Posts Tagged ‘1989’

Broadwell playground again

February 20, 2016

A fortnight ago we showed a picture of the old playground at Broadwell. This featured the rocket shaped ‘rocking horse’ and a climbing frame shaped like a Gemini space capsule. You can click here to see it.

In that post we mentioned other equipment and now we have located a 1989 photo which shows some of that.

Broadwell playground in 1989

Broadwell playground in 1989

Here we see a girl on one end of a traditional see-saw and behind her is the rocket and a very traditional slide.

Soft matting has been added in areas where youngsters might fall.

There is still no childproof fence between play area and road.

The house in the background is Beech House, long term home of members of the Welch family which included our museum founder, Peggy Gye.

It was clearly a lovely autumnal day when the photo was taken.

We can now give an account of the history of that plot of land. The wonderful sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow shows a lovely cottage there in 1837. When that went trees grew there, surrounded by a nasty spiked fence – still remembered by older folk in the village.

They were felled in the 1960s when some of them were deemed unsafe and before the space age playground was built it was just a grassy area. Now all we need to do is get our modern history sorted to discover when the playground was entirely revamped and fenced.

A former Vicar

October 14, 2015

Ralph Wilkins was vicar of Market Lavington and Easterton between 1979 and 1990.

He was always keen to involve a wider community including people from other parts of the world. He developed links, in particular, with the Sudan and it became common to find Sudanese ladies and gentlemen in the villages and reverend gentlemen from East Africa often led services at the church.

Miss Bond, a visitor from the Sudan and Reverend Ralph Wilkins in 1989

Miss Bond, a visitor from the Sudan and Reverend Ralph Wilkins in 1989

Here we see Ralph with an unnamed Sudanese lady and also Miss Bond The photo dates from 1989.

Perhaps sadly, the links with the Sudan didn’t seem to survive the departure of Ralph for pastures new.

At least we have a few memories of the era at the museum.

A Tom Gye sketch map

September 19, 2015

It still feels impossible to think that we no longer have the direct wisdom of Tom Gye to draw upon. As one of the oldest residents he had such a wealth of knowledge about so many things.

But at least we have examples of writing he has done and just recently we were given a sketch map drawn by Tom which shows field names in part of the parish of Market Lavington.

Tom Gye sketch of some fields in the parish. Click it to open a larger version.

Tom Gye sketch of some fields in the parish. Click it to open a larger version.

 To locate just where this sketch covers, find Spin Hill, Ledge Hill and Kings Road, all of which exist on modern maps.

If the sketch is too small then do click on it to open an enlarged version.

There we have Selfe Lane – the footpath from Spin Hill to ‘5 Ways’. You can note a field called Dragon Ground and another is Frogmoor.

This map was sent, by Tom, to a friend and he has given it to the museum along with the accompanying letter, dated in 1989.


Letter to accompany the map

How wonderful that Tom can still provide help albeit it now has to be help from the past.

Gye’s Yard

September 2, 2015

Gye’s Yard on White Street had been a part of the Market Lavington scene for more than 100 years when this photo was taken.

Gye's YHard, White Street Market Lavington in 1989

Gye’s Yard, White Street Market Lavington in 1989

This dates from 1989 and was taken from in the yard, looking out. But we can compare it with a much older view, looking in. This was in 1906.


Gye’s Yard in 1906 – from the opposite direction

The lean to shelter on the right of the old photo is on the left in the 1989 version.

Of course, in 1989 the yard had reached the end of the line and the buildings we see in the old photo were on the verge of conversion into dwellings.

The 1989 view looks out onto White Street. The house we see across the road were once a single storey pub called the Brewery Tap. And yes, there was indeed a brewery. When that pub closed, back in the early 1920s, Market Lavington lost its last commercial brewery, which had been run by Norman Neate.

We keep such memories alive at Market Lavington Museum.

The old ‘Volley’

September 1, 2015

The Volunteer Arms, always affectionately known as ‘The Volley’ was on Church Street in Market Lavington, on the North side of the street near the crossroads. It closed in about 1989 which reduced the number of pubs in the village of Market Lavington to three. This photo shows the building at about the time of closure.

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

Two things, in particular, are visible. They are the pub signs.


The bracket for that one is still in place in 2015.


That’s stretched a bit far but is just about readable.

Locals very much missed the Volley when it closed yet we have few memories of this pub, which had once been called ‘The Angel’ at the museum.

The view alongside the pub and into High Street is interesting.


Badgerline bus on High Street

The bus dates from the era when they went under the name of Badgerline. At that time the buses all terminated at Easterton and turned round at the road junction just below the jam factory. There was no regular bus service linking Market Lavington with Urchfont.

So a simple photo of a pub on the verge of closure can remind us of other things from the same era.

The Market Place in 1989

August 26, 2015

Once again we are looking at what many of our readers will regard as modern although, in fact, 1989 is more than a quarter of a century ago. But in outline the Market Place of 1989 looks much like the Market place of 2015.

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

But there are differences. First of all, the Market Place is one big car park rather than an area divided into two. It may not be clear in this photo but the road leading round to the housing at back left is completely separated from the car park area. The parked cars are all at right angles to Northbrook rather than parallel with it.

The pollarded trees outside the old Market House are looking healthy – and completely hiding that old building – the only survivor of the Market Place of old.

The rather austere looking concrete lamp post has gone and has been replaced by a rather twee metal lamp standard.

And of course, cars are different. We can see a ‘proper’ Mini in this photo.


There aren’t many of them around now


And in that part of the photo we see a Citroen 2CV variant. They have all but vanished from the scene these days.

But change was afoot. We can see the paint mark on the road indicating how the pavement was to be extended so that parked cars could pull in along the inside of it. Did anyone consider what this would do to make life awkward for drivers of large articulated lorries delivering to the Co-op?

As John Lennon might have said, The Market Place has changed for ever but maybe not totally for better.

But we don’t criticise on this blog. The planners of the day did what seemed right at the time and we do recall that sometimes you parked your car in that old style market Place and then the front row filled completely and you couldn’t get out.


Knapp Farm barn fire

March 8, 2014

On the night of 16th/17th September 1989 fire broke out at a barn at Knapp Farm. It was soon a raging inferno.

Knapp Farm barn ablaze on the night of 16/17th September 1989

Knapp Farm barn ablaze on the night of 16/17th September 1989

Our curator, who lived on the opposite side of the village, recalls not just the sight of this fire, but also the noise. The roof was made of non-flammable asbestos sheeting. It may not actually burn but it makes very loud cracking noises as it breaks up.

The picture makes it clear that the open sided barn was a complete and utter write off. Anybody hoping to use the contents was doomed to disappointment.

When the dust had settled not much remained.


Barn fire aftermath

Barn fire aftermath

It is such a shame these things happen – or rather, are made to happen either by carelessness or deliberately. The knock on effect of the loss of winter feed for animals can make the difference between financial survival or not for a farmer and may mean that animals with potentially a long term future have to be slaughtered.

Other barns at the farm survived the fire undamaged, but they changed as the economics of life changed and are now dwellings called White Horse Barns.