Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

Fiddington from Lavington Hill

June 10, 2014
The Fiddington Clays area in the 1960s

The Fiddington Clays area in the 1960s

On the face of it, this is a rather uninteresting looking photo but in truth if we enlarge sections we can see that it tells us a great deal.

The style of labelling tells us that this was a Peter Francis photo. We have it dated as 1960s.

Let’s do some of that zooming in.

Houses on the Fiddington Clays estate

Houses on the Fiddington Clays estate

Here we see houses on the Fiddington Clays estate. They are looking fresh and new in this photo.


This was once Southcliffe Farm

An older bungalow is surrounded by newer houses. Was this the former home of the Alexander family who had Southcliffe Farm?

Houses were still under construction at the time.

Southcliffe houses were still being built

Southcliffe houses were still being built

The Congregational Church and environs

The Congregational Church and environs

Roughly in the centre of this photo we have the 1892 built Congregational Church. We also see Stobbarts Road and Townsend. We also see the Southcliffe barns which now stand rather forlorn.

So yes, there is much to be seen in the photo.


Nuttall’s Mintoes

May 4, 2014

This is a fun, recent acquisition for Market Lavington Museum and a reminder of a once popular sweet which is no longer available (although there are others which are very similar).

Nuttall’s Mintoes were originally made by William Nuttall in Doncaster. They made lots of money for William, who used his wealth helping the poor of Doncaster.

What we have is a large tin, to hold seven pounds weight of the sweets.


Nuttall’s Mintoes tin, possibly from around 1960


As you can see, the tin is not pristine which is hardly surprising. For the last fifty years it has been in Market Lavington and used as a container for dog food. The owner, who gave it to us, wasn’t sure where she had obtained it, but thought it might have been from a local shop.

The price on the tin is, of course, interesting at 8d per quarter pound (about 3p for 100 grams) But for whenever that was, inflation was clearly an issue for if you turn the tin round, a different price is shown.


The other side of the tin shows a different price.


We can see, of course, how wonderfully unhealthy in today’s terms these sweets were with only sugar and fat based products mentioned.

The tin, of course, would originally have been held by a retailer who could weigh out smaller quantities for his customers. The retailer was charged more for the tin than the customers were for the sweets.

Retailers 'hired' the tin for a deposit of 1/6

Retailers ‘hired’ the tin for a deposit of 1/6

!/6 is 7½p. It was a deposit which the retailer got back when he returned the tin to Nuttall’s.

What a lovely item to have. But can anyone out there date it from the price? Maybe it was around 1960?

Dancing in the Parish Room

April 19, 2014

Uncaptioned photos are a bit of a nuisance. What we are looking at today is a group of people who appear to be doing a ‘grand chain’ as part of a country or barn dance.

Dancing in trhe old Parish Room in Market Lavington, possibly 1960s

Dancing in the old Parish Room in Market Lavington, possibly 1960s

We think this was probably in the 1960s. There’s a young man near the back who appears to have modelled himself somewhat on George Harrison of the Beatles.

This young man is something of a George Harrison lookalike

This young man is something of a George Harrison lookalike

The blobs are photographic error – not part of the suit – but we can just imagine all the older folk telling him to, ‘get your hair cut’.

We have no caption to tell us what the event was but perhaps it was a church social. None of the participants are named but we do know that Peggy Gye was amongst those present.


Perhaps some of this group might be identifiable.

We do have other photos of the same event which have been put in a scrap book by Peggy Gye at some point in the past.


That group has a man smoking – it wouldn’t be allowed these days – and could that be Sybil Perry at the far end?


This looks like Peggy Gye serving some refreshments.


Did they really play musical chairs?

We certainly get something of a feel of the old Parish Room here. At the time when we had this hall, it seemed fine and it did feel a sad day when it was demolished. But what a small, gloomy, cramped place it actually was when compared to our new (2007) Community Hall. Now that is a building our community can be truly proud of.

We also can remember that good honest wholesome fun was still available in those days, away from the TV and the as then un-thought of electronic devices of today.

Edgar Haines

March 30, 2014

Over the years, Market Lavington and Easterton have had various outlets selling petrol. There have been, and still are all sorts of motor repair businesses.  There is still at least one place selling second hand cars. But the place which combined it all – and sold brand new cars – was Edgar Haines’ garage known as The Spring Filling Station and later as Shires Garage. This opened in about 1967 and now, like so many village service stations, it is now long gone.

Today we look at the man, Edgar Haines. And as we often do, we appeal for help. This photo is captioned ‘Edgar Haines’.

