Dr Ashford Brown

Our curator enjoys getting out in the community. He can regularly be seen at community events with a collection of enlarged photos. Most recently it was the Church Christmas Bazaar where a ‘guess the date of the Christmas Card competition (won by Margaret Bell) was also organised.

If  there is a photo of Dr Ashford-Brown as there was at the church fete, it is almost certain to generate comment. What you might hear could be, ‘Ooh, he was a lovely man’, or ‘He was a marvellous doctor’. Most then add that we have always been lucky with our doctors in the village – and we still are.

We are also lucky, at the museum, to have Dr Ashford Brown’s door plate. For many years, in the 1950s and 60s the Ashford Brown family lived on High Street and the doctor maintained a surgery there even after the entire family moved home.

Dr Ashford Brown's door plate can be found at Market Lavington Museum

We have a few photos of Dr Ashford Brown, which we’ll look at on other occasions. They portray a man involved in his community, unconventional in many ways, and devoted to his native Scotland.

He wrote his memories in a book called Cold Hands.  (We have a copy in the museum). It provides a good insight into life in the village some 50 years ago.

We also have a toy scooter that the Ashford Brown children used – but they were not the first users by a long way.

As ever, we’d love to know more about our former village doctor.

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2 Responses to “Dr Ashford Brown”

  1. Charles Augustus Milverton Says:

    He was our family doctor from 1952 and throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. I remember him well. He was quiet-spoken and very much a ‘gent’. He was a Japanese prisoner of war and he made his hatred of the Japanese very plain to my father. My father related that to me later in life although, at the time, I wasn’t aware of that fact.

    His surgery was near the village primary school, a long wooden and brick building which stood opposite the Scout Hall. The primary school was used for villages dances and other community occasions. As a child I remember many visits to his surgery. The surgery was small, with an equally small waiting-room. I don’t remember the interior in any detail.

    I remember he had flat grey hair that was neatly combed across his head. He wore dark clothes and a waistcoat on occasions. I don’t remember him having a particularly strong regional accent and wasn’t aware, until now, that he was a Scot,

    He, along with Mrs Elisha and Mr Potter and Pete Francis, Mr Reid of the hardware store and many more ‘Lavington’ characters are important memories of my childhood in Market Lavington.

  2. David Hurford Says:

    I think Dr Ashford Brown was a nephew of Francis James (‘FJ’) Browne, my grandfather. ‘Uncle Frank’ was a well known medical man and apparently gave him early career advice (ref. FJ Browne biography by Herbert E Reiss, p.3). I’m just trying to understand my family tree at the moment!
    Regards, David Hurford

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