Posts Tagged ‘21st century’

Market Place – then and now

January 25, 2016

Our Market Lavington Market Place has changed a huge amount since the second half of the 20th century. People who didn’t know it have difficulty recognising just what was there in the older pictures. Here’s an attempt to offer help using a photo from the 1950s and another 21st century shot.

One of the features of this (and no doubt other) blog platform is that you can set up picture galleries which can merge one picture into the next. So here we have a sort of simple two frame animation of the two shots.

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So there we have it. The Market Place in Market Lavington, then and now.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

December 22, 2015

The title for this piece is a quote from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song, Big Yellow Taxi’. The song goes on, ‘They’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.

Joni was probably singing about an area around Honolulu but she might almost be singing about what happened in Market Lavington in around 1960. It was then that some lovely looking Tudor houses were demolished in our Market Place and replaced with – you’ve guessed it – a parking lot.

On this blog we certainly wouldn’t criticise a decision made close on 60 years ago. Advantages stemmed from that decision, not least better employment prospects locally as the agricultural engineers were able to expand their much needed operations.

What Market Lavington had, before the changes was this.


Market Lavington Market Place – 1950s

This is a 1950s photo but by 1988 this was a similar, albeit more close up view

Similar view - 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

Similar view – 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

By this stage the age of the local agricultural engineer had ended. The parking lot, in the foreground, where the bank and other buildings had stood had its lack of beauty enhanced by an old rusty van of some sort. Even the ‘parking lot’ with its displays of fine red tractors and combine harvesters might have seemed like paradise by this time.

Clocks can’t be turned back but situations change and this is the 21st century view.

Market Lavington Market Place - 21st century

Market Lavington Market Place – 21st century

What looked so abjectly awful in 1988 has become the front area of Rochelle Court. A new building on the corner now houses a chemists shop and the other shop window, in the white building has a flourishing shop too. That’s a florist.

Obviously the buildings aren’t those old Tudor ones, but planners have done a pretty good job of bringing an area back to life, providing low cost housing and also a couple of retail outlets. Oh yes, part of it is still a parking lot as we can see

The Alban Estate

August 29, 2015


The Alban Estate dates from around 1926 -28. We could say it was the first modern housing estate built in the village with houses along The Spring and also on Park Road which was, for many years, known as Estate Road. Twenty six houses were built which must have had quite an impact in Market Lavington, more or less joining our village with neighbouring West Lavington. When built, at the end of the twenties, the houses were built for rental but in 1939 the estate was sold off with sitting tenants getting a favourable price.

This photo dates from the 1930s

The Alban Estate in about 1930

The Alban Estate in about 1930

At the extreme left of the photo is the former cricket pavilion which is now the site of a much newer and smaller housing estate known as Pavilion Gardens. Then we get the row of ‘villas’ as built by George Bishop and known as the Alban Estate.


This estate saw houses built on generous plots. Recent householders have all, it seems, found space for cars off the road and this view, for most of the day is still devoid of parked cars.

Here’s a 21st century photo.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

The photographer’s shop

April 19, 2015

There was a photographer’s shop in Market Lavington for about 100 years. Originally Alf Burgess and then his sons had premises almost next to the co-op. When Peter and Bessie Francis set up their business it was on Church Street and it is those premises we look at today.

Bessie Francis stands outside the photography shop on Church Street in this 1960s view

Bessie Francis stands outside the photography shop on Church Street in this 1960s view

Here we see the premises some 50 years ago. Bessie stands at the door of quite substantial premises which, apart from the shop contained a portrait studio and the darkroom with all its equipment. Peter and Bessie were, of course, photographers as well as shop keepers. They lived over the premises.

The door between the two windows looks absurdly small which may remind us that people are much taller on average, now, than they were even 100 years ago.

The impression from this photo is of a vibrant and thriving business.

By the time the Francis duo retired and sold the business, the writing was probably on the wall for a shop of this kind in a village and not surprisingly the shop closed down leaving the premises as more of a private house. And so this is the 21st century view of the premises.

Bessie Francis stands outside the photography shop on Church Street - 1960s

The same premises in the 21st century

In truth, it still looks much the same and the windows certainly indicate its former shop status. In some ways the buildings either side which we can see have changed more.

These days, of course we are all happy mass snappers with a multi-purpose phone/camera/music player. We do not need experts to help us process our pictures or a regular supply of photographic film. Oddly, in these days of truly mass photography, shops selling equipment for this near universal hobby have all but vanished. If we want equipment we probably research on the internet to find what we want, or maybe make use of a hypermarket or superstore.

Times, inevitably, change.

Building the Surgery

June 26, 2014

A new building very quickly becomes something that seems to have been there for all time and for children still of junior school age, the Market Lavington health centre falls into that class already. And for many others, this is such an everyday building that it is already just part of the village scene.

It is, of course, entirely 21st century and this was the scene on 3rd December 2003.

Work on the surgery begins - December 2003

Work on the surgery begins – December 2003

The road entrance is being prepared as a matter of priority. Construction traffic could then be got off the main road.

From the Fiddington Clay roundabout

From the Fiddington Clay roundabout

Things went ahead rapidly from then on. By February 4th 2004 real building work was under way.


A new building begins to rise up

And ten years ago, the building looked complete.

The new surgery is externally complete

The new surgery is externally complete

No doubt internal finishing and a bit of landscaping were still needed but from a distance the new building was already settling in.


The new building appears to be nestled under the downs

By 2006 the building was already looking like an established part of the village. We can see that hedges and shrubs have been planted.

By 2006 the surgery was well established

By 2006 the surgery was well established

Since then the building has sprouted some solar panels and the shrubs and hedges have grown up which breaks up the rather harsh outlines of the new building.

Ten years on our surgery is well established.



May 19, 2013

Very few Market Lavington Houses retain their thatched covering. Over the years, the thatched roof has been replaced with more durable and less fire hazardous tiles or slates. Off hand we can think of just four thatched properties in the village. This is one of them, at 25 White Street. It is getting a 21st century make-over.


25 White Stret, Market Lavington receives new thatch

Throughout the wider area there are enough thatched properties to keep several thatching firms alive and kicking. Easterton has several thatched buildings including, of course, its pub, The Royal Oak.

As is usual, the firm here are not re-starting the thatch from scratch. A new layer is being added. A thatched roof tends to get thicker over the years helping the thatch to do its job of keeping the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

Thatching is a country craft which has survived and is thriving in the 21st century.

Before Woodland Yard

May 7, 2013

Back in the 1960s Wordley’s, the agricultural engineers, took over the yard between the butcher’s shop and the former hardware shop. The entrance to this yard was via an archway, more or less opposite the Market Place. The combine harvesters of the day were too big for the archway and it had to go which left this view.

Before Woodland Yard, Market Lavington - probably in the 1960s

Before Woodland Yard, Market Lavington – probably in the 1960s

What we see here is a pair of Massey Harris combines (they’d have been red) lost in a scene of dereliction. Heaps of all sorts would seem to surround the harvesters. Wordley’s had a ‘work in progress’ when the photo was taken. Sadly, we don’t have a date for the picture.

The houses in the middle distance are on The Clays. The house on the left has now sprouted an extension. Those on the right are near Chapel Lane – the footpath past the fish and chip shop.

Beyond we look up Lavington Hill on Salisbury Plain. The road is visible near the top of the hill. Don’t be confused by damage to the photo which produces the effect of a sunken lane by the chimney of the houses on the right.

These days the view is entirely different. The area is Woodland Yard and a number of traders have businesses in the area.


A similar recent view of Woodland Yard