Posts Tagged ‘2013’

Fixing the Road

November 15, 2013

It is tempting to say that both Northbrook and Drove Lane are roads to nowhere. Northbrook starts at the Market Place and makes its way down and over the Northbrook stream and then up on the sandstone. It stops near the Davis (football) Field and various footpaths radiate out from there.

Drove Lane also starts from the main road in the village – roughly at the point where the flowing waters of that Northbrook stream move away from the road. It too makes its way up onto the sands and peters out into a track.

But Drove Lane is home to St Barnabas School and Northbrook is very handy for the back access to the school. Apparently, it was the presence of the school which had these roads marked out for major carriageway repairs.

It was a slightly inconvenient time for residents for both roads became ‘out of bounds’ when the work was in hand at the end of October. But in the usual way of village life, people quite near at hand offered space on their drives for the cars of affectesd residents. Life went on as normal – or as near normal as possible in our car dependant age.

The first step was to find the edges of the roads. Inevitably, the soil had crept down the embankments and onto the road surface. Then huge machines came in to scrape the old surface off. This revealed the tops of former road works, when pipes had been laid.

Then the surface was thoroughly cleaned before more huge machines came to lay the new tarmac.

This was the scene near the top of Northbrook.

Northbrrok - October 2013. A lorry load of tarmac arrives and the men jump to the task of getting a new surface on the road.

Northbrook – October 2013. A lorry load of tarmac arrives and the men jump to the task of getting a new surface on the road.

As we can see, this vehicle blocked the road. Forewarned residents had got cars out already, for there is no alternative route for cars. The huge machine worked slowly down towards the village. It took the better part of two days to get Northbrook done.

The roller, to compact the surface, came behind – a much smaller machine.


A roller compacts the tarmac at the top of Northbrook in Market Lavington

An interesting point here is that Keith Davis at the newsagents remembered the last time the road was surfaced and recalled that the roller, then, had been steam powered.

When the job was done, we had a beautiful smooth surface.

Northbrook has a wonderful new surface

Northbrook has a wonderful new surface

A couple of days ago, on this blog, we were recalling the times of William Saunders, a road mender in the first half of the twentieth century. We wonder what he’d have made of the huge machines in use now. Probably he would have been in absolute awe of them and the amazing work they do.

Let’s hope that the new surface doesn’t encourage people to drive faster. Northbrook is still a narrow road and for much of its length there are no pavements. And it is used by children – both residents and those going to and from school.


The Great Storm of October 28th 2013

October 29, 2013

Market Lavington appears to have escaped fairly lightly from the storm which swept across the south of England.

People who were up reported that at about 5:15 in the morning truly astonishingly strong winds swept through the village. Keith, who was out delivering newspapers, said he struggled to remain standing and for a while he just grabbed hold of a wall to give him added support. These powerful winds lasted for ten to fifteen minutes. By six in the morning it was very blustery and there were some heavy squalls of rain, but nothing seemed likely to be causing too much of a problem by then.

Of course, we have not been everywhere in the village, but damage does seem small, all things considered.

A tree between the Drove Lane Cemetery and the electricity substation appeared to be horizontal.

Fallen tree at the Drove Lane Cemetery

Fallen tree at the Drove Lane Cemetery

This may have been down beforehand. There’s nothing like looking for problems to enable you to spot them!

However, the high level pavement above Northbrook had suffered a very definite problem. It was blocked but the road below was perfectly clear.


Blocked pavement on Northbrook, Market Lavington

The path wasn’t only blocked by vegetation. A wall had also collapsed onto the pavement.


Collapsed wall at Northbrook, Market Lavington

Electricity was off for periods throughout the day. We suspect the engineers have had a very tough day dealing with huge numbers of power cuts.

We’d appreciate any further Market Lavington or Easterton storm damage pictures at the museum.

Pink Windows

October 24, 2013

October is breast cancer awareness month. Our local Post Office in Market Lavington has supported this event and as part of that they have created a pink window display.

Market Lavington Post Office window - Otober 2013

Market Lavington Post Office window – October 2013

This is modern stuff – October 2013 – but it is important that we, at Market Lavington Museum keep a record of ‘now’ so that people in the future can look back at the way we lived and the quaint way we did things.

Maybe there is a hope here of some child, in a hundred years or so, looking at this photo and asking, ‘what’s cancer?’