One of these men is Edgar Haines who opened and ran a garage and filling station in Market Lavington

One of these men is Edgar Haines who opened and ran a garage and filling station in Market Lavington

But as we can see there are two men in the photo. Both of them look far too smartly attired for dealing with car tyres but we’ll note they are on a carpeted floor so it is probably all quite clean. The question for us is, ‘which man is Edgar Haines?’ A second question is then, ‘who is the other man?’ (Update – Edgar is on the right)

We do not know a lot about Edgar. He was a local man, born in 1930 to parents Wallace and Edith.

Sadly, he died as quite a young man in 1980.

Again, any further information about Edgar would be appreciated.

The Photographer’s Shop

March 24, 2014

Market Lavington no longer has a photographer’s shop – something it had for 100 years or so in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We are pleased that a fairly recent photo of Peter Francis’s shop, which was on Church Street, has survived.

Peter Francis's shop on Church Street, market Lavington in about 1970

Peter Francis’s shop on Church Street, Market Lavington in about 1970

We are looking into a lost world here. The market for much of what was on sale (we don’t have an accurate date but estimate it at around 1970) has all but vanished. Photo albums fill the desk. These seem to be special occasions only items these days. Most people just post their thousands of images on a suitable website or just have them to view on their tablets – and it has to be said a tablet makes a very handy photo album. But we can pick out various items and just imagine a child saying, ‘Mummy, what is ….. ?’

Take this item.


Flashcubes? Weren’t they for use with instamatic cameras – the ones that tried to make it all very simple by having film in a cartridge?


And what’s developing and printing?


Yes that was when we used to use those strange lengths of a thing called film.


And cassettes? Ah yes, we used to be able to record sounds on them.

Digital photography and sound have more or less wiped out the competition in the last couple of decades. No wonder a village just can’t support a shop like this any more.

Broadwell in the 1960s

February 19, 2014

Parts of the area around Broadwell have changed a lot. Today’s photo lets us highlight some of the items which have gone and others which remain.

Broadwell, Market Lavington, in the 1960s

Broadwell, Market Lavington, in the 1960s

The barn like building on the right still exists. So too, does large Knapp House seemingly on a hill in the background. Its former barns – we can see a bit of roof at top centre – are now the White Horse Barns dwellings

White Street still continues to pass by Broadwell on its way up to Lavington Hill. A road still leads down to the water.  It may well be better surfaced these days and cars are usually parked there.

Between White Street and the water there is what looks like waste ground. This had once been a small wood but they were felled when trees started to die off.  The area is now a young children’s play area but at one time a 1960s themed space play area occupied the site.

Across the water the pale building under a pitched roof had various purposes. At one time the Merritt family had a smithy there. They also kept cows and had a milking parlour.  The Market Lavington Prize Band used to meet in that building on Sunday mornings to practise. There are local people who remember that with much pleasure for it was like having a free band concert.

The free standing black building which looks like a shed was just that. It was a cow shed.

All of those rather ramshackle buildings have been swept away and now a decent family home occupies that area.

Devizes Rural District Council – 1967

January 21, 2014
Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

That’s a lovely front cover with a cornucopia implying wealth and prosperity.

This little booklet has recently been given to the museum. Apart from our own parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton, it covers all of those parishes which surrounded Devizes and were a part of the rural district. Of course, here we concentrate on our two parishes and this is the brief description given of the parishes. Distance and direction from Devizes are given

EASTERTON (7 miles S.) rises towards the Plain and includes extensive downland and woods. The church of St. Barnabas was built in 1866. There is a handsome old manor house at Eastcott, an interesting Manor House in Easterton village and Willoughbys, a historical gem in White Street. A new brick village hall has been erected by voluntary contribution. Local industry includes a jam factory.

In a remote part on the boundary of this parish lies Wroughton’s Folly, the site of a vanished 18th century house belonging to the Wroughton family and called Maggot Castle.

MARKET LAVINGTON (6 miles S.). From medieval times until the mid-nineteenth century a weekly market was held in Market Lavington, chiefly for the sale of sheep and corn. This large village is attractively situated amidst sheltering trees below the Plain. The church, dedicated to St. Mary of The Assumption, is of 14th century dating, with a Perpendicular tower and clerestory to the nave. Fragments of Norman masonry survive from an earlier building. The Chantry chapel founded by Peter de la Mere in 1343 is dedicated to St. Katherine and St. Margaret and has a spiral stairway to the former rood loft.

The Victorian Manor House is now occupied as a dormitory for boys at Dauntsey’s School in the neighbouring Parish at West Lavington.

