople, the British hoped to link up with the Russians, knock Turkey out of the war and possibly persuade the Balkan states to join the Allies.

The Gallipoli peninsula lies in Turkey, forming one land side of the Dardanelles Straits, an historic waterway that links the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. The peninsula is only 10 miles at the widest point and is about 45 miles long. Cape Helles lies at the southernmost tip. The terrain is inhospitable: it is a rocky, scrub-covered area with little water. The hills are steep-sided and are cut into deep gulleys and ravines. Among the hills which lie along the spine of the Peninsula, there are many peaks and valleys. The most important heights are the summits of Achi Baba (709 feet), which overlooks all of Cape Helles; and Sari Bair (971 feet) from which can be seen ANZAC beach and the Asian side of the Straits. At the southernmost (Aegean) tip are a number of small sandy beaches, and there are some small stretches of beach on the Western side too. There are no such beaches on the eastern (Straits) side. To the North-West is a flat area surrounding a salt lake. There were no towns on the peninsula, but there are a number of small settlements, of which Krithia in the south and Bulair in the north are the most important.

The naval attack began on 19 February. Bad weather caused delays and the attack was abandoned after three battleships had been sunk and three others damaged. Military assistance was required, but by the time troops began to land on 25 April, the Turks had had ample time to prepare adequate fortifications and the defending armies were now six times larger than when the campaign began.

Against determined opposition, Australian and New Zealand troops won a bridgehead at ‘Anzac Cove’ on the Aegean side of the peninsula. The British, meanwhile, tried to land at five points around Cape Helles.

The landings at Gallipoli resulted in very heavy losses and the troops were unable to move forward.

This standstill led to a political crisis in London between Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty and the operation’s chief advocate, and Lord Fisher, the First Sea Lord, who had always expressed doubts about it. Fisher demanded that the operation be discontinued and resigned when overruled. The Liberal government was replaced by a coalition and Churchill, though relieved of his former post, remained in the War Council.

Amid sweltering and disease-ridden conditions, the deadlock dragged on into the summer. In July the British reinforced the bridgehead at Anzac Cove and in early August landed more troops at Suvla Bay further to the north, to seize the Sari Bair heights and cut Turkish communications. The offensive and the landings both proved ineffectual within days, faced with waves of costly counter-attacks. The terrain and close fighting did not allow for the dead to be buried. Flies and other vermin flourished in the heat, which caused epidemic sickness.

In October 1915, winter storms caused much damage and human hardship, and in December, a great blizzard – followed by cataclysmic thaw – caused casualties of 10% (15,000 men) throughout the British contingent, and no doubt something similar on the Turkish side.

The War Council remained divided until late 1915 when it was decided to end the campaign. Troops were evacuated in December 1915 and January 1916. Had Gallipoli succeeded, it could have ended Turkey’s participation in the war. As it was, the Turks lost some 300,000 men and the Allies around 214,000, achieving only the diversion of Turkish forces from the Russians. 145,000 of the British casualties at Gallipoli were due to sickness; chief causes being dysentery, diarrhoea, and enteric fever.

Bad leadership, planning and luck, combined with a shortage of shells and inadequate equipment, condemned the Allies to seek a conclusion in the bloody battles of the Western Front. Furthermore, Gallipoli’s very public failure contributed to Asquith’s replacement as Prime Minister by David Lloyd George in December 1916. The consequent effect of diverting troops and supplies sorely needed on the Western Front, particularly for the assault at Loos, is impossible to quantify.

Lt Col John Carden Killed in Action 10th August 1915

John Carden was born in Southam in Warwickshire in 1870, the son of Captain Charles Wilson Carden, and his wife Jane King. Captain Charles Carden was born in Tipperary, and he married Jane in 1855 in St James, Westminster.

By 1861 Charles was retired from the army and living in Leamington Priors, Warwickshire. He and Jane had two sons and a daughter by this time, and employed a cook, a nurse, a nursemaid, a housemaid and a groom.

John was born in 1870, at which time the family was living at Wood Street, Southam, Warwickshire. He was the youngest of nine children and grew up in very comfortable circumstances with a nurse, an under nurse, a cook and a housemaid. By the time he was ten years old the family had moved to the Manor House at Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, and the household staff included a governess and a ladies maid as well as a cook, a housemaid and a groom.

