High Street – 1978

1978 is now thirty five years ago. On the basis of a life span of three score years and ten, that makes it half a lifetime ago. Roughly half the people alive now won’t remember 1978. It is ancient history to these people.

But at least the folks of Market Lavington can see what their village was like back then because people allow us, at the museum, to have copies of photos. So here we have The High Street in 1978.

Market Lavington High Street in 1978

Market Lavington High Street in 1978

This photo was taken on a very wet day with a church parade in progress. We have what looks to be a Boys’ Brigade band marching. In some ways they are not the most interesting feature in the photo (with apologies to anybody in that band). They wore a uniform and there is little about it that tells us this was 1978.

At first glance, the street looks similar, but there are differences. Take The Green Dragon for example.

The Green Dragon porch went right across the pavement

The Green Dragon porch went right across the pavement

The porch outside ‘The Dragon’ goes right across the pavement. It would stay like that for the next twenty years and then a lorry brought it down. Probably a sensible decision was made – to rebuild a smaller porch that didn’t come under threat from 21st century traffic.

Across the road there are changes.


The people on the left would be outside the chemist’s shop now

The rather shaded people on the left, were they to take up the same position in 2013, would be standing outside the chemist’s shop. . Incidentally, had they been there in more like 1913, they’d have stood by Briant’s Restaurant. Things go full circle sometimes. The old shop and other buildings were pulled down in the name of progress in the 1960s. Then, in the 1990s, shops and other buildings were put back again. In 1978, that building-free gap was a car park. But beyond it there is an interesting sight.

Back in 1978, Market Lavington had banks

Back in 1978, Market Lavington had banks

Yes, it’s a bank – The Midland Bank. Market Lavington still had its own bank branches back then – Midland and Lloyds had premises in the village. The Midland was able to make use of what had once been Harry Hobbs’s shop. Of course, the branch has now long gone. So too has the name Midland Bank. Perhaps it didn’t sound grand enough for the 21st century. In 1999 it was taken over by HSBC – The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

Yes, Market Lavington changes, along with the rest of Wiltshire, the country and the world.

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