Posts Tagged ‘1940s’

The Fire Brigade

June 12, 2016

Today we have another article from an issue of Lavington Forum – the Market Lavington School magazine issued for a while in the late 1940s. This one is about the fire brigade which used to keep an appliance in its Market Place premises.

The Fire Brigade - an article from a 1940s Lavington Forum

The Fire Brigade – an article from a 1940s Lavington Forum. Hitting Ctrl and + will enlarge this and make it easier to read

A good little article there so well done to B Little and M Sainsbury.

Being a Pixie

May 29, 2016

“I wanted to be a Fairy but I was a Pixie”. That’s what Lily told us when we showed her some Girl Guide and Brownie memorabilia recently. Amongst this collection of newly acquired Girl Guide and Brownie memorabilia was a promise badge and that was what got Lily talking.

The Brownie Man was the promise badge from the 1930s right through to the 60s

The Brownie Man was the promise badge from the 1930s right through to the 60s

This was issued to Brownies when they made their promise on joining up. Well it certainly looks more pixie like than fairy like. Lily didn’t really like it.

Lily is the first girl in the second row of this photo of the Guides in 1942/43

The Lavington Guides of 1942/43

The Lavington Guides of 1942/43

Market Lavington has never had its own Guides. They are still, officially, the West Lavington Guides even though these days they meet in Market Lavington.

The shoeing shed

May 2, 2016

Judy Livyer was a friend and house share mate of Peggy Welch/Gye. We believe she came to Market Lavington as a World War Two land girl, palled up with Peggy and shared her High Street accommodation. She made a few sketches of the area and this one shows the Gyes shoeing shed.

The Shoeing Shed A 1940s sketch by Judy Livyer

The Shoeing Shed
A 1940s sketch by Judy Livyer

This was at Gye’s yard which was on White Street in Market Lavington.

Traditionally, the Gye company worked in wood but over the years they added more strings to their bow. When the Easterton smithy closed the Gye’s bought up the whole works including the Easterton smith/farrier who was Bert Burnett. This rather unkempt looking building must have been his domain. From all reports he was a first class farrier.

It’s good to have a sketch. This sort of view was not often chosen by a photographer. We get an idea of the conditions in which people carried on daily lives as recently as the 1940s.

Reverend Jack Collins

November 14, 2015

John Brenton Collins, known as Jack, was the Vicar of Market Lavington between 1953 and 1958. The London Gazette reported that in 1954 he also held the job at Easterton.

Extract from the London Gazette

Extract from the London Gazette

The only photo we have is of him and his wife receiving a presentation in 1958.

Mr and Reverend Jack Collins in 1958

Mr and Reverend Jack Collins in 1958

The following piece about Jack came from Oliver Clutton Brock.

My interest in the Rev John (“Jack”) Brenton Collins comes because I’m writing a book on a particular POW camp in WW2, namely Stalag Luft VII (Bankau). Collins was captured at Tobruk in June 1942 when he was attached as chaplain to a Royal Artillery regiment. He spent many months in Italian POW camps, and then ones in Germany & Austria before being sent to Stalag Luft VII in November 1944.

When the Germans evacuated the camp on 19 January 1945, in the face of the advancing Soviet armies, they did so in one of the coldest periods of weather that it’s possible to imagine. The long column of some 1,600 prisoners were marched on foot, in a more or less westerly direction, through extreme icy weather with little food and barely any shelter, usually no more than a leaky barn with a dirt floor. This lasted for the best part of a fortnight. All the while the Rev Collins walked up and down the line of tired, hungry, frost-bitten men giving them encouragement, and they thought that he was one of the finest men they had ever known, particularly because he must have walked twice the distance that they did. And they walked around 150 kilometres.

I’m told that he was born on 26th May 1906 and that he died in or near Leominster in October 1992.

He studied at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and rowed in three successive victorious Boat Race crews in 1928-30. At 6′ 4″ and over 14 stone he was the heaviest man in either boat in each of the 3 years. Do people remember him being that large?

The book mentioned was published in 2013. It is called The Long Road.

Easterton milk round

November 9, 2015

The photo we have today, taken well within living memory, may amaze younger readers of this site. It shows a milk delivery round at Easterton Sands in the 1940s.


Albert Merritt on the Vicarage Farm milk round in the 1940s

This is the milk round from Vicarage Farm. Vicarage Farm was opposite what was once the Easterton Vicarage and is now called Easterton House. The farm still exists, up there on Vicarage Lane, Easterton Sands. Back at the time of the photo the farm was held by a branch of the Merritt family and here we see Albert Winston Merritt delivering the milk produced by cows on the farm where his dad was the farmer. Albert was born in 1914 and as a farm worker he was not called up for military service in World War II. He served in the Home Guard and we have seen him in this role before. Click here to see that post

Court Close Farm

July 14, 2015

There are some photos you just have to love and this is one of them. It says so much about past times. It shows Court Close Farm in about 1940.

Court Close Farm, Easterton in about 1940

Court Close Farm, Easterton in about 1940

This is taken from the front garden of recently renovated Manor Cottage and the buildings we see are on White Street, Easterton. Court Close Farm is the further away building.