John continued his education at the Royal Naval School at New Cross in south-east London. From there he went to South Africa and served in the Bulawayo Field Force as a Captain and Adjutant, seeing action in the Matabele Wars, and when the Bulawayo Field Force was disbanded in 1896 he served in the Boer War, before entering the Northern Rhodesia Police Force, becoming the Commandant there around 1906.

In 1909, John was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George, as a companion.The Order of St Michael and St George is awarded to men and women who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country. It can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.

John married Susan Wake in London in 1909, and their son Andrew was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1910.

He retired from the Rhodesia Police Force in 1912 and returned to England, where he settled with his wife and son in West Lavington. He took up the tenancy of Russell Cottage in Stibb Hill from December 1912. They also had a residence in south -west London at 67 Egerton Gardens.

John volunteered his services when the Great War started and was given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 5th battalion Wiltshire Regiment.

At 1am on 10th August the battalion marched on a steep and winding course towards a gulley at Salzli Biet in Gallipoli. The Battalion was guided by a New Zealand Officer and they arrived two hours before sunrise about 3am. The men were told to dig into dugouts and make themselves comfortable as the position was quite safe. Men therefore removed their equipment and rifles. As soon as it was light machine guns opened fire on the men lying in their dug outs. About 1/4 of an hour later there was a rush of Turks from both sides of the depression which drove the men, unarmed and unequipped down the gulley.. The bottom of the gulley was commanded by machine guns and so escape was cut off. Three courses were possible:- 1. To rush past the machine guns down the Sazli Beit, this was tried but in nearly all cases proved fatal. 2. To climb the northern slope of the ravine under fire and try to escape over the top. This was done in a few cases with success. 3. Hide in Gulley till night, this also was done with more success. (A party of 5 men was rescued from the Gulley having been there 16 days – ie:- from Aug 10 – Aug 26th. They reported numbers of men who were wounded were unable to get away and died of exhaustion and starvation. Parties arrived on the beach in fours, fives, and some carried bodies during the 11th, 12th and 13th unarmed, unequipped and demoralised.

At the end of the day at least twelve officers and many men had been killed. Lt Col John Carden was listed as missing. He was later recorded as killed in action. He was mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished service in the field.

Susan never remarried. She died in 1961 in Haywards Heath in Sussex. Her son Andrew, who was an architect, died in 1996 in Colchester, Essex. He had two children, Vanessa who died in 2003 and Murray.

Corporal Oliver James Draper 3/248 Killed in Action 10th August 1915

Oliver was born in 1874 in Market Lavington, the third of four sons born to Joseph and Eliza Draper from Easterton. Joseph was an agricultural labourer.

At the age of eighteen in 1891, Oliver enlisted in the Wiltshire Regiment, and he served there until June 1903. He saw service in the East Indies for a short time in 1895 and was active in the Boer War from 16th December 1899 to August 1902.

Immediately on his return to England, he married Harriet Critcher on 25th August in Easthampstead. They had three children: Joseph born in 1907; Kathleen in 1911; and William in 1914.

As soon as war was declared, Oliver re-enlisted on 27th August. He was discharged in November 1914 as medically unfit. This was obviously a temporary problem, because his health was reviewed and he was finally accepted.

Oliver was involved in the same action as Lt Col John Carden, and lost his life on the same day.

Oliver has no known grave, and is remembered on the Helles memorial at Gallipoli.

Lance Corporal Henry Blagdon PO/6388 Killed in Action 27th August 1915

Henry was one of twelve children born in West Lavington to agricultural labourer James Blagden and his wife Sarah Anne Early. Henry was born in 1871, and he grew up in Duck Street, West Lavington. His father died in 1884, and his mother remarried in 1889. Her new husband was Job Bailey, and the family lived in Church Street, West Lavington.

In 1891 Henry was working as an agricultural labourer. He enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in Aberdare, Glamorgan on 15th June 1892, and completed his service on 14th June 1913. He was called up on 2nd August 1914 and was a part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 28th February 1915, serving with the 2nd Royal Marine Battalion. He became part of the Royal Naval Division which landed at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.

Henry received four good conduct medals and achieved promotion to Lance Corporal.

