Posts Tagged ‘1958’

A brickyard hut

September 22, 2015

There were all sorts of buildings at the brick works, down on Broadway. Today we look at one of them which, when the photo was taken, began to look like a bit of a tumbledown hut. But it was a hut with history.

The Aerodrome Hut at Market Lavington Brick Yard in 1958. Prior to 1922 this had been at the Stonehenge Aerodrome

The Aerodrome Hut at Market Lavington Brick Yard in 1958. Prior to 1922 this had been at the Stonehenge Aerodrome

This hut was known as ‘The Aerodrome Hut’. This may seem an unlikely name.

It was acquired, by the brickworks in 1922. It had been (perhaps) an aeroplane hangar at the Stonehenge airfield. The photo itself dates from 1958 which is long after the brickworks closed.

Although the back of the photograph says this was a hangar, it looks rather small. Is there anybody out there who can tell us any more about original uses for the hut or, indeed, what our own local brickworks used it for?


Our museum building in 1958

June 21, 2015

Back in 1958 a student teacher was allocated to Market Lavington School. Her name was Rowena Campbell Trigger and as part of her college work she undertook a village survey which we have in the museum. Here is an extract from her hand written survey. It is about what is now our building.


The most prized possession of the school has been kept until last. It is the little house. It was originally the headmaster’s now but is now used as an activity centre for the school. The children have done all the interior and the results are remarkably good. At the house I got quite caught up in ‘Sale of Work’ fever. Apparently each year the school organises this sale in aid of school funds that are used to supplement the expenses of the annual school outing that takes place in the summer term. One room at the school is packed with toys in various stages of renovation. I can see I could quite usefully spend the month up here patching dolls, mending toys and painting wheelbarrows. I feel I must make time to help a little even if only occasionally in the lunch hour.


This house is a wonderful idea. Downstairs a room is set aside for collections – butterflies and moths, coins, stamps, fossils etc. Upstairs one room is quite pleasantly furnished and complete with wireless and magazines and is set aside as a reading room. Upstairs also is a local history room. The older pupils do a local history study and the best sketches and brass rubbings are selected and hung in this room.

Rowena found time to get to the top of the church tower and take a photo of ‘the little house’.

1958 photo of what is now the museum building

1958 photo of what is now the museum building

I don’t suppose she ever thought her work would one day return to this building and be a valued part of village history.

Sewer laying in Easterton

September 18, 2013

We think the sewer pipes were installed in Market Lavington in 1956 and Easterton followed suit in 1958. In both villages chaos was the order of the day but back then – 55 years ago – the car didn’t reign supreme and the temporary conversion of roads into muddy footpaths probably wasn’t so important. And we can see that is what happened in Easterton.

Laying the sewer in Easterton in 1958

Laying the sewer in Easterton in 1958

There’s a small child in the picture. We wonder if she still lives in the area. Or maybe somebody will recognise her. Nearby is a sign which states the obvious – ‘CLOSED’.

It must have been a relief for the Easterton folks to get their sewerage system. Before that human waste would either have been flushed straight into the stream or would have needed manual disposal. The inconvenience of road and path closures was, no doubt, seen as a small price to pay for such a huge benefit.

Having said that, there are houses in both parishes, perhaps off the main roads, which are still without mains drainage. Septic tanks are doing sterling service for many local residents.

A fry-up for the workers

July 15, 2013

Back in 1958 a gang of workers were digging up the Market Lavington streets to lay sewers. We have seen, on this blog, how the scheme caused absolute chaos to the road network with Church Street completely blocked and Parsonage Lane totally closed. A resident who lived (and still does) on White Street recalls how she had to get the workers to help her get her pram to a place where it could be pushed, rather than carried. Prams of the 1950s were still of the substantial variety so it was no task for one person to lift a pram.

But of course, the benefits of the sewerage scheme far outweighed those temporary inconveniences. No longer was raw sewage emptied straight into streams. The bucket toilet became a thing of the past. Life became cleaner and that bit more wholesome.

But back to that gang of workers. Tom Gye tells us that they were from Ireland and that they used Gye’s Yard as a bit of a base. Here we see a group of them having a morning fry-up.

A fry-up for sewer layers in Gye's Yard, Market Lavington in 1958

A fry-up for sewer layers in Gye’s Yard, Market Lavington in 1958

What a charming scene!