The legend of the drummer boy, related by R. H. Barham in Ingoldsby Legends, whose accusing ghost appeared to his murderer and caused him to confess, is set on the old road across the Plain from Market Lavington to Salisbury and is marked by the signpost known as The Drummer Boy’s Post.

A photo of Market Lavington is in the book. It shows what was then still quite a new secondary school.


Lavington School features in the booklet

We can see the photo was by Market Lavington’s resident photographer, Peter Francis. In fact he took most of the photos used whatever parish they came from.

Advertisers will have helped defray the cost of the book. Amongst advertisers was Peter Francis.


Other local advertisers were:


Systems and Components had taken over the old brickworks buildings.


This pub, known affectionately as ‘The Volley’ was on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane. The building is now a private house.


The McBeths had the shop in Easterton which was opposite the junction with Kings Road. and the garage which sold Regent petrol was a little further along Easterton High Street towards Market Lavington. It was run by Mr Faulkner.


The book makes a lovely addition to our collection. It offers a snapshot of life in the area almost fifty years ago.

White Street, Market Lavington

January 13, 2014

Let’s take an opportunity to remind people that the road name ‘White Street’ causes much confusion in the area. Before the days of surfaced roads, any road running up onto the chalk downs would have been white in colour. As each village had such a road, they all got called White Street. Easterton has its White Street. So, too, does West Lavington but this one is in Market Lavington.

White Street, Market Lavington in about 1960

White Street, Market Lavington in about 1960

The year is about 1960. We know it is no later than that because the owner of one house replaced the thatch with tiles in the very early 1960s.

The house by Broadwell was still thatched when this photo was taken

The house by Broadwell was still thatched when this photo was taken

We can see the thatch was still in place when this photo was taken. This thatched cottage is more or less opposite Broadwell. At that time the small area of woodland still stood between the water and the road. That’s where the young children’s play area is now.

The view is looking down from the start of Lavington Hill. We are looking straight at one of a pair of dwellings which were known as Knapp Farm Cottages.

The recorded information tells us that the photographer was standing at the junctions of White Street and New Street. These days we’d be inclined to say that New Street (AKA The Muddle) gets nowhere near here. This little street starts opposite The Rectory on Church Street and turns into a footpath alongside the stream that flows out of Broadwell before becoming more like a road again across the little footbridge by Broadwell.

This is quite a charming picture, albeit devoid of any people to add interest to the scene.

A Christmas Party

December 14, 2013

Does Christmas seem a long time ahead? In Market Lavington we are definitely catching the festive spirit now. December has been, for a long time the month for Christmas events and parties so let’s take a look at a Christmas party from the past.

A Market Lavington Christmas party for older folk - back in 1961

A Market Lavington Christmas party for older folk – back in 1961

This party took place in the school room (now the Old School) back in December of 1961, a frightening 52 years ago. It looks to feature older residents of the time with younger people, no doubt, doing the waiting and serving.

There are two church ministers present. One is Reverend Daunford Davies of the Church of England whilst a second is Reverend Crewe who was the Congregational minister from 1960 to 62. Both have their wives with them. Miss Duncan, the previous Congregational minister is amongst the guest.

Other guests include Mrs Hawes, sisters Nellie and Millie Hiscock, Mrs G Cooper and Mrs Annie Baker.

Amongst the helpers we have Susan Shepherd and Liz Bury.

There are still lovely Christmas events in the village. A couple of days ago we had a wonderful Christmas Concert, led by the Lavington Community Choir and the Lavington Community Band, with charming help from primary school children, this time from the West Lavington  (DAPS) school. The Community Hall was packed out for a mixed programme of music which included community carols and secular songs too. It was a great occasion, really appreciated by the audience.

The arrival of Winter

December 1, 2013

Winter is now on its way. Officially and astronomically, it may be Autumn until December 21st, but most people and meteorologists now seem to regard December as a winter month. We can expect cold, chilly days and, who knows, there could be snow.

And to mark the start of December we have a snowy picture in Market Lavington with a group of girls walking along a snow-bound White Street and about to pass by Broadwell on their right hand side.

Winter comes to White Street in Market Lavington in the early 1960s

Winter comes to White Street in Market Lavington in the early 1960s

We don’t have this fully dated – just early 1960s is all we have. Unsurprisingly we don’t have the names of the rather silhouetted girls, walking away from the camera. But they have a jaunty air and it looks as though they intend to enjoy the snowy conditions. There were no worries about transport, or getting to work for them. The snow, then as now,  just provided more scope for fun for youngsters.