Posts Tagged ‘chapel’

In a Monastery Garden (2)

October 30, 2012

In a Monastery Garden (1) can be seen by clicking here.

Yesterday we looked at Mrs Hobbs memories as written in 1992. Today we’ll look more closely at one of her memories – the Sunday School Outing.

Back in 1912, Mrs Hobbs was known as Betty Pike although her real name never was Betty. It was a nickname conferred on her as a little baby and it stayed with her right through life. But her surname was Pike – daughter of George and his wife Mary Ann.

Sunday School outings were huge events back in those years before the First World War. The mass forms of entertainment we have today were unknown and a lovely day out was something people looked