Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

High Street from on high

July 21, 2016

This is certainly an unusual angle for a photo. It must have been taken by a workman on the roof of the Workman’s Hall. It’s a shame the light got in. It sometimes happened when a 35mm film was wound into the cassette – particularly to a first picture taken on a film. It’s also a shame there is damage on the other side of the picture but it still creates a good scene.

High Street from the roof of the Workman's Hall - 1980s

High Street from the roof of the Workman’s Hall – 1980s

Let’s attempt to date the picture. The fact that it is in colour almost certainly means the earliest it comes from is the 1970s. Zooming right in we think the red car has a V registration. These were issued from August 1979 so that probably makes the photo a 1980s one.

On the left hand side there is the former Parish Room built in 1908. It was demolished in 1996 to make space for extensions to the nursing home. Its demise was regretted at the time, but these days, with our wonderful Community Hall – well equipped, well heated and with a car park, we can all see that time was up for the old room.

We look along High Street towards and beyond the old Congregational Church – who now make use of the Community Hall.



We can also see some of the mysteries behind the even older chapel on the left with Ivy Lodge peeping through the trees.

It was very thoughtful of the photographer to make use of his vantage point for this photo.


White Street – 1980s

December 15, 2015

As ever with White Street we have to determine which one. Easterton and Market Lavington both have one and West Lavington has another. This one is the Market Lavington White Street.

One of the interesting questions about this photo is, ‘where was it taken from?’

Interesting view of White Street, Market Lavington in the 1980s

Interesting view of White Street, Market Lavington in the 1980s

It is a high vantage point and immediately, on the right, we have ‘The Loose Box’ which was Tom and Peggy Gye’s last home. Was this taken from the large beech tree which occupied the front of Beech House? If so, perhaps it was taken as that tree was dismantled bit by bit.

On the right side of White Street, between the white fronted buildings and the low level structure there is the entrance to Gye’s Yard. Later, that single storey building became Pat Wilshin’s ‘Lavington Services’ shop – still much missed in the village.

This shed became the Lavington Services shop

This shed became the Lavington Services shop

Above that area and near the cedar tree is the Old House, set back on Parsonage Lane.

The Old House on Parsonage Lane

The Old House on Parsonage Lane

The Market Lavington Museum building is central in this image

The Market Lavington Museum building is central in this image

The museum building was visible from here – we see the gable end in the centre of this image with the tall (and now removed) chimney. And further to the left is the church which looks as though it might have been having roof repairs to the chancel end.

St Mary's Church and chimneys

St Mary’s Church and chimneys

What a wonderful myriad collection of chimney pots!


The Old School House

July 15, 2015
The Old School House in 1983 was soon to be given a new lease of life as the village museum

The Old School House in 1983 was soon to be given a new lease of life as the village museum

This cottage was built in the 1840s, at the same time as the Old School. The intention was that the school master would live in the cottage so he would be very much on the spot for the school. By the time this photo was taken, in 1983, the building had been out of use for a dozen years and had been boarded up to stop the local youngsters using it as a den.

We do not know whether any schoolmasters did actually live there. Censuses show farm labourers or gardeners living there.

From about 1907 to the early 1950s the Burbidge family lived there. Alf was a gardener for Miss Pleydell Bouverie who lived in the Old House, just behind the cottage. There is still a gateway linking the two properties although these days it is firmly bolted out of use. When the last of the Burbidges left, the village school, coping with a raised school leaving age, took over the building. That would have been in the mid 1950s. Craft and art activities took place there and there was even a TV installed for seeing educational programmes. When Mrs Cooper joined the school as secretary, she had her office in this building. Mr Burbidge’s beautifully flowery garden became the playground surrounded by high fences that we see in the photo. There are still traces of the painted netball lines to be seen.

In 1961 Lavington Secondary School opened and the old village school no longer had to cater for the over 11 age group and then in 1971 both the Old School in Market Lavington and the Easterton village school were closed and the new St Barnabas School opened on Drove Lane. That was when this cottage fell into disrepair, being out of use.

But by 1983 Peggy Gye had plans to use the building for the village museum. That opened in 1985 so this year marks our 30th anniversary.

We continue to be well supported by many local people who discover interesting artefacts for us or provide us with cash donations to ensure we survive. And most important of all, people volunteer to help run the museum in whatever way they can.

Long may it continue.



