Drove Lane

Simple chance can cause quite big impacts and Drove Lane is what it is now in part due to chance. Its name has changed over the years. At one time it was ‘The Drove’. Then the cemetery was created and it became ‘Cemetery Lane’. Then, perhaps because people didn’t like their home address being associated with death, it became Drove Lane.

Drove Lane was never given a road surface throughout. That was the chance fact of it being quite near to and parallel with the Parsonage Lane route north out of the village. So Drove Lane became a quiet byway.

Well that was until 1971 when its position – handy for both Market Lavington and Easterton – made it the ideal site for the new St Barnabas School which replaced the Victorian village schools in both parishes.

Back then, in 1971 the road, and specially surfaced footpaths, became busy with mums walking their children to and from school. These days, that carriage of children is much more often by car as a parent then has to get to work straight after dropping off the kids.

A large electricity substation was also constructed alongside Drove Lane. I dare say the occupants at the cemetery, next door, didn’t complain about it! That substation shows on our pre-1971 photo.

Drove Lane in 1968. It shows the site of the proposed new School

Drove Lane in 1968. It shows the site of the proposed new School

 

The car in the photo was registered in 1966 but there is no school to be seen. The photo dates from 1968 and is actually captioned ‘site for new school’.

Apart from the absence of a school, we’ll note that Drove Lane had no pavements. They were added to make for safer access to the school. We are fascinated by the brick ‘gate post’.

image003

Can anyone identify this brick post?

Does anyone know what that was for?

A second picture shows a similar view with the school nearing completion. It was taken in 1971.

St Barnabas School nears completion in 1971

St Barnabas School nears completion in 1971

At this time the road was improved and the pavements put in. The footpath from Oak Lane and beyond was given a tarmac surface as was the one from the top of Northbrook.

This school, of course, is still thriving with local youngsters who are often in local events.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Drove Lane”

  1. James Perry Says:

    As a child I lived up Drove Lane. I walked past the brick gate post many times but cannot remember anything about it. I wonder if it was not a gatepost but just a corner marker of the cemetry plot.(Is there a similar one by the footpath that runs alongside the cemetry?) A delightful farming/smallhoding couple lived a bit further up the lane past the school. They were Mr and Mrs Draper and they appeared to me to be fairly elderly back in the 60’s. They had a strip of land of about an acre at the back of their house (it ran parallel to our land with the land of another property in between). They had a horse which they used for ploughing and I think also to tow a cart. Mr Draper was one of the few people alive then who spoke the old Wiltshire dialect. I could just about make out what he was saying!

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:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: