Posts Tagged ‘1990’

A Golden Wedding Celebration

May 20, 2016

How does a bell ringer celebrate his Golden Wedding? Well in the case of Tom Gye, one way was to have the bells of St Mary’s rung to mark the occasion. A group of six ringers rang a quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles. That’s 1260 changes and it takes around 40 minutes. The Gyes, Tom and Peggy had some cards printed to remember the event and we have one of them in the museum.

Commemorating the quarter peal rung for the Golden Wedding of Tom and Peggy Gye

Commemorating the quarter peal rung for the Golden Wedding of Tom and Peggy Gye

The card says it all. It gives the date of 4th December 1990 and tells us who rang which bell. Bell six, the tenor, was rung by Tom and Peggy’s son, Johnathan. He, like Maurice Baker is, sadly, no longer with us.

Of the other ringers, Sylvia Young is now the Tower Captain and Derick Bailey is seen most practice nights at the tower. Sylvia’s son, Robbie, lives away from Lavington now but sometimes rings when he visits his parents. Rosemary Anderson also lives well away but has rung when visiting the area.

So ringing goes on still in the village and our curator, who is also a ringer, says it is an enjoyable social activity offering a bit of physical exercise and also doing the brain good as you learn new methods.

 

Wessex Archaeology at Work

September 13, 2015

Back in 1990 a Saxon burial site was discovered on the Grove Farm estate.

Wessex Archaeology set to work on the Grove Farm site

Wessex Archaeology set to work on the Grove Farm site

Building work was temporarily halted so that Wessex Archaeology could investigate.

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The dig uncovered people who lived in the area more than 1000 years ago.

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Of course, the archaeologists worked very carefully and methodically.

Archaeologists at work at Grove Farm in 1990

Archaeologists at work at Grove Farm in 1990

Other finds could tell the experts much about the way of life led by our ancestors.

Hundreds of other finds

Hundreds of other finds

Very little of this material is at Market Lavington Museum. We are not a designated archaeology centre. But we do have many photographs and the Wessex Archaeology report.

Farewell to Ralph Wilkins

April 16, 2015

Was it really twenty five years ago when Ralph Wilkins, Vicar of Market Lavington and Easterton moved on to pastures new?

Well yes, it was indeed in 1990.

We have recently been given a fairly formal group photograph of the St Barnabas, Easterton, parochial church council at a farewell gathering.

Farewell to Ralph Wilkins with Easterton Parochial Church Council - August 1990

Farewell to Ralph Wilkins with Easterton Parochial Church Council – August 1990

This photo was taken on 29th August in 1990.  It’s a properly captioned photo and we have all of the names of those present. They are, from left to right:

Barbara Bond
Nancy Allen
Natalie Bond
Heather Phillips
Joe Bolter
Sue Allen
Keith Wright
John Sayer
Ralph Wilkins
Jim Medley
Mary Doyle
Ruby Shearer
Margaret Bond
Mollie Sayer
Elizabeth Hardy
David Hardy

What a lovely reminder of the people and times a quarter of a century ago.

Beechwood from the Church Tower

January 29, 2015

These fairly modern photos have arrived at the museum via a roundabout route. I’m afraid we have no way of knowing, for sure, who the original photographer was. All three show a similar scene during the building of what was known as the Grove Farm Estate.

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (1)

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (1)

In this first photo work has clearly started on this part of the new housing estate. The route of Grove Road can be seen and items of builder’s equipment. A site hut, diggers and dumpers and some heaps of building materials are in place.

At the top left we can see the houses on Northbrook Close and the beech wood crosses the middle of the photo.

Moving forward in time we have photo number two.

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (2)

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (2)

The view is very similar and clearly building work has gone on. The house which stands on what is now Beechwood looks more or less complete and nestles under the beech wood. Work is going on nearer the churchyard, on what eventually became Roman Way and Saxon Close after an archaeological dig revealed important sites for both eras.

Our photographer (or maybe a different one) was not quite so accurate in composing picture three.

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (3)

The area of Beechwood from the church tower in Market Lavington (3)

Many of the new houses are nearing completion, both down on Beechwood and in the nearer areas of Roman Way and Saxon Close

These photos date from around 1990 which is, of course, a quarter of a century ago.

Tha Girt Harchaeology

May 3, 2014

My title today is the title of a Wiltshire dialect poem by Edward Slow who was born in 1842. He was, we believe, referring to the large number of visitors who came to see the archaeology of Wiltshire.

Market Lavington would not have been on the archaeology trail back then. Locals always knew that ancient items were found from time to time, but the proof didn’t come until about 1990 when work on the new Grove Farm estate was progressing. In fact, discoveries made brought work to a halt so that ‘tha girt harchaeology’ could descend on the village and excavate Roman and Saxon sites.

Here we have a photo of the archaeologists at work.

Archaeological dig in progress in Market Lavington - Serptember 1990

Archaeological dig in progress in Market Lavington – Serptember 1990

From the shapes dug, I think we can say that graves were being excavated. This dig was going on in September 1990 and items from 2000 or so years earlier were being unearthed.

This skeleton is not that old, dating to the Saxon era, little more than 1000 years ago.

A Saxon skeleton, as found

A Saxon skeleton, as found

We have a few bits and pieces from the dig in our museum, but we are not an archaeology centre so most items have been stored elsewhere.