But well done to Dave, Julie and the team at the Post Office for mounting this display and also for the all the year round service they give us, of advertising local charities and events.

Amongst non-commercial posters we can pick out in the window, there is one for a Farm Africa Lunch – and these have always been enjoyable events and there is one for the Day Centre sale – another fun morning. I note we are invited to go on ‘Ted’s Walks’. The WI has a poster and so, too does the Community Choir. And of course, there is one there for Market Lavington Museum.

We’d like all our readers and our local residents to know that we are very interested in conserving what happens now for the future – and not just special events. The ordinary way of life matters if people in the future are ever to understand why we did things.

Recent wildlife sightings

October 15, 2013

We haven’t featured our wildlife book for some time so here are a couple of recent photos we have received. They all help to build a picture of 21st century wildlife in our parish.

We’ll start with a long tailed tit. These delightful little birds are now flitting about sometimes in single species groups but at other times in mixed groups with their cousins the blue tits and great tits. This photo, which wouldn’t win any prizes at Lavington Show, was taken up on the sands.

A long tailed tit in market Lavington

A long tailed tit in Market Lavington

Next we have a vole, also spotted up on the sands.


A vole but is it a bank or a field vole?

A vole but is it a bank or a field vole?

We are not sure if this is a bank vole or a field vole. Maybe a reader can help us on that.

Do, please, offer us any wildlife photos you may have – just as long as they were taken in Market Lavington or Easterton. We are not only after mammals and birds we would like a record of all sorts of animal and plants as well.

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.

Miscellany 2013

September 15, 2013

The Museum Miscellany, now in its fourth year, has become a part of the social scene in Market Lavington. It seems to be a case of ‘be there or be square’. OK, perhaps it’s the opposite for by and large the clientele is not from the younger generation although, of course, there are exceptions to that.

This year over 100 people crowded into our wonderful Community Hall. Rog, our curator, who does most of the presenting, says it really is a humbling experience to see so many folks there to hear him – and to pay good money for it.

Rog grabbed this photo of audience just before the start.

The audience for Market Lavington Museum Miscellany - 14th September 2013

The audience for Market Lavington Museum Miscellany – 14th September 2013

There’s not an empty seat. The front row is filled with museum friends one of whom, May, sitting just beyond the computer deserves a special mention. Do we bandy a woman’s age? Let’s just say that May’s memory stretches back into the early 1920s. Rog was delighted to realise she was there for he had a photo of her in the ‘Church and Chapel Life’ section. It showed May and others on a church choir outing, paddling in the sea. They were all holding dresses up to avoid them getting wet and in some cases revealing just a little more than perhaps they intended. May did laugh when she saw it.

At the very end of the front row we see Philip who, along with other members of the family has made many donations to the museum. The ‘Phantasmagoria’ projector, which Rog used to wrap up the show, came from his family, along with many photos.

Also in the front row is Pat. Rog often turns to her when he needs people in photos identified – but then so many locals, in the audience, are helpful to the museum. Rog has what he calls his experts. Arthur, who is somewhere in the audience knows all there is to know about wagons. Philip (a different one) can be relied upon for farm help. We do have a wonderful local community.

This year Rog passed the microphone to Hugh who has a real in depth knowledge of the Saunders family who had a huge impact on the locality, Britain and the world. We can see Hugh in a darkened hall making his contribution.


Hugh passes on his knowledge of the Saunders family

Hugh passes on his knowledge of the Saunders family

Well done Hugh. We thought it was great to hear a different voice able to speak with such authority.

But of course, it wouldn’t be The Miscellany without the Museum Food. Each year our team of volunteers produce a finger buffet composed of items in Museum recipe books. The interval is a major part of the event as people can circulate, chat and enjoy sampling the food on offer. We can only hope there was enough this year for it all seemed to go so well done all those chefs who make such an enjoyable part of the evening.

We at the museum would like to thank all those who made this event such a success.

As the event continues to be so popular we plan another for next year. There’s no fixed date for it as yet. But we will look at early October as a possibility. It will be on a Saturday night since all the weekday nights are booked in the hall.

A major theme of next year’s event will be World War 1 – marking the centenary of the start of that awful conflict.

Rolling and Drilling

September 15, 2013

The Miscellany, a look back at our parish past, was yesterday. Today we’ll look to the present and remind people of the need to record what happens now so that, in the future, people can know how we lived, how we worked, and how we had fun.

Market Lavington and Easterton are still rural areas and agriculture still matters, albeit not so many people are employed. But the soil still needs preparing, ready for crops to be sown and here we see work on the hill to prepare a suitable tilth for sowing.

A Cambridge roller prepares soil on Lavington Hill - September 2013

A Cambridge roller prepares soil on Lavington Hill – September 2013

This photo was taken this month and it shows a device in use, based on the Cambridge roller which was invented by William Cambridge in Market Lavington. This probably deals with about 12 metres in one pass. It leaves the soil ready to be drilled.

A seed drill plants next year's harvest on Lavington Hill

A seed drill plants next year’s harvest on Lavington Hill

Here we see a modern drill working on the slope of Lavington Hill. It’s a huge device working fast in a large area.

Close up on the seed drill - but taken from half a mile away

Close up on the seed drill – but taken from half a mile away

A local farmer told our curator that such drills, like the Cambridge roller, could cover 12 metres at a time and that they cost around £40 000 to buy.

But there we have a couple of photos that give an idea of the scale of local farming in 2013.

Lavington Flower Show – 2013

September 2, 2013

At Market Lavington Museum we do like to record the here and now so that future people can have an understanding of how we lived in the early years of the 21st century.

An annual event in Market Lavington is the flower and produce show which is run by a local committee in conjunction with the Lavington Gardening Club. In fact it is two shows in one for there is an open to all section and a section only open to garden club members.

Here are some photos from this year’s show.

image002Liz and Phil are long term local residents but had not exhibited before. Here they discover that even in this fun festival of fruit, flowers and things that don’t begin with F there is paper work to be done. By heck, Liz, those cakes in front of you look good.


Jack, an old hand, is staging exhibits. People in the know will see that the Community Hall is used for this event.


Nick is supporting another new exhibitor, Stephanie, with her craft entries.


Simon is arranging his photos under the Millennium wall hanging.

Exhibitors must have their items in place by 11 in the morning and then there is a lull before judging can commence. There’s a chance to see what Lavington has to offer.


There’s some good looking food there!


2013 hasn’t been a good year for flowers, but there is still some good stuff.

With judging over, Nicki sits at the spreadsheet and works out the winners.


At 2pm the show opens to the public. Exhibitors can look round and see if they have won.


And here’s one that brought a smile to our curator for he got first prize for his fudge.


At 3.30, the prizes are awarded to the section winners – who receive a trophy for the year and a small cash prize.


Clare won the ‘open’ flower section.

Rupert, who really runs the show, was delighted to be able to award himself the trophy for the longest marrow.


There is then a frenetic ten minutes for exhibitors as the entries are removed. Anything remaining will be auctioned.

The show ends with the raffle draw. This is the real financial support for the show. Pat has sat patiently at her raffle table all day.


Well done Pat – the show relies on your work. Our photographer has caught you deep in thought but your smiling face is really the show winner.

Easterton Show

August 27, 2013

Yesterday, August 26th 2013, was Easterton Show day.

It is always a pleasure for us, at Market Lavington Museum, to have a stand at Easterton Show. We don’t aim to raise money but we do aim to raise awareness. The people at the show seem more than willing to have awareness raised. We have been thoroughly educated as well. Once people start, they are so willing to share stories and tell us who people are.

Our stall is simple. We have a gazebo and a lot of photographs. Yes, we have a quiz and we have a wind-up gramophone so that we can play such classics as ‘The Sun has got his Hat on’ whilst the band take a rest.

Market lavington Museum's stall at Easterton Show

Market lavington Museum’s stall at Easterton Show

So there’s a stall in the lull before the gates open. It’s a popular show so we are all crammed in together as one happy family.

This is the chance to see what else is on show – and there are cars.


This one particularly pleased our curator because it’s an Austin 10, similar in shape, but not colour, to the first car his dad had.



Maypole dancers from St Barnabas School

But of course, the show isn’t all history but, to conserve something for the future we grabbed a photo of the Maypole dancing by the little ones of St Barnabas School which serves both Easterton and Market Lavington.

It was a wonderful afternoon so well done to Easterton for putting on such a good show.

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.