Market Lavington before mains water

We have met Sybil Perry before, a former teacher in Market Lavington and a generous donor to the museum. We are particularly grateful to have two large files containing Sybil Perry’s Memories. By 1926, Mr and Mrs Baker and their daughter Sybil moved from her grandmother’s home to a semi detached house, newly built by Wiltshire County Council. It was one of a row of four pairs of semis, which had no piped water, for that only came to Market Lavington in 1936.

Sybil wrote her memories of life before an interior tap and toilet.

‘There were no bathrooms then and the toilet – known as the lavatory – was built onto the side of the house, but you had to go outside to get to it. Whatever the weather, that is where we had to go!’

‘We got our water for drinking purposes, personal washing and for the laundry from one of two wells outside our row of houses. Later they were converted into pumps which made getting water much easier and less dangerous.
 The buckets of water were kept behind a curtain and placed under the sink. Of course, the bucket used for the drinking water had to be kept super clean. Piped water was not brought to the village until 1936 – when I was 17 years old. Even then, we only had one tap for cold water installed over the kitchen sink.’

We will look at Sybil’s description of having a bath, next time.

See also Water supply problems.


3 Responses to “Market Lavington before mains water”

  1. Oliver Davis Says:

    That’s very interesting, thanks. My mother lived at the Alban Estate, Market Lavington, in 1935. She was age 5 at that time. Do you think their water supply would have been similar to the system you have described? I’m curious.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Sorry, we don’t have any information at the museum about the internal arrangements at the Alban estate, just some photos of the houses being built.
      Our next blog is also about water issues in those days – it features bathtimes.

  2. James Perry Says:

    Does anyone know where these wells and later pumps were please?

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