The Market Place in the early 1960s

During the 1950s the Market Place in Market Lavington fell into a rather derelict state. The agricultural engineer’s yard was always a rather ramshackle affair and the fire station and associated buildings were in very poor repair. The time had come for action.

The old buildings, including the former St James’ Square, which stood behind the old fire station, were demolished. The engineer’s works were swept away and new premises were created for them. In their place bungalows and other housing was built on a new little road which was called Market Place’. The square became a rather random car park, which was hardly a problem when this photo was taken.

Market Place, Market Lavington in the early 1960s - a Peter Francis photograph at Market Lavington Museum

The bungalows, which face the front of the parked lorry, stand where Wordley’s had their engineering works. In its turn this had been Mr Sayer’s bus depot before that and even earlier a large house – the Doctor’s House – had stood on that site. The fire station had been roughly where the other new houses and bungalows stand.

The vehicles of fifty years ago are very different from those we see today.

Cars and a van in the Market Place

The Bedford van is one of the earlier ones with a split windscreen. Anyone who drove one of these will remember they had but three forward gears and the gear stick was mounted on the steering column. It would have had no seat belts and the sliding doors could be held wide open. With safety like that it’s no wonder that road deaths were at a peak at that time.

Next is what looks like a post war Austin, built in the late 1940s to, essentially, a pre-war design.

The back car is also an Austin – an ultra modern A40.

1960s lorry in Market Lavington Market Place

There’s not much detail on the lorry. Any ideas?


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