Knitters Paradise

March 13, 2015

All sorts of shops have been tried in Market Lavington. Sadly, many didn’t survive and this is one of them. This was a shop for all things knitting whether it was wool, needles, patterns or ready-made knitted items. It opened on 5th October 1987. The premises were on Church Street which had once been Mr Pike’s butchery shop and later a business called Lucinda. It was run by Mrs Karen Clarke

A new shop is announced in Market Lavington - 1987

A new shop is announced in Market Lavington – 1987

Karen was born and raised in Market Lavington and still lives there – but don’t try that phone number for we do not know who has it now. Not that there is a Lavington exchange with its own four digit numbers any more. Our local numbers became 6 digit Devizes numbers.

At the museum, we cannot recall how long Karen’s shop lasted but it does feel like quite long time since we had a knitting shop.

Sadly all trading outlets have declined, not just in Market Lavington and Easterton.  Shopping is so easy on-line these days.

Knapp Farm House

January 28, 2015

Today we have a view of Knapp farm House which is not often seen. This photo was taken from the back garden about thirty years ago.

Knapp Farm House in the 1980s

Knapp Farm House in the 1980s

Although this photo was taken from the back and private garden it very much shows the front of the house. These days we think of Knapp Farm as being on White Street but in times past the main access was along the track which passes between Parsonage Mead and Meadow Cottage. These days that track is used for access to the footpath to West Lavington but a footpath passes by Knapp Farm heading up to the Hollow.

Map showing locations

Map showing locations

The footpath is shown on the map. It’s the green dotted line which passes the large blue M which points (more or less) to our museum and the telephone symbol.

All gone!

September 17, 2014

All gone, but not forgotten. That phrase applies to the man-made bits of this photo.

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

This picture dates from 1986. That’s 28 years ago as this is written.

In the foreground we have the pens and yards associated with Grove Farm and behind them, on the right hand side there is the farm house.

At that time it all looked sad and derelict but of course it had been a tidy and well kept working dairy farm. When the Francis family had it they sold milk from buckets which they took around the village on bicycle handlebars.

Down below the house and to its left are various sheds which were also part of the farm.

This whole site is now where the Community Hall and car park stands. This new building has done much to maintain and revive community spirit in the area.

Those corrugated iron roofed sheds lined the road and opposite them, the brick and white building was the garage set up by Eddie Haines. Later it became Shires Garage and then that, too, was swept away and became the little housing development now called Shires Close.

Not all changes are for the worse. We might and do regret the passing of farm and garage which offered employment to people within the village. But it can’t be denied that the newer arrangements are neater and tidier.




Bad Winters

December 19, 2013

Every now and again we get a bad winter. People over 70 may recall that 1947 was particularly bad. Those over 60 will remember the ‘Long Winter’ of 1962/63 whilst those who are young may end up remembering the winter of 2013/14. Some people seem to be predicting a harsh winter this time although we are cynical and wonder if it isn’t just politicians trying to score points off one another.

However, today we are looking at another winter which had its moments back in 1982. Those readers in the older generation may just blink in near disbelief when we remind them that this was more than 30 years ago. And it was then that local resident Ray took a colour slide near his home – Yeoman Close in Market Lavington.

The 1982 winter as recorded in Yeoman Close, Market Lavington

The 1982 winter as recorded in Yeoman Close, Market Lavington

What a delightful photo and it tells us about life those thirty plus years ago. There seems to have been a lot of snow if we judge from the piles of it that people have moved. Yet the houses are thinly covered and that suggests a lack of decent loft insulation. The covering, though, is even, which indicates central heating. You can compare with the older houses in the background which all have more snow on the roof. We suspect those houses were not so well heated.

Virtually every house has its ‘BBC2’ or 625 lines TV aerial.  Back then we only had terrestrial TV. And it was in November 1982 that we got a fourth channel choice when channel 4 started.

There are cars and vans on drives, but it seems to be pretty well one vehicle per household. These days two might be seen as normal and more cars per house are not uncommon. Children tend to live at home for longer so it is perfectly common for mum, dad and a couple of young adult children all to be occupying car space outside one house.

Now we bet that when Ray took that photo of snow back in 1982 he didn’t realise that he was also recording a bit of social history.

Market Lavington Manor

December 9, 2013

We have said it before, but many people do not realise that Market Lavington has a Manor House.

It was built, somewhat extravagantly, in the mid-19th century to suit the whims and fancies of Edward Pleydell Bouverie. Some commentators are sure there was a big masonic influence in its design features.

