Postcards of Imber

Imber isn’t Market Lavington so why are we showing Imber Postcards?

The simple answer is that we were given them and they are, of course, lovely and they do have a tenuous connection with Market Lavington.

Let’s take a look.

Imber Street - no later than the 1930s

Imber Street – no later than the 1930s

Imber, of course, was transformed twice by World War II. First, new modern houses were built for residents to replace these old and (we are told) damp cottages. The cottages were then demolished.

And not long afterwards the village’s life was terminated by the famous edict requiring residents to leave.

A hand written note above the chimneys points to ‘Granny’s Cottage. Granny was Caroline Davis (a married name) and her grandchildren became members of the Oram family in Market Lavington.

Nothing of that street remains, unless the second cottage with the decorated brickwork is the former pub in the village known as the Bell. That has similar decorative brickwork but a picture of the street from the other end shows it was a common feature in the village.

Imber Street. It looks like a motorbike half in shot.

Imber Street. It looks like a motorbike half in shot.

A third photo from the same source may or may not be Imber. It shows a touring evangelist’s caravan.

An Evangelist's caravan and participants. Is it Imber - or maybe Market KLavington?

An Evangelist’s caravan and participants. Is it Imber – or maybe Market Lavington?

‘My Granny’, marked at the right hands end is Matilda Oram, daughter of Caroline Davis and born in Imber. By 1901 she was married to Henry Oram and was living in Market Lavington This picture is, perhaps in the 1920s or 30s but we don’t recognise it as being Market Lavington so we wonder if Matilda might have returned to Imber.

We hope a reader will put us straight.

Here are some of the people considerably enlarged. Maybe you’ll recognise somebody there


We will not accession these cards but will keep them. But please, much as they are fascinating, no more pictures of Imber.  It really is outside our remit.



Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “Postcards of Imber”

  1. John Rogers Says:


    Not sure of the dates regarding pictures 1 and 2 here, but picture 3 would appear to be dated sometime around 1909. The same picture appears in Rex Sawyer’s book Little Imber On The Down (page 38), where it is captioned as:

    “Mr and Mrs Ware’s Missionary Meeting took place on the Barley Ground around 1909. As you can see, it was well attended”

    The Barley Ground, according to Rex, was adjacent to Imber Court itself, so this is definitely taken in the village of Imber. It seems as if the local vicar Revd Charles Watling was not too pleased with this event as some of his flock went direct from the church to the meeting itself!

    We do wonder if the person labelled “my granny” is actually Caroline Davis, as she would appear to be too old to be Matilda Oram nee Davis in 1909. Caroline’s maiden name, by the way, was Barber and she was born around 1832 in Horningsham, Wiltshire, as we understand it. There is a picture of her and her husband Andrew Davis also in Rex Sawyer’s book (page 20, should you have a copy to look at).

    Hope this helps!

    John & Rose Rogers

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Fantastic information. Yes, I have Rex’s book so can look things up. I think ‘Granny’ is Caroline Davis.

      Similar Missionary meetings certainly took place in Market Lavington. I assume the preachers travelled from village to village. How wonderful that they were seen as good entertainment back then. Ted Maslen, who died last year (a descendant of Caroline Davis) remembered them as recently as the 1950s.

      Thanks very much for the information. We don’t really do Imber at our museum, but good knowledge is always useful.



  2. Judith Davis Says:

    The lady on the right is definitely Caroline Davis nee Barber.

Can you add anything to this or do you want to know more?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: