Posts Tagged ‘2014’

The arrival of the Commemoration Stone

August 2, 2014

One of the ideas that the First World War Commemoration Group had was to place a stone, which could be used as a seat on the green just outside the church. In the fullness of time the stone will have a suitable inscription to mark the centenary of World War One and there will then be an official unveiling ceremony.

At the museum we decided the arrival of the stone was history in the making and we were there to record the scene.

Here comes the stone – into the Community Hall area.

image002 Mike Bridgeman watches, ready to tell the driver where the stone is to go. The stone was very much Mike’s idea and he has done the organising that has meant the stone has arrived.


The stone is quite a beast!


Mike and driver discuss tactics.



The stone is transferred to the front loader for the journey up to the site.



Up the path…



…and onto the green.


The stone is lifted off the pallet



It is slowly edged into place


and when all is right it is lowered.


Spot on!


It seemed fitting that Mike should be the first person to try the stone as a seat

We know that the First World War Commemoration Group wish to thank Martin Bodman for all he has done to help them get the stone into place.


The Catalpa Tree

July 31, 2014

61 years ago, George Dobson, who was then Market Lavington’s oldest inhabitant, planted a tree to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. We have featured this before on the blog and you can click here to see the occasion.

It flowered for the first time in 1976 and it is now a handsome and well grown tree.

The Coronation Tree in Market Lavington. This catalpa or Indian bean tree was planted in 1953.

The Coronation Tree in Market Lavington. This catalpa or Indian bean tree was planted in 1953.

There is the tree which is close to The Old School as well as our museum building and the church. This photo, taken earlier this month doesn’t show the flowers, but the tree is well covered with the delicate and beautiful blooms.

Here’s a little collection of them.


And here’s a close up on a single flower.


Later, the tree will have the big purple bean like pods which give it the alternative name of Indian bean tree.

The Catalpa is not native to the UK but it seems to adapt well to our climate and growing conditions.


Church Fete – 2014

June 16, 2014

It was a grand church fete on Saturday. Although run by St Mary’s Church and that means profits go to support it, this is very much a community event. We, at Market Lavington Museum, are pleased to provide what might be called entertainment. We collect no money and only offer people a chance to see some of our items, particularly photographs. We reckon that laminated photos can cope with whatever weather is thrown at us and this year, that was good weather. It was a bit breezy and for a short while we all thought it would rain. But it didn’t.

In exchange for people being able to see our photos, we get information back. In fact we were so busy this year that we were unable to record this fete for posterity except for a couple of shots whilst setting up was in progress.


This was one of Bill’s Rileys. Bill kindly allows the fete to use his lawn and garden. He also provided rides in this Riley or his open tourer. Other local car enthusiasts displayed their own classic cars as well.


Bric-a-brac and books were next to our museum stand and we got no further in recording the scene.

And now to the highest of the high spots for us. Regular readers may recall we featured a photo of Arthur Sainsbury. Arthur, in our photo, was a World War II soldier at Ghent in Belgium. And his daughter visited us at the show and was full of information.

Being Arthur’s daughter meant our visitor was also Vic Osmond’s niece. She recognised Vic’s bungalow in a photo recently acquired in a small photo album. She can also confirm that the Emmie in the photo was Vic’s first wife.

Magic moments for us! And there were many others too on a very enjoyable afternoon.

We were pleased, too, to be able to give our Harry Hobbs shop adverts a first public outing. Not surprisingly, they were much admired.

Clyffe Hall

June 14, 2014

Today you’ll have a chance to visit the gardens at Clyffe hall as the annual fete organised by St Mary’s Church takes place there. You’ll be able to indulge in all the usual fun of the fair, snap up bargains in books, plants, bric-a-brac etc. You’ll be able to enjoy refreshments that suit you and of course we’ll be there with a chance for you to see some of those wonderful ads from Harry Hobbs shop which we saw on yesterday’s blog.

But we’ll turn the clock back to about 1920 today and look at some photos probably taken by Bill Elisha.

image002 There’s some of the hall and lawns.

image004 A view over the lake.

image006In the gardens.

We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Community Hall Users

April 11, 2014

It seems like no time at all since Peggy Gye, in one of her last public engagements, cut the ribbon to declare the Community Hall open.

Peggy Gye with Peter Furminger declare Market Lavington Community Hall open - September 20th 2007

Peggy Gye with Peter Furminger declare Market Lavington Community Hall open – September 20th 2007

In fact this event was in 2007, nearly seven years ago and sadly both of those leading personalities, facing the camera, have now died. Peggy is about to enter the hall and Peter Furminger who had been chairman of the hall committee stands by to allow Peggy to be the first person to enter the hall.

This year the hall has been recognised with a top level accreditation for its running – undoubtedly well deserved. At the end of March 2014 organisations that use the hall were invited to have a stand to tell the public what they did. Not all the regular users were able to attend, but there was a cross section of village activities on show.

We of the museum had a stand which not only allowed us to talk to the public – and no less than 20 new (to us) photos and one other artefact arrived at the museum as a result. We could also record the event so that future folk can see what went on in a thriving village in 2014.

Let’s start with the churches. There are two church communities based in Market Lavington but they celebrated their oneness by sharing a stand and being truly ecumenical with the people manning it.


The backdrop there belonged to the quilters who also took a table – not to mention walls etc.


The scouts and cubs had a table and were able to show off a recently won scrapheap challenge trophy.

What a fab trophy for their model of a cresta run with all sorts of moving parts.


There is a thriving short mat bowls club in the hall.


They had an attractive stand and lots of information.

The Parish Council were there, both for real and in photographic form.


Many other organisations were there including the table tennis club, tai chi, the Day Centre etc.

But for us at the museum it was the art group who stole the show. We were able to watch Mike at work, being given advice by the tutor.

And there is Mike with the painting he was working on which depicts a threatened building in Easterton.


It was a good day for us at the museum and a day like this helps the hall to maintain its high standards.


George Mews Sink Hole

April 7, 2014

In the very wet winter of early 2014 sink holes became fashionable. These are, actually, rather scary holes which appear, more often in wet weather, because there was some kind of a hollow underneath and the weather has caused a collapse. Such holes can be huge, big enough to threaten houses and, in some cases, cars that have been quietly parked have found themselves way, way below ground level.

Thankfully, we can’t claim anything that dramatic in Market Lavington but in mid-March a small hole appeared in George Mews. The roadway was deemed unfit for traffic – and that, no doubt, was a wise precaution.

The hole is actually just outside the back gate to a High Street house.

A sink hole in George Mews, Market Lavington in March 2014

A sink hole in George Mews, Market Lavington in March 2014

So no, this is not some large and national newsworthy sink hole, but the problem does appear to continue sideways under the roadway.

The problem area looks to continue under the roadway

The problem area looks to continue under the roadway

Locals wondered if this might have been a well head. We searched through our maps and documents but cannot tell for sure if there was a well at this point.


Part of a 1900 map. George Mews is roughly central.

This map dating from 1900 has where George Mews is now, roughly in the centre and it does show an italic P (a pump we believe) roughly where that hole has appeared. If there was a pump it would surely have been over a well head.

No doubt we’ll learn more when work begins on sorting out the problem.


The White Stuff

March 20, 2014

Snow has barely fallen in Market Lavington during the winter of 2013/2014. Mind you, it is only March so there is still time.

Our curator did manage to capture a flurry of snow on February 13th

A small flurry of snow fell in Market Lavington on February 13th 2014

A small flurry of snow fell in Market Lavington on February 13th 2014

It never looked like settling or pitching as many locals say.

Lots of people don’t like snow and of course if you have to travel it can turn the simplest of journeys into a really trying ordeal.

But snow can also be utterly lovely. Let’s look back to the snow of 1980 and a photograph taken in Manor Woods.

Beautiful snow in Lavington Manor woods in 1980

Beautiful snow in Lavington Manor woods in 1980

What a delightful scene and a scene missed by many Wiltshire folk this year. There isn’t a huge amount of snow on the ground but it turns the woods into a winter wonderland.

Injecting the soil – 27th February 2014

February 28, 2014

Our curator was having a chat with a friend, down on the village street when a huge slurry tank, tractor hauled, went past. The inevitable jokes were made, featuring the likelihood of smell. When the curator got home he found the driver in charge was placing the contents on the field just outside his house. As a result we can bring you some modern farming in practice at Market Lavington.

Let’s start with a distant view of the rear end of the tank.

Injecting the soil with slurry at Market Lavington - February 2014

Injecting the soil with slurry at Market Lavington – February 2014

That tangle of pipes leads from the tank and carries the slurry down into the ground. The surface of this field, which has been a meadow for years, is just about unmarked.

There is a person walking in the next field. He is nothing to do with the agriculture going on.

The process appears to be called slurry injection and the liquid effluent gathered from animals housed in the winter is literally injected into the soil. It isn’t spread on the surface.

It’s slow process with the tractor moving forward at a crawl, but it is deemed an advantage to get the nutrients down to the level of the roots.


Here we see the process going on. We have a typical, huge modern tractor, the massive tanker trailer and the injection mechanism hung on the back of it.


It’s a very neat process although, as our curator says, it is not without smell. He adds there is a small amount of leakage of slurry on to the surface when the injector is out of the ground whilst turning.

Slight leakage as the tractor and tank turn at the headlands

Slight leakage as the tractor and tank turn at the headlands

It has to be said that the scale of modern agriculture is truly amazing. These pictures have now been saved for posterity. Maybe in 60 years from now, folks will look back on the quaint methods we used back in 2014.

Bouverie Lodge – then and now

February 14, 2014


Two years ago the gate house to Market Lavington Manor, known as Bouverie Lodge, suffered a severe fire. The fire started as a freak fault in the owner’s car. Fortunately, there was no loss of life but the pretty little gatehouse was severely damaged. The much more modern ‘pod’ was almost untouched by the flames. The owners were able to find accommodation elsewhere and had the long wait for insurance claims and builders. I’m sorry to say things weren’t made any easier by thieves and vandals who did what these people do – stole things and damaged things for no purpose.

But eventually, the phoenix has risen from the ashes. Let’s take a look at what the original gate house looked like. This photo was taken in 1972.

Bouverie Lodge, Market Lavington in 1972

Bouverie Lodge, Market Lavington in 1972

This pre-dates ‘The Pod’ which was built on the far side of this charming little structure. The drive to the manor passes between the gate posts and on the left is the main road from Devizes entering the village.

Under wraps after the disastrous fire

Under wraps after the disastrous fire pf February 2012

Over the past couple of years, this is a site we got used to. Bouverie Lodge is under wraps whilst ‘The Pod’, linked to the older house by a ‘corridor’ is out in the open.

But now the home is rebuilt and made a better family home at the same time.

The phoenix has risen from the ashes - a photo in February 2014

The phoenix has risen from the ashes – a photo in February 2014

From this view – what you see from the road – the building looks much the same as ever. The window in the roof is bigger than the old one which probably makes the upstairs room seem brighter and more spacious.

The link between house and pod is much more generous than it used to be but by and large we have the same shape we always had. It is a job well done and we, at the museum, welcome the return of this 19th century little house.

Market Lavington Hail 3rd January 2014

January 4, 2014

On a day when Prime Minister David Cameron said he was ‘ensuring all is being done to help with floods and there will be a Cobra meeting shortly’, how did Market Lavington fare?

Well the flooding was expected to be coastal so really Market Lavington wouldn’t expect major problems. But anyone out at about 11 in the morning may have received something of a headache. By local standards huge hailstones plummeted from the sky. If you’d been hit by one of them it would have hurt. Our museum archivist dashed out into her garden and gathered up a couple of stones for a photo. Not surprisingly, the weather had cast quite a darkness so the first photo used flash.

Hand held hailstones which fell on Market Lavington - January 3RD 2014

Hand held hailstones which fell on Market Lavington – January 3rd 2014

With that photo of a fast melting ball of ice taken, the larger one was placed by a ruler.

The larger stone is measured

The larger stone is measured

We can see this stone reaches from 1 to 3.5 centimetres which makes it about an inch across. It weighs in at about 8 grams. Our archivist thought there were probably larger stones on the ground, but wasn’t willing to risk too much by seeking out truly large lumps of hail.

In the past we have covered Market Lavington’s 1862 hail storm (click here). This one at the start of 2014 was a mere nothing by comparison.