It still stands and still looks very grand. As we head for the season of snow, let’s look ahead to spring and see what the Manor House looked like in daffodil season in the 1980s – thirty years ago.

Market Lavington Manor has been owned by Dauntsey's School since 1926

Market Lavington Manor has been owned by Dauntsey’s School since 1926

It really is a handsome structure – particularly for those folks who love brick. The bricks were local, from the Market Lavington Brick Works and various patterns and motifs are picked out in darker coloured bricks.

So how can people not realise this huge house exists? Well they probably know of its presence, but don’t realise that it was once the Manor House for our parish.

After the death of Edward Pleydell Bouverie the house had a somewhat chequered career. During World War 1 it came under military or government control and got really run down.

In 1926 Dauntsey’s School were able to buy the building and nearly 90 years on they still own it.

People refer to the building as ‘Dauntsey Manor’ and as that school is based in West Lavington they may well think that the Manor is in that parish. In fact it remains a part of Market Lavington parish.

We probably need to thank Dauntsey’s School for the fact that the building exists and is still in good order. It is hard to imagine any individual wanting to live there these days.

Gye’s Yard

August 25, 2013


From time to time a really lovely photo turns up at Market Lavington Museum and this one, just given to us, is a wonderful record of a part of the village, as it once was. It’s an aerial photo and we do not know who took it so we’ll guess at Peter Francis who very much enjoyed his photos from above. At the heart of the photo is what might be described as Gye’s Yard.

Aerial photo of Market Lavington showing White Street and Gye's yard

Aerial photo of Market Lavington showing White Street and Gye’s yard

In the immediate foreground we are looking down on White Street and we look straight into Gye’s Yard which has a van, a pickup and a couple of cars in it. On the near side of the road in the left corner are numbers 11 and 13 whilst opposite them are the Old Malt House and number 12.


Properties on White Street, Market Lavington

Properties on White Street, Market Lavington

Through the archway we get to the ‘store’ – where the Gyes kept bricks, tiles, etc.


At the back of Gye's Yard

At the back of Gye’s Yard

At back right we have the end of the Sutech building which was once the site of Mr Milsom’s garage and which is now the area where Milsom Court stands.


This area is where we now have Milsom Court

This area is where we now have Milsom Court

Beyond we can just see the bottom of houses on The Muddle.


Near the cross roads in Market Lavington

Near the cross roads in Market Lavington

The bottom right of the photo gets very close to the crossroads. The tile hung building at the extreme bottom right is now Saint Arbucks. Behind that we can see the little ‘roof garden’ which was on the back of Peter Francis’s photographic store. At the left hand front of this photo is the single storey building which later became Lavington Services. Sadly we no longer have a hardware shop in the village.

It may not all have been the tidiest part of the village, particularly when viewed from above, but what a wonderful photo.

Unfortunately, we don’t have it dated. We think it could be the 1980s.

When keys get lost

July 4, 2013

St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington had a wall safe into which visitors could put donations or payments for items purchased. Unfortunately, many years ago, the key got lost.

When this was realised the safe was blocked off so no more money could get in.

Eventually, people had no idea when the safe was last opened and it was decided to remove it and break into it.

It must have been disappointing to find lots of coins which were no longer legal tender.

A decision was made to mount the coins in a frame and sell them at the 2013 church fete. This was not going to make the value of the lost coins, but it would add something to the church coffers. A purchaser then donated one frame full of worthless coins to the museum.

Demonetised coins found in the safe of St Mary's Church, Market Lavington

Demonetised coins found in the safe of St Mary’s Church, Market Lavington

Heads - we win with an interesting curio for Market Lavington Museum

Heads – we win with an interesting curio for Market Lavington Museum

Well that’s quite a display of the older bigger coins – 50p, 10p and 5p and even some of the old 6d coins which remained legal tender as 2½p until 1980.

This suggests that the safe has not been opened since 1980.


The newest coin dates from 1981

The newest coin is a 1981 50p. It would seem, then, that this little wall safe was closed off in 1981.

Of course, most of the coins are dated between 1968 and 1981. The country went decimal on 15th February 1971 but the 50p, 10p and 5p coins appeared in 1968.

The 6d coins, though, are older.


A 1958 sixpence (6d) remained legal tender as 2.5p until 1980

A 1958 sixpence (6d) remained legal tender as 2.5p until 1980

This one dates from 1958.

It’s an interesting reminder of old coinage and also a reminder that it is a good idea NOT to lose keys.