Helena May Elisha

April 15, 2014

We have met Helena before on this blog. It would be impossible not to come across this wonderful lady if talking about Market Lavington in the 20th century.

Helena came into this world in 1903 at a time when her grandfather’s horse bus service was the main link between Lavington and Devizes although that was beginning to founder with the opening of the railway and Lavington Station in 1900. Helena, who was always known as May, lived with her parents on Parsonage Lane. Ed Potter, her father, was assisting his father in the business interests he had, by working on the farm.

We know that Canadian Soldiers were billeted with the Potters at one time. Maybe they inspired May to want to do her bit for she worked on the land and later did Red Cross work too.

She was still Miss Potter when she started teaching the infants at the Market Lavington School. That was a job she had for life and people in the village in their nineties recall being taught by Miss Potter and some perceptive sub 40 year olds recall that Mrs Elisha still came in to do supply work on occasion. But teaching at the day school was not enough and Miss Potter also was the Sunday School teacher. When May married Bill Elisha in 1929, the children all clubbed together and bought the couple a clock.

Perhaps sadly, the Elishas had no children of their own, but May had an extensive family of real relatives and an even wider family of the children in Market Lavington.

After retirement, May continued to serve the village. She became a member of the Parish Council – Husband Bill had once been chairman.

This news clipping recalls her long years of service.

Mrs Elisha of Market Lavington receives a gift for 31 years as a Parish Councillor

Mrs Elisha of Market Lavington receives a gift for 31 years as a Parish Councillor

The hand written note tells us this was in the Wiltshire Gazette on 18th October 1990. May is looking frail, but we learn she had only recently retired from her 31 year stint on the Parish Council. She is being given some photos of old Market Lavington by fellow councillor Bob Francis.

May died about a year after this photo was taken.

Sadly, the other person in the photo, Bob Francis died before the end of the 20th century as well.

A view from the church tower in 1990

March 14, 2014

Views from on high are always interesting. In Market Lavington to get the best vantage point you have to get to the top of the church tower. That’s something photographers have done for well over 100 years. This time we have the village in a state of change. The old open fields are becoming the Grove Farm estate.

A view from St Mary's, Market Lavington in 1990

A view from St Mary’s, Market Lavington in 1990

We are looking roughly due north from the church. The line between the old and newer burial grounds shows up well as a change in colour. There is a brick wall on the right which surrounds the garden of the Old House. Down in the lower land we are looking at new housing on Roman Way and Saxon Close. Across Grove Road a white house faces us. That is on Beechwood.

The white house facing us is on Beechwood

The white house facing us is on Beechwood

Other Beechwood houses were not completed when this photo was taken.

Beyond the trees the land continues its upward rise to the top of Northbrook.

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Northbrook and on to Drove Lane

That part of the view remains much the same.

 

Wilts Ag!

March 10, 2014

It is hard to remember, now, just what a central area of Market Lavington looked like for much of the second half of the twentieth century. Back then, the village was very much a working place and the agricultural engineers were amongst the bigger employers. The firm became ‘Wiltshire Agricultural engineering co.’ often just called ‘Wilts Ag’. And this was their site prior to demolition and clearance. We think the photo dates from around 1990.

Wiltshire Agricultural Engineering site in about 1990

Wiltshire Agricultural Engineering site in about 1990

The photographer who took this was standing in a corner of the Market Place.  This view was looking east, more or less parallel with the High Street. We can see the yard and buildings of the engineers.

A similar view today would be along the road/car park for Rochelle Court

A second photo shows the area alongside the High Street and immediately opposite the butchers.

Again this was taken from The Market Place and a similar shot today would show the chemist shop and other buildings which front Rochelle Court.

This area, alongside High Street, was used as a car park

This area, alongside High Street, was used as a car park

This area is certainly neater and tidier these days but of course, Rochelle Court provides homes but not employment.

The Market Place area of the village is one of the most changed. Very little remains of the pre-1960 Market Place.

Storm Damage

June 6, 2013

The great hurricane of 1987 was certainly fairly wild in the Lavingtons but that exerted its strongest force in the south east of England

It was a storm of February 1990 that caused more structural damage. One building that was felled by the storm was a disused barn at Grove Farm. The barn adjoined the garden of Church Cottage and here we see Harry Greening surveying the damage. We are not sure if the piece of wood Harry is holding is debris from the barn.

Harry Greening surveys storm damage from his Market Lavington garden - February 1990

Harry Greening surveys storm damage from his Market Lavington garden – February 1990

Harry will be remembered by many people in the Lavingtons and surrounding area, for he was the founding headmaster of Lavington School, the secondary school which took children aged from 11 to 16 from quite a wide area. The school opened in 1962 so that was when Harry and his wife Mary came to the village. And what an impact they made. Apart from leading the school, Harry was an avid gardener. He certainly knew his onions. Other gardeners hoping to compete with Harry knew his onions as well. They were regular prize winners at local shows.

Sadly, Harry’s sight failed as he aged but he still managed to compete in the Lavington show. He died in 2010.

We are pleased to show this portrait of Harry who looks every inch the country gent. He was certainly a gentle man who cared about other people.

But can anyone name his dog, please?