Posts Tagged ‘2015’

A prize draw ticket

September 29, 2015

We have published this ticket before on the museum blog.

1924 draw ticket

1924 draw ticket

We are grateful that somebody thought to save such a thing just over 90 years ago. We make sure we still do the same today so here we present a similar ticket, 2015 style.

2015 draw ticket

2015 draw ticket

Sadly the old ticket had no price, but we can be sure it was nothing like a pound – the price of the current one. But the information we have about prizes shows a huge difference.

What would people have done with a fat lamb in 1924? To be honest, we don’t know but we can be equally sure that it could be seen as an unlikely top prize in 2015 even though many have freezers these days and could, in fact, make use of it.

Then as now, sponsors gave prizes because they supported the causes. Back in 1924 a cash prize would surely have been very welcome, but golf for four at Castle Combe just couldn’t have been on the agenda. How would people have got there? It was probably all but impossible. Obviously there could not have been helicopter rides. The first real helicopter took to the skies in 1936.

The prizes in 2015 reflect the leisured nature of 21st century life. The prizes, apart from the cash, are not things people need but maybe are very much wanted by some.


Lavington Show 2015

September 8, 2015

This show took place on Saturday 5th September and was particularly good for seeing some younger show enthusiasts involved – alongside regular ‘old stagers’.

At our museum we like to record current events for future posterity and so we do gather quite a lot of photos. Whilst they appear on this blog, do not expect to actually see them in the museum for some time.


staging an exhibit

Here we have Jo, a regular exhibitor making sure her beans look perfect. The staging time at the show is always cheerful and friendly. This show is not as TV and radio programmes portray them. There is rivalry and exhibitors hope to win. But anybody who notices an error in a rival’s entry will point it out to them so they can put it right. It is so easy not to be able to count accurately. 11 blackberries, where 10 are asked for just won’t win a prize. A helping hand will let the person in error know, or may even just remove the extra fruit. Jo, as an old hand is unlikely to make such a mistake.

Judges are remarkably thorough. Here’s the fruit judge assessing apples.

judging in progress

judging in progress

Judging and after is a quiet time. Scorers add points and work out who has won the prizes.


The quiet before opening to the public

The hall is all but empty and the splendour of both Community Hall and the entries can be seen.

Exhibitors and the public arrive at 2 and the hall is filled with ‘Ow wow! I’ve won for my ….” But also non entrants can be heard saying. ‘I had better pears than those’.

The reply is always, ‘well why didn’t you enter them?’

Our curator is particularly proud of this one.

One for our curator to crow about

One for our curator to crow about

Who knows, there might still be some left for the Museum Miscellany on October 3rd.

And here’s one of the younger generation of exhibitors collecting her trophy for most points in the cookery section. Or as we usually say, for being the best cook.

Nicki gets the 'best cook' trophy

Nicki gets the ‘best cook’ trophy

Congratulations to Nicki. It is always good to have new names on the trophies. And what brilliant management to combine being a mother of a sub 2 year old, a full time job and cooking for the show. Brill!



St Mary’s fete 2015

June 15, 2015

Just a couple of days ago St Mary’s Church held their fete in the grounds of Clyffe Hall. This may be run under the auspices of the church, but the reality is that it is a village event with many local organisations having stalls of their own. Market Lavington Museum is amongst those organisations which put on a show. Our aim is not to raise funds but rather to raise awareness and also for the exchange of information. But let’s start at the beginning by thanking Margaret from New Zealand who was in the village researching her Garratt or Garrett ancestors and who very kindly helped set up our gazebo and tables. image002 Here we have an empty set of tables, ready to be covered in some of our photographs of the past. And here we have a shot including the hall itself, with similar assembly work going on. image004 I think Margaret was quite blown away by the whole scenario. She said it felt as though she was taking part in an episode of Midsomer Murders. Literally hundreds of people look at the stall. The fete may only be ‘live’ between 2 and 4 pm, but other stall holders are there all morning wallowing in the past and sharing memories.   There are great moments for us – those times when an older person looks at an old school photo and calls out, ‘That’s me’. That’s a cue for a crowd to gather round as stories flood out. One such lady was paying her first visit to Market Lavington in forty years and was more delighted that these words can do justice too. More amusing is when a younger person discovers they are in a photo. You might hear a comment about being a museum artefact, sometimes ruefully from the person concerned and sometimes with great glee from their nearest and dearest. Margaret was not the only overseas visitor. In the afternoon four ladies from Waiblingen, involved in the local exchange scheme were at the fete. It seems that like Margaret, they felt they had stepped into a film set when they arrived at Clyffe Hall. So there we have Kristine, Martina, Katja and Doris at the fete. image006 How wonderful that some memories of our village life will be taken back to other countries and continents.

The Story of the Stone

June 10, 2015

Market Lavington’s fine ‘Remember’ stone has a little booklet all to itself.


The Story of the Stone

The book was produced by Mike who could be called ‘the father of the stone’. It was Mike who persuaded a quarry company to give us the stone, found a contractor who could haul it, decided on the location and got permission to place the stone there. He organised the simple yet poignant inscription. Of course, we saw it unveiled, officially, last month.

The booklet is well illustrated and here we see Mike being the first person to sit on the stone and to look out over the fine view.


Mike admires the view

Another photo shows the engraved stone, before the paint had been touched in to the lettering.


The book describes the process, right up to the unveiling. It really is the whole story of the stone.

As we understand it there are still a few copies left – on sale at the village Post Office.





A view of the village in the 1960s

June 9, 2015

The presence of Lavington Hill and Salisbury Plain is a draw for photographers, keen to get what looks like an aerial view of Market Lavington. This one dates from the 1960s so is fifty years old now.

Market Lavington from the Downs - 1960s

Market Lavington from the Downs – 1960s

This would be taken from somewhere near where the reservoir is now. We can see the road down Lavington Hill wending downwards from near the bottom left corner. The village itself looks distant and is not amazingly distinct. We can make out St Mary’s church near the left.

The village and the church

The village and the church

Perhaps most interesting is the farm trailer on the recently cultivated strip.

The trailer on the hill

The trailer on the hill

This now has the look of something from past times, which, indeed, it is. A small two wheeled trailer is laden with small bales of the kind that a single person can manhandle. The load looks like hay but these days that area is always arable so it is more likely straw. For comparison let’s look at a bit of May 2015 grass cutting.

2015 farming - poles apart from the methods of the 1960s

2015 farming – poles apart from the methods of the 1960s

A huge 4 wheel drive tractor is travelling at high speed (20 mph?) through a field being cut for silage. It cuts a huge swathe on each pass. One cutter is in front of the tractor and two others are to the side and behind. The tractor cab roof bristles with lamps. A field of several acres is cut in a quarter of an hour. This would all be beyond the imagination of the 1960s farmer.

Re-creating the Market

May 17, 2015

In 1915 a hugely successful ‘Our Day’ sale was held in Market Lavington to raise funds for the British Red Cross.

Red Cross Market in Market Lavington - 1915

Red Cross Market in Market Lavington – 1915

This event was re-created yesterday, 16th May 2015. For all sorts of reasons things had to be different For starters there are roads out of the Market Place and they had to be kept open. Both roads would have been entirely blocked in 1915. Secondly, no building shown in that 1915 picture still remains so, inevitably, the environment looked different. A major difference is that fit young men were present to be a part of the 2015 recreation whereas in 1915 most were away from home supporting the war effort.


A similar view for the 2015 re-creation


Our photographer grabbed a high vantage point for this photo which covers a very similar area.

Red Cross nurses appeared to be out in force for the 2015 market.


They were offering people the chance to have a bandage applied so that they looked like a wounded serviceman or woman – or, indeed, a civilian.

Our curator had a head bandage and here is pretending to need the support of a nurse who is actually one of our wonderful team of stewards at the museum.


The museum was able to display photos of the 1915 event on the window of the chemist’s shop.


Our thanks go to Day Lewis Pharmacy for the use of the space which matched a window used to display notices 100 years previously.

We’d also like to thank the local folks who normally park their cars in the Market Place. As people arrived to set up stalls, the whole area was completely devoid of cars – a real testament to the support our village gives to local events.

And thanks must also go to the members of the First World War group who worked tirelessly to make the event a success. We can only wonder as to whether the event in 1915 was fun. The recreation certainly was although moments had the solemnity that perhaps was felt at the original event.

Let’s finish off with some more of those delightful nurses.




The Cradle Field

April 5, 2015

The Cradle field is set in a valley on the sandstone ridge. The top end is on Parham Lane and the field extends down to West Park Farm. It is a part of that farm and is private land but in the leafless months of winter it can be seen well from Parham Lane. The field has history which was recorded in the WI produced local history book of the 1950s.

Extract from the Women's Institute history book of the 1950s

Extract from the Women’s Institute history book of the 1950s

The field was used for picnics and tea parties, complete with bands and dancing. Rumour has it that these events were not all as genteel as might be expected at a chapel tea party. We have no photos of such events but of course this pretty field is still there and does look a wonderful spot for a picnic, being sheltered from most wind directions.

The Cradle Field - March 2015

The Cradle Field – March 2015

The field continues down to West Park Farm and beyond there are views along the scarp slope of Salisbury Plain and across the Avon Vale.

Cradle Field, West Park Farm and the view beyond

Cradle Field, West Park Farm and the view beyond

It’s a lovely location holding a piece of almost lost parish history.


The cradle field is magnificent at any time of year. So many thanks to Mike who sent me this winter image of the field.