Posts Tagged ‘1954’

A new car in the 1950s

January 24, 2016

Back in May 2015 we looked at an Austin 7 car which had belonged to Betty Gye of Homestead Farm. When Betty was ready to take her driving test, her dad decided she couldn’t take it in the old Austin which, with poor brakes wasn’t really roadworthy. A new car was bought – a Ford Popular and here it is.


Betty Gye’s Ford Popular in about 1954

The design was still very much pre-war. We are no experts but we believe this was little more than a revamped Ford Anglia of the 1930s. It was built on the cheap – you might note only the driver has a windscreen wiper – and they were, as a result, very popular. This car would have had semaphore indicators which emerged from the bodywork just behind the door but this one also has an extra – a fog lamp has been added.

Betty was proud of it and a photo was taken.

But look at the background. Behind the car is a lovely loose hay stack which looks to be a bit crudely thatched to keep the rain out. That would have been a real labour to build that stack by hand.

The item between car and stack may be some kind of hay tedder – something that puffed up the hay to get air to it to speed drying.

The old car – it would now be over 60 – is a real reminder of times past but so too is the chance agriculture captured in this shot.


Easterton Sands – then and now

December 4, 2014

A different Easterton postcard

Yesterday we saw Pond Farm Camp which is in Easterton. Today we look at an area much nearer Easterton village centre.

1954 postcard showing Easterton Sands

1954 postcard showing Easterton Sands

It may be hard for many people to work out just where this is – unless you happen to be able to place Uncle Jim’s house. This photo is dated at around 1954 – 60 years ago.

Oddly enough, what we find most recognisable is a pair of brick gate posts just left of centre.

Easterton Village Hall gates with Paxtons Cottage beyond

Easterton Village Hall gates with Paxtons Cottage beyond

These were the entrance gates on the drive down to Easterton Village Hall which were removed in the 1960s. Behind them is the house known as Paxtons which is at the start of the Kings Road Hill.

The Well House, Easterton

The Well House, Easterton

Down at the right hand side we have The Well House which is below the village hall and right alongside the stream.

The photo must have been taken from around West View and Easterton Sands are visible beyond Paxtons.

These days the view is obscured by new buildings and, particularly, garden trees and shrubs.

A similar view in the 21st century

A similar view in the 21st century

A little bit of the roof of Paxtons is just visible.

Trowbridge, Melksham and District Agricultural Show

July 7, 2014

Another acquisition from the closing museum at Lackham was a catalogue for the Trowbridge Melksham and District Agricultural Show which took place on Wednesday May 26th 1954 – just over 60 years ago.

Front cover of 1954 Trowbridge, melksham and District Agricultural Show catalogue

Front cover of 1954 Trowbridge, melksham and District Agricultural Show catalogue

Of particular interest to us at Market Lavington was the advert on the inside of the front cover.

Advert for Wordley and Co of Market Lavington

Advert for Wordley and Co of Market Lavington

Yes, this was from our very own firm, of A. S. Wordley and Co who were based in the Market Place in the village.

We have already seen on this blog photos of Wordley’s stand at this show, from other years in the early fifties (click here).

But these catalogues also give some other ideas of what went on in our villages, by seeing who was exhibiting what.

First we note that Mrs N R Harmsworth of Kestrels in Easterton was showing flowers. She was one of seven competitors who had tried for the ‘best geranium in pot’ class. She was also going for the best flowering plant of any variety, the best vase of cut flowers arranged for effect, and the best vase of three bearded iris.

Mrs Harmsworth also showed vegetables – the best three cabbages, the best three lettuces, the best six carrots, the best 12 strawberries and the best collection of vegetables – four varieties.

D E Alexander of Southcliffe Farm was showing pigs. He had entered two large white sows. One was called Southcliffe Beautiful and she had been born on 20th October 1952. The other was Southcliffe Beryl 2nd, born 17th December 1952.

Mr Alexander had also entered the best two pork pigs, any breed or cross and the best two pigs suitable for Wiltshire bacon. He also showed in the two carcasses most suitable for Wiltshire bacon class.

We have here yet another period document from a past age with plenty of local information.