Posts Tagged ‘1971’

Behind the Workman’s Hall

December 19, 2015

Rear views of buildings can reveal a less high quality look as compared with the front. We recall it being said, once upon a time that if you wanted to see countryside then travel by train but for towns make sure you are on the road.

Here we have a back view of buildings on High Street, taken from The Clays. Early and unfulfilled railway plans might have seen a railway line in this area.


Behind the Workman’s Hall in 1971

First, we’d better admire the fine garden in the foreground. That looks to be doing quite well.

The building to the right in this photo is the Workman’s Hall.


The Workman’s Hall

We can see the arch leading through to High Street and we can also see evidence of change to the building in the brickwork. This building opened its doors, as a temperance hall, in the 1860s. There was a resident caretaker who, amongst other things would have kept the clock which faced onto High Street wound up. At times the hall was quite successful but most people were not part of the temperance movement. They might enjoy the food on offer and the games and books they could use, but many slipped out to a local pub for a drink. These days the hall is used for our wonderful village library and by the scouts.

Before the hall was built this area had been the works of William Cambridge, iron founder and maker of steam engines and best known for inventing a clod crushing agricultural roller still known as a Cambridge roller.

Behind 38 High Street

Behind 38 High Street

Other buildings on High Street do not show off their best side. The large barn like building on the left was a maltings at one time. We have featured that before on this blog. Click here.

This photo dates from 1971.


Drove Lane

June 2, 2015

Simple chance can cause quite big impacts and Drove Lane is what it is now in part due to chance. Its name has changed over the years. At one time it was ‘The Drove’. Then the cemetery was created and it became ‘Cemetery Lane’. Then, perhaps because people didn’t like their home address being associated with death, it became Drove Lane.

Drove Lane was never given a road surface throughout. That was the chance fact of it being quite near to and parallel with the Parsonage Lane route north out of the village. So Drove Lane became a quiet byway.

Well that was until 1971 when its position – handy for both Market Lavington and Easterton – made it the ideal site for the new St Barnabas School which replaced the Victorian village schools in both parishes.

Back then, in 1971 the road, and specially surfaced footpaths, became busy with mums walking their children to and from school. These days, that carriage of children is much more often by car as a parent then has to get to work straight after dropping off the kids.

A large electricity substation was also constructed alongside Drove Lane. I dare say the occupants at the cemetery, next door, didn’t complain about it! That substation shows on our pre-1971 photo.

Drove Lane in 1968. It shows the site of the proposed new School

Drove Lane in 1968. It shows the site of the proposed new School


The car in the photo was registered in 1966 but there is no school to be seen. The photo dates from 1968 and is actually captioned ‘site for new school’.

Apart from the absence of a school, we’ll note that Drove Lane had no pavements. They were added to make for safer access to the school. We are fascinated by the brick ‘gate post’.


Can anyone identify this brick post?

Does anyone know what that was for?

A second picture shows a similar view with the school nearing completion. It was taken in 1971.

St Barnabas School nears completion in 1971

St Barnabas School nears completion in 1971

At this time the road was improved and the pavements put in. The footpath from Oak Lane and beyond was given a tarmac surface as was the one from the top of Northbrook.

This school, of course, is still thriving with local youngsters who are often in local events.

Along The Clays

May 23, 2015


The Clays is a back lane or even less than that for much of its length being a footpath. It runs parallel to Market Lavington High Street from White Street and can be followed through the Fiddington Clays area and on into Easterton.

The name signifies the underlying geology. Market Lavington has very distinct areas with different bedrocks. Salisbury Plain, which rises up from The Clays is chalk land. To the North of the village we can go up various roads to the sandstone ridge and then drift back downhill onto more clay land where the brickworks once stood.

But today we are looking along The Clays towards White Street.

The Clays, Market Lavington in about 1971

The Clays, Market Lavington in about 1971


The rather austere wall on the right is at the end of Woodland Yard, accessed from the High Street next to the butcher’s shop. Beyond that we can see the strange upstairs room on the house once owned by the Pinchen family which you can read about here.

To the left we look across allotments to the rear of Beech House which is on White Street. This photo dates from about 1971, Development along The Clays has blocked off that view now. In fact, bricks might have been delivered to the site to start the new bungalow.


Building work is about to commence which will block off the view to Beech House


The William Cambridge Engine

July 23, 2013

Back in 1837 William Cambridge was an iron founder, agricultural engineer and inventor based where the Workmans’ Hall now stands in Market Lavington. Amongst the products made there were steam engines. These were mostly the so called portables – little work horses that could be towed from place to place to drive machinery. Such engines, and Cambridge’s other agricultural products were exported all over the world and by about 1849 Cambridge moved his operation into Bristol where costs were lower because transport was vastly better.

As far as we know, just one Cambridge engine survives. It isn’t a portable but was a barn engine made for a farm in Chitterne.  Some forty or so years ago this engine did the rounds of local shows. Our photo of the engine was taken at a rally in Seend in 1971.

Steam engine made in market Lavington by William Cambridge. The engine dates from 1837. The photo was taken in 1971.

Steam engine made in Market Lavington by William Cambridge. The engine dates from 1837. The photo was taken in 1971.

The boiler, on the left is not original but on the right we have William Cambridge’s works. It’s a little beam engine – a bit like a miniature version of the engines at the Crofton pumping station on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The engine is not at the museum and even if it was offered we do not have the space for it.

In fact, until recently the museum had no idea where this engine had got to but we have now located its whereabouts and hope to get an opportunity to create a good photographic record of it.

Maybe, one day, it will be back in steam. Perhaps we could then see it at events in Market Lavington.

Canada Rise then and now

July 19, 2013

Canada Woods and the 1970s housing on a road called Canada Rise were so named because Canadian soldiers occupied the area whilst training, during World War I.

Today we are looking at a wintry photo of the new road – Canada Rise which had been put in before the houses were built.

Canada Rise, Market Lavington, under construction in 1971

Canada Rise, Market Lavington, under construction in 1971

The year is 1971 and the developers have their sign board up.

Robinsonbuild have their signboard up

Robinsonbuild have their signboard up

All we can make out is the name Robinsonbuild.

The scene is very open which is partly due to it being winter. Let’s compare with 2013.

Canada Rise in June 2013

Canada Rise in June 2013

The road is, of course, the same although it is now finished and has its pavements. But we have an amazingly wooded scene.  Housing, some of which looks straight down the hill, can barely be seen through the trees.

Forty two years, and a change of season have turned a rather bleak scene into a mature looking residential road.