Ralph Brown, the postman

At Market Lavington Museum, we love our three dimensional artefacts. The actual objects used by local folk in times past are great for building displays to capture the interest of our visitors.

However, in order to understand how life was for the people here in previous decades and centuries, we need more than their possessions. So, we are pleased to have a goodly collection of photographs and newscuttings along with some oral history recordings and written memoirs.

Last year, we were contacted by a member of the family of Ralph Brown, who had been the village postman in Market Lavington, and we were offered a page of writing about this local resident, which is now in our museum collection.

Born in Erlestoke, Ralph had spent earlier parts of his life in the Royal Marines and working in London and for the Post Office in Croydon. It was after being demobbed from his Royal Marine service in World War Two that he came to Market Lavington and was appointed as the postman here.

In 1946/7 he and his wife Violet and their first three children moved into one of the new council houses on Lavington Hill and he lived there until his retirement in 1963. The family grew until there were five children. Ralph’s son, David, used to help his father with the Christmas post, often having to sort out poorly addressed cards to ‘Aunt Edie’ or ‘Mrs Potter, High Street’.

In 1950, Ralph formed the Lavington Tenants Association, in an effort to improve the condition of the council estates on Lavington Hill and Northbrook and was subsequently elected to the District Council. Sadly, Ralph died soon after his retirement, aged 63.

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