On 27th August at 5pm the British contingent at Gallipoli, along with detachments from the Australian and New Zealand forces advanced on the Turkish troops with a heavy artillery bombardment. This bombardment seemed effective; but the moment the assailants broke cover they were greeted by an exceeding hot fire from the enemy field guns, rifles, and machine-guns, followed after a brief interval by a shower of heavy shell, some of which, most happily, pitched into the trenches of the Turks.

The battle continued for two days, but there was eventual success with very heavy loss of life on both sides. The result was complete command of the hill overlooking the Anafarta Sagir valley, and safer lateral communications between Anzac and Suvla Bay. Allied casualties in this hotly contested affair amounted to 1,000. It is estimated the Turkish casualties were no less than 5,000. Three Turkish machine-guns and forty six prisoners were taken, as well as three trench mortars, 300 Turkish rifles, 60,000 rounds of ammunition, and 500 bombs. Four hundred acres were added to the territories of Anzac.

Henry was killed in action on 27th August 1915 at Gallipoli, in this battle.

In the jam factory

August 30, 2015

Back in 1985 the Easterton jam factory – Samuel Moore Foods – was in the throes of expansion. It was quite a large rural employer and perhaps that is why the factory was able to get one of the leading royals to officially open an extension to the factory.

It was Princess Anne who came to do the honours. The children from St Barnabas School went to be part of the cheering crowd and Easterton was very much ‘en fête’ for the day.

We suspect it was a worker at the factory who captured the photo below.

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

Princess Anne is shown round the jam factory on 30th April 1985

It isn’t clear that the Princess is in the photo – she’s in the group of three wearing a very white peaked cap. But apart from HRH, we see a glimpse of the interior of the factory when it was working.

Not being commercial jam makers we have no idea what the machines were, but huge ‘cooker hoods’ on the right presumably caught steam/fumes and sucked it all to the outside world. Presumably they are boilers, for cooking the jam, underneath them. The worker at bottom right appears to be stirring a vat of fruit.

The jam factory is now but a memory, completely swept into oblivion. It won’t be long before the first houses built on the site are occupied

The Alban Estate

August 29, 2015


The Alban Estate dates from around 1926 -28. We could say it was the first modern housing estate built in the village with houses along The Spring and also on Park Road which was, for many years, known as Estate Road. Twenty six houses were built which must have had quite an impact in Market Lavington, more or less joining our village with neighbouring West Lavington. When built, at the end of the twenties, the houses were built for rental but in 1939 the estate was sold off with sitting tenants getting a favourable price.

This photo dates from the 1930s

The Alban Estate in about 1930

The Alban Estate in about 1930

At the extreme left of the photo is the former cricket pavilion which is now the site of a much newer and smaller housing estate known as Pavilion Gardens. Then we get the row of ‘villas’ as built by George Bishop and known as the Alban Estate.


This estate saw houses built on generous plots. Recent householders have all, it seems, found space for cars off the road and this view, for most of the day is still devoid of parked cars.

Here’s a 21st century photo.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

A Whistle

August 28, 2015

Once again we return to one of metal detectorist Norman’s finds on the old recreation ground. This time it is a whistle.

Whistle found on the old recreation field in Market Lavington

Whistle found on the old recreation field in Market Lavington

Sadly, this is not in working order any more. Although it looks reasonably fresh.

Could this have been a football referee’s whistle. An old and very battered postcard shows football (perhaps training) in progress.

Football on the old rec - an Edwardian postcard

Football on the old rec – an Edwardian postcard

Any other ideas about that whistle would be greatly appreciated.

Stop press – thanks to Len McDowell at

This whistle was made by Smith and wright from the UK. They made several models all similar with decorative tops around the turn of the 20th century ( 1900 ) They were an inexpensive lower quality whistle.

Alfred Burgess photographs.

August 27, 2015

Today we look at a couple of cartes de visite – those small photos which people were able to use as calling cards. We do not know the people and whilst sometimes we are helped almost immediately with names it is less likely here, with photos well over the 100 years old.

Let’s start with this wasp waisted young lady.

This photo of a young lady may date from about 1900

This photo of a young lady may date from about 1900

The photographer is clearly stated on the front. In this case the back is plain in that same blue colour. The photo has been vignetted which means it has been faded away around the edges.

The clothing suggests a date of mid 1890s – but see below.

Our next photo is of two young lads.

Two young lads - possibly from the 1890s

Two young lads – possibly from the 1890s

This time the background has been retained and Mr Burgess has not got his name on the front. His information appears on the back.