Clothing is interesting. The chap frying has a pin stripe jacket on. Perhaps it was once part of a posh suit. The two other foreground chaps have sports jackets and one of them also wears a roll neck jumper. The older man, on the left, has a flat cap and an overcoat with a string belt.

Of course, we have no idea who any of the workers were. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one or more of them could give us their memories of Market Lavington? They certainly look keen to sample the rashers of bacon being lowered into the frying pan.

A Mud Wall

May 23, 2013

A fairly standard Wiltshire wall building technique has been to use cob. Cob had, as one of its major ingredients, clay. There’s a habit of calling soils and subsoils mud, so a cob wall might be called a mud wall.

Mud walls need waterproof boots and a waterproof hat. The boots take the form of hefty stones which can raise the mud above the wet ground level. The waterproof hat, traditionally, was thatch although tiles could be used.

Cob was common for the walls of buildings, but if we talk about a mud wall, we mean a boundary wall, rather than a wall as part of a bigger structure.

One of the last survivors of a mud wall in Market Lavington was at The White House on White Street. This photo of it was taken in about 1958.

Johnathan Gye stands by a mud wall on White Street, Market Lavington ca 1958

Johnathan Gye stands by a mud wall on White Street, Market Lavington ca 1958

The wall is clearly getting to be on its last legs. The waterproof hat definitely looks in need of attention and without a good thatch, water will soon spoil the cob.

The young lad is Johnathan Gye and he provides some scale. It is quite a substantial wall.

Perhaps the best known mud wall in Market Lavington ended up getting its name corrupted. The little street known as The Muddle had a mud wall alongside it and Muddle is a corruption of mud wall.

The Back of the Co-op

February 21, 2013

Today we offer what we think is a unique view of the back of the Co-op. The photo was taken in 1958.

The back of Market Lavington's Co-op in 1958 showing the half timbered gables of the former Market Hall

The back of Market Lavington’s Co-op in 1958 showing the half timbered gables of the former Market Hall

It is the viewpoint that makes this such a difficult to work out shot – coupled with the fact that the buildings in the middle have all altered chimneys since then. In some cases windows have been added or removed and parts of some buildings have been demolished.

Our curator and archivist spent some time trying to sort out where this was taken from, asking various long term village residents for advice.

Let’s start with the information on our museum record which says, ‘photograph of half-timbered gables of the old Market Hall behind the present co-op’. The photo was taken in 1958. The record was written in 1985.

The white gable end still exists behind the co-op and is still white but devoid of windows. The middle gable – one of the half-timbered ones also exists but has been rendered over and is all white and windowless as well. The large half-timbered gable has been demolished, not so long after this photo was taken.

But where was the vantage point? The only clue to location was the chimney between the tree and telegraph pole on the left. That certainly looked as though it could be on the Workmans’ Hall. And it was possible to line up a small chimney to match the photo. From this we think the photo was taken from a raised back garden of a property on High Street. Our best bet is that it was taken from number nine – Bank House. In 1958 the occupants were Tom and Peggy Gye.

Where cottages once stood

February 4, 2013

Broadway, Market Lavington was once the home of the Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery Company. That ceased production around the time of World War II and local cottages, which had once housed workers were no longer needed.

Britain was in post war austerity at the time and when rubble was needed to assist with road improvements at the Black Dog crossroads, it was acquired locally. The Broadway Cottages were demolished and the demolition materials were used to help form the foundation of a better roadway.

In 1958 a photographer – we don’t know who – recorded the scene where the cottages had been.

Site of Broadway Cottages, Market Lavington' The photo dates from 1958

Site of Broadway Cottages, Market Lavington’ The photo dates from 1958

Presumably the unknown lady visitor was standing on what had been the base of the cottages. Was she, we wonder, a former resident visiting her former home? The picture, sadly, is not of good enough quality to allow for enlargement, but maybe somebody will recognise the lady.

At least the photo was well captioned as to location and date.

Photo caption. What a shame it doesn't name the person.

Photo caption. What a shame it doesn’t name the person.

Broadway Cottages when Lavington bricks were still being made.

Broadway Cottages when Lavington bricks were still being made.

These were the cottages in earlier and happier days, clearly lived in for smoke issues from the chimneys.

We’d like to know more about these homes – their precise location for one thing. Can you help?