A Gypsy Rover

At Market Lavington Museum, we have no expertise on Romanies, gypsies or travellers but take an interest in all sorts of varied photos of the village. Here is one showing an unusual vehicle passing along Church Street. There is a touch of romance associated with the travelling life style – somewhat separate from the world that most of us live in. It seems (but probably isn’t) carefree – almost idyllic.

Were these people Romany folk, latter day travellers or holidaymakers? We don’t know, but the vehicle they have behind the horse certainly looks modern. The couple give every indication of being in control and contented.

People enjoying a travelling lifestyle on Church Street, Market Lavington in the early 1970s

People enjoying a travelling lifestyle on Church Street, Market Lavington in the early 1970s

This scene was captured on Market Lavington’s Church Street between 1971 and 1976. Many locals will recognise Peter Francis’ photographic shop in the background. Some will remember the Vivo grocery shop. A small number might remember this colourful garden shed on wheels passing through.

By 1976 the Vivo shop had become a Spar shop . The prices on the window are in decimal values so we know it was after February 15th 1971. We think a Mr and Mrs Powell ran the Vivo store. Maybe it is Mrs Powell looking out through the window.

The caravan has the attention of the shop keeper

The caravan has the attention of the shop keeper

After Vivo and Spar, Mr Dempsey took over this shop and now it is a private house.

As ever, any further information would be gratefully received.

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