A Burgess carte de visite - the back

A Burgess carte de visite – the back

Readers might like to know that the museum information is written in 2B pencil. It doesn’t fade but can be easily removed if for any reason the photo left the museum. Mr Burgess has provided us with a bit of help dating this one for we can compare this back with others shown at . In this case we would estimate about 1890.

The photo of the lady, with the photographer name on the front, strongly suggests early 20th century so perhaps our young lady wasn’t quite up with the latest fashions.

The Market Place in 1989

August 26, 2015

Once again we are looking at what many of our readers will regard as modern although, in fact, 1989 is more than a quarter of a century ago. But in outline the Market Place of 1989 looks much like the Market place of 2015.

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

But there are differences. First of all, the Market Place is one big car park rather than an area divided into two. It may not be clear in this photo but the road leading round to the housing at back left is completely separated from the car park area. The parked cars are all at right angles to Northbrook rather than parallel with it.

The pollarded trees outside the old Market House are looking healthy – and completely hiding that old building – the only survivor of the Market Place of old.

The rather austere looking concrete lamp post has gone and has been replaced by a rather twee metal lamp standard.

And of course, cars are different. We can see a ‘proper’ Mini in this photo.


There aren’t many of them around now


And in that part of the photo we see a Citroen 2CV variant. They have all but vanished from the scene these days.

But change was afoot. We can see the paint mark on the road indicating how the pavement was to be extended so that parked cars could pull in along the inside of it. Did anyone consider what this would do to make life awkward for drivers of large articulated lorries delivering to the Co-op?

As John Lennon might have said, The Market Place has changed for ever but maybe not totally for better.

But we don’t criticise on this blog. The planners of the day did what seemed right at the time and we do recall that sometimes you parked your car in that old style market Place and then the front row filled completely and you couldn’t get out.


F Wright

August 25, 2015

This is another request for information. Who was F Wright and when did his business operate in Market Lavington.

What we have is a receipt for goods purchased from F Wright, draper, milliner and outfitter. The bill appears to date from February 15th 1940.

The headquarters of F Wright’s empire were clearly in Pewsey but the premises in Market Lavington were at The Cross – presumably cross roads.

Here is the receipt.

Receipt issued by F Wright of The Cross, Market Lavington

Receipt issued by F Wright of The Cross, Market Lavington

This seems to be signed as paid by D W Young. Was he or she a local person?

Any information will be gratefully received. Thanks!

Knapp Farm Barns

August 24, 2015

A photo from seventeen years ago hardly seems like history to most of us. It’s little more than yesterday, you might think.

But back in August 1998 the barns at Knapp Farm were just that – barns and definitely looking a bit the worse for age, wear and tear.

Knapp Farm barns in 1998

Knapp Farm barns in 1998

OK, they looked rather derelict in truth. But the church might help people who don’t know the area well to locate these barns. They are at the bottom of Lavington Hill. It was back in march that we showed a photo of thatch being removed from the barn facing the camera in this view. It was replaced in the 1950s with rather less lovely corrugated sheets.

The tiles on the building on the left may not have been original but they are real clay tiles and some of us think they look truly lovely. They would seem to be of double Roman style and were almost certainly made locally.

The yard looks an utter mess!

Soon after the photo was taken, the buildings were converted into homes. The present day scene may have lost some charm but it does all look neat and tidy. For reasons not entirely clear to us the new homes were known as White Horse Barns


A car from the past

August 23, 2015
A bubble car at Northbrook in the 1950s

A bubble car at Northbrook in the 1950s

This wonderful bubble car is parked up at the top of Northbrook. The houses in the background are on Northbrook Close.

The car is a little three wheeler – an Isetta. Because of shape and size they became known as bubble cars. They were an Italian design but in the UK were manufactured under licence – at one time in Brighton.

The first cars appeared in Italy in 1952. Cars of this type gained favour in Britain due to some quirky British ruling which could have the car registered, officially, as a motorbike. It could then be driven with a motorbike driving license and pay the road fund for a motorbike. Yet it could carry two people and their luggage.

We believe manufacture ceased in this country in 1962.

Our photo dates from the mid 1950s. The photo was given to us by the man who owned the car. He drives a more conventional car these days but still rides a motorbike from time to time.


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