In this 75 year old picture Court Close Farm looks resplendent under its thatched roof and the cottages, this side of it and often lumped together and called Kandy Cottages look pretty good too.

But let’s take a closer look at something on the side of the road.

The milk churn stand

The milk churn stand

Just in front of the farm house there was a stand for milk churns. A couple of empty churns stand next to it. When full, those churns would have weighed close on a hundredweight (50kg).  They were put on the stand by the farmer to make it easier for a dairyman to get them onto a lorry. They may well have been taken to Lavington Station for onward transport by train. We do not know when churn collection ceased in this area but it was probably stopped by about 1970. So we have a real link with past times here.

And of course in the 1950s and 60s road improvement was the thing and Kandy Cottages became a victim of that. It was decided to straighten a kink in the road as it left Easterton heading for Market Lavington. Those cottages, or part of them, stood in the way and so they were swept into oblivion. This is a similar but much more recent view.

21st century - a similar view

21st century – a similar view

Court Close Farm is still there and still looks grand. If we hadn’t got the older picture we’d suspect it had once been thatched. The steep pitch of the roof tiles now on it is a bit of a giveaway.

Where one end of the cottages once stood there is now a verdant lawn. This end of the cottages would have been in the road. We now get a better view of the rather ramshackle collection of barns behind Court Close Farm.

Mr Hiscock, the thatcher

May 9, 2015

Items, particularly photographs, continue to be donated to Market Lavington Museum. Some recently arrived in an email from Toronto in Canada.

Maurice told us, ‘I just came across these pictures of my maternal grandparents taken in Market Lavington’.

Maurice went on to say that he is now 80 but sure enough, his photos were there, downloadable from ‘the cloud’. And here is one of them.

Albert Hiscock, a thatcher by trade, outside Hillside, his cottage on White Street, Market Lavington - probably in the late 1940s

Albert Hiscock, a thatcher by trade, outside Hillside, his cottage on White Street, Market Lavington – probably in the late 1940s

This shows Albert Hiscock, the thatcher who lived at Hillside on White Street in Market Lavington. The photo shows him at his front door which still looks much the same today at this level, although the thatched roof it used to sport, no doubt put there by Albert himself, has long gone.

Hillside, as it is now

Hillside, as it is now

Albert thatched until he was about 75 which would have been in the late 1940s. He died in 1955, and is buried in the local churchyard.

You can click here to read a little more about Albert.

It was great to hear from Albert’s grandson, Maurice and we would like to thank him for the photos he sent.

Miss Windo – mark III

April 27, 2015

We have met Miss Gladys Windo, head teacher at Easterton School and also the same Miss Windo, member of the St Barnabas Parochial Church Council.

Today we see Gladys in a third role.

Gladys Windo of Easterton in the Civil Defence Corps

Gladys Windo of Easterton in the Civil Defence Corps

Here we see Gladys in her Civil Defence Corps uniform – and she is looking very intimidating although she is remembered as a kind and caring lady.


Her badge is clear to read and shows a lion with a crown over it with the words around it and Wiltshire below.

The Civil Defence Corps existed from 1949 to 1968 and at its height there were some 330 000 personnel involved.

Judging from the age of Miss Windo in the photo, we think this is from the early days of the Civil Defence movement.

From what we know of the former Easterton teacher, it was typical of her to volunteer for a role in which she might have to take charge of helping people through an emergency situation.


October 16, 2014

We have another advert from Harry Hobbs’ shop today and we think this one may date from the 1930s or 40s It’s a simple sheet of card which could fold and it is for Weetabix. This is a product which we can still buy, of course.

Weetabix advert from Harry Hobbs' Market Lavington shop

Weetabix advert from Harry Hobbs’ Market Lavington shop

The red outlined font, the slogan and the font for it point to our estimate of an early date.

But of course, do tell us if we are wrong.

Once again, thanks to Pat and Eric for finding these items and passing them to the museum.

Market Lavington Fire Brigade in 1942

February 25, 2014

We have recently been given a photo of the fire brigade. The caption is a model of perfection. But first, the photo.

Market Lavington fire brigade in 1942

Market Lavington fire brigade in 1942

The photograph was taken in the Market Place and shows the men, smartly attired, standing alongside the fire engine, already an appliance of some antiquity. It was Market Lavington’s first motorised fire engine. And now the caption.


Wonderful information has come with this photo

Wonderful information has come with this photo

With that information there isn’t a lot to add. You can read more about Mr Reg Milsom and the fire engine by clicking here.

We can come up with a few biographical details for some of the men.

The chief, Tom Merritt, was born around 1884 so he was approaching 60 when this photo was taken. In 1905 he married Agnes Shore and Alf, their first born arrived the following year.

Allan and Cecil Baker were brothers, sons of George and Eliza. Both were born in the first decade of the 20th century.

Albert Potter was the son of Frank. The Potters had a farm on High Street, near the Green Dragon. Alf was born in about 1909.

It’s a lovely picture and we’d like to thank Diane for giving it to the museum.