Posts Tagged ‘1966’

The Ironmongers – then and now

October 9, 2013

Some twenty years ago the owner of what, by then, was called Lavington Hardware Shop was visited by a group of people who gave him a couple of photos of the shop. The photos dated from the mid 1960s.

The other day, Jonathan, our sound recorder for oral histories, was visiting that former owner who now lives near Salisbury and he was given the photos for the museum. They are framed and behind glass which makes copying a tad difficult, but here is one of them.

Market Lavington Ironmongers in about 1966

Market Lavington Ironmongers in about 1966

Apologies for reflection off the glass here – even with the photo taken at angle and then digitally straightened up.

It is amazing how ‘olde worlde’ it looks, even though the picture is in colour and a modern lamp post spoils the foreground.

This was the shop when the Phillips family had it. On the original, the name Phillips can be read above a window. The windows also display plenty of stock.

On the shop next door, with the white window frames there is clearly a slot machine. I bet some people can tell us what was stocked in that. The next cottage, just across the entrance to Chapel Lane is advertising teas and ices. Both of these are now available again, at St. Arbucks, just down the road.

Our curator decided that this shot could be easily replicated for a then and now comparison – so here’s his shot.

The same view in Market Lavington in 2013

The same view in Market Lavington in 2013

The obvious difference is that the brickwork for all of the row has been painted white. And how wonderful that the ugly lamp post is no longer there.

The old ironmongers – in use as such for 150 years – is no more. The building, now, is purely residential. The upstairs windows have been changed. The building on the corner carries signs about the take away business on Chapel Lane. That front part of the building is no longer in use as a shop. And neither is little ‘Kyte’s Cottage’ just across the lane entrance.

But despite closures, Market Lavington still has a good range of shops – sufficient to meet the needs of day to day living and it retains a vibrant and caring community which will help people in need of items we can no longer get in the village.

Lavington Station

June 13, 2013

One of Market Lavington Museum’s 2013 displays is a time line of photos showing the history of the railway line through Market Lavington up to (almost) the present day. As a late build line, opening in 1900, we have good photos of construction in progress. For the most recent era we have the steam loco, Tornado (completed in the year 2010) passing through with a steam special.

But some superb photos of the station, just after closure in 1966, were recently given to the museum – and they arrived too late to be a part of the display.

This one shows the main buildings on the down or westbound platform as viewed from the up platform.


Lavington was blessed with a solid little station. It was actually in the parish of West Lavington in an area that gets called ‘Chocolate Poodle’. For a while, the former Railway Hotel traded under that unlikely name.  The station was sited where the line crosses the main Devizes to Salisbury Road and the old goods yard is now the yard of a scrap metal merchant.

We’d guess the station was built from local brick. The nearest brick works was actually in Cheverell. The bigger works in Market Lavington were not far away.

The station is equipped with all facilities (save a refreshment room). There is a booking office and general waiting room, a ladies waiting room and a gentleman’s toilet. The nearest door is marked ‘PRIVATE’ so must have been something the staff used.

It is all swept away now. Travellers racing through on the high speed trains would not recognise that there has ever been a station there.

Frank Arnold – Built for Speed?

April 17, 2013

Frank was one of our local characters. He was a smallholder/farmer who could turn his hand to almost anything.

In later life he lived at Anne’s Farm on Spin Hill (which has now been renamed) with his wife, Dolly. Frank was a large man and by then he certainly wasn’t a speed merchant.

A local cartoonist created several images of Frank and others, going about their lives. This one dates from 1966.

This cartoon of Frank Arnold can be seen at Market Lavington Museum

This cartoon of Frank Arnold can be seen at Market Lavington Museum

It’s not clear what the problem was for Frank. Maybe birds were eating his seedlings. Anyway, he is clearly telling his sow, Bess, to get after the problem. Bess is happy to oblige. It’s to be hoped that the little piglet keeps out of the way of the galloping sow.

Like all of the cartoons – there are 19 of them – the people have been caught perfectly. There’s no mistaking the size and style of Frank there. The artist has the advantage over the cameraman there. Our cartoonist can draw a scene from his imagination and not generate that tense look which people can put on when a camera points at them. Frank’s life and times – for a couple of years – are well documented in these images. Being cartoons, with a speech bubble, we get ideas about how Frank thought. For those people who knew Frank it all rings very true.

We looked at another cartoon earlier on this blog and we gave a summary of his life there. Click here to read it.