Posts Tagged ‘1957’

Lavington Area Schools’ Sports

July 3, 2015

David Bratchell recently visited the museum. He lived in Market Lavington as a youngster and attended the local school until he reached leaving age in 1957. The family moved away in 1959. His ‘Granny Smith’ remained living in the Market Place, Market Lavington. She had one of the new bungalows.

David did not come empty handed. He brought his certificate from the 1957 Lavington Area Schools’ Sports.

Certificat awarded at the 1957 Lavington Area Schools' Sports

Certificate awarded at the 1957 Lavington Area Schools’ Sports

David’s memory is that these sports took place in West Lavington. David, of course, represented Market Lavington and managed second place in the 220 yards race for under 15 boys.

Times change. David left school at 15 – not now permissible and these days the race would be 200 metres. But of course, there couldn’t be a Lavington area schools’ sports for people in the under 15 category now, for one school, Lavington School, is the only state school for secondary aged pupils. Back in 1957 many village schools were the establishment for those aged 5 to 15.

So well done David, not only for running well in 1957 but also for reminding us of times past with this certificate.

Knapp Farm Barn

March 23, 2015

The second half of the 1950s was a time when wartime austerity was ending, we’d ‘never had it so good’ and it was time to get rid of old fashioned things and replace them with new. And that is precisely what happened to this barn.

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

This is a 1957 photo and work is in progress to remove the thatch from the barn roof.

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

There we see (just) a couple of men working on the barn roof with a tractor and trailer down below for collecting the discarded old thatching straw. The farmhouse can be seen beyond the barn and the photo must have been taken from somewhere near Broadwell.

This was very much an era for the removal of thatch. On dwelling houses it was replaced by tiles but a former thatched roof can often be picked out because they are much more steeply pitched than a standard tiled roof.

On a barn, it was deemed OK to replace the tiles with asbestos sheeting! Like Jesus on the cross, we must forgive the people who did this for at the time it was true to say, ‘they know not what they do’.

Some of this barn area has now been converted into desirable dwellings – ‘White Horse Barns’. That means these buildings look smart and tidy – far removed, of course, from their original purpose.

Clyffe Hall in 1957

May 25, 2014

This is a second photo originally purchased on 5th August 1957. It shows Clyffe Hall which was being run as a country hotel by the Reynolds family at that time.

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington in about 1957

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington in about 1957

The original owner has trimmed the photo (and not very neatly) but it is still a good picture of the hall in that era. We believe the photographer was Peter Francis.

Clyffe Hall was built in 1732 and in the nineteenth century it became closely associated with the manorial estate. From 1850 the Hon Louisa Hay lived there. Her head gardener, James Lye, was, perhaps, more famous than she was. He produced many new varieties of the fuchsia and if interested you can buy some of his cultivars from the James Lye National Collection whose web site is at  .

The photo has some distant people sitting under trees. They are too far away to recognise, but they could be members of the Reynolds family or maybe hotel guests.

The original owner of this photo recorded that he had dinner at Clyffe Hall back on 5th August 1957.

(If you read the comments, below, you will realise that this photograph was, no doubt accidentally, printed as a mirror image of the real orientation of the building!)

Market Lavington High Street in 1957

May 24, 2014

We have a rather good photo card today, looking roughly east, from the Market Place and along High Street in Market Lavington. The card was purchased on 5th August 1957 so may have been taken in an earlier year.

Market Lavington High Street in about 1957

Market Lavington High Street in about 1957

On the right hand side we see The Green Dragon. Back then, of course, it had the porch which went right across the pavement – and very splendid it looked. We also note the enamelled Wadworth sign for Northgate Beer. We also see a sign up for the Hotel car park. What we don’t see, in this shot from 57 years ago are cars, apart from one parked up away in the distance.

The left hand side of the road is of interest. We could start with that school sign – the old one showing the torch of learning. We don’t think that symbol would convey any meaning to today’s youngsters.

And where was the school along there?  Probably it was in the Parish Room. We know that Mrs Elisha taught her infants in the Parish Room – there not being enough space in the main building. There was a class, too, in the old Quaker chapel further along High Street.

The first building on the left was Harry Hobbs’s shop. He has a sign out for ice cream.


Old school sign and Harry Hobbs’s shop


We can’t read what brand of ice cream it was.


The purchaser of this card recorded the date of purchase and then a whole series of dates on which he had ‘seen’ it.