Posts Tagged ‘1955’

Easterton Fete – about 1955

July 6, 2015

It comes as a shock to some of us to realise that 1955 was 60 years ago. Only people in the retired generation remember it and for the majority of the population, 1955 is old history.

And perhaps with black and white photos it looks quite like ancient history as well. This photo of a fete parade in Easterton is a case in point.

Easterton fete parade in about 1955

Easterton fete parade in about 1955

Even the actual location is a bit difficult to sort out for the most immediate building, on the right has been demolished. Of course, the pub sign does give the place.

The location give-away. The photo was taken outside The Royal Oak.

The location give-away. The photo was taken outside The Royal Oak.

It is the Royal Oak which still operates in Easterton, but without the benefit of that building out the front. Beyond the sign we see the steeply pitched roof of the Manor House– a sure sign that this building was formerly thatched.


At the front of the fete parade we have a sandwich board man with a poster advising people not to miss the fete and a town crier complete with bell.

Further back we have clowns, flower girls and all sorts.


We are hoping, of course, that some of these people enjoying a bit of dressing up will be recognised.

So it is over to you once more.


Broadwell Nook

April 6, 2015

Broadwell Nook is a cottage on White Street more or less opposite Market Lavington’s main water supply in times past – Broadwell.

Broadwell Nook/Leigh today

Broadwell Nook/Leigh today

That’s the cottage today, one of very few thatched properties remaining in Market Lavington. It seems to be called Broadwell Leigh these days. It dates, originally, from the mid 16th to early 17th centuries so it is at least 400 years old.

Our 1955 photo was taken from down the driveway next to Broadwell Nook, looking out towards White Street.

Broadwell Nook in 1955

Broadwell Nook in 1955

We can see, even from this opposite direction, that this area hasn’t changed much in the past 60 years.

We can see, from our electoral rolls that three voters lived at ‘The Nook’ in 1964. They were Lawrence and Margaret Bradshaw and Victor Gibson. We are not sure who was there before that.

Fete takings 1955

February 16, 2015

Sixty years ago the fete was held on June 25th which was, of course, a Saturday

The accounts for this fete give an indication of the way times have changed. We have a list of stalls, people who ran them and how much they took.

1955 Market Lavington Fete takings. Click the picture to enlarge it.

1955 Market Lavington Fete takings. Click the picture to enlarge it.

The figure of almost £267 may seem quite low, but to match it today the fete would need to clear about £6000.

But it is the individual items which give an indication of change. There was no Pimms back then although teas and ice creams were available. There’s no indication of barbecued foods either. There are clearly old favourites, like guess the name of the dressed doll, guess the weight of the cake, guess how many sweets in the jar etc. These are the small side stalls that fetes still tend to have.

We don’t know what happened in ‘farthings’ or threepenny pieces. Was it essentially a donation of these coins? And maybe somebody who reads this can let us know what the stall ‘Joe Soap’ actually was.

No doubt the folks enjoyed themselves just as they still do today.

A fashion parade with a difference

January 25, 2015


Actually this ‘catwalk’ display, back in 1955, was a part of the annual fete and it wasn’t so much a display of modern fashion but rather a pageant of historic costumes.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a list of who wore just what and who owned and loaned the costumes. It’s a long list, covering three sides of the then prevalent foolscap sized paper. This was longer, but a bit thinner than our present A4 size of paper.

Here’s the first.


And the second page.


And finally the third page.


By the way, you can click on any of the images to see a larger and more readable version.

And what a sight this must have been back then, 60 years ago. And what a grand list of names. Many have, sadly but inevitably, passed on but our curator is keen to hear from the many – youngsters at the time – who are still with us. Who knows, someone, somewhere, might even have a photo of the event.

We already know that Roger Francis remembers the event. He’s the former resident, now living in Tasmania who published a novel last year called ‘The Lost Pages’. His book features Market Lavington quite heavily and we have featured it on this blog. (Click here).

We do look forward to hearing from others who remember this long ago display of old costumes.

More Church Life

September 5, 2013

Here’s hoping you have your tickets for the Museum Miscellany which is at 7.30pm on 14th September. You can get tickets from the Post Office in the village.

One section will be about the people of both church and chapel. These organisations made up what was once a truly central part of rural life – and still does for many. The people were the ordinary village people, some rich and some poor, old and young. Today we look mostly at youngsters although they’ll all be over 60 now, for the photo dates from 1955.

It features members of the church Sunday School, out in the village for Rogation Day.

Market Lavington Church Sunday School celebrate Rogation Day in 1955

Market Lavington Church Sunday School celebrate Rogation Day in 1955

This merry band of youngsters, all wearing Sunday best clothes, are under the watchful gaze of their Sunday School teachers. At the left is Daphne Arnold. In the middle at the back we have Gwen Cooper and second right at the back, half hidden is Miss J Saxton.

We seek the names of all of the children – maybe you can help us.

This and many other photos will be on display at the miscellany and between the two halves of the show we will have our famous museum food for the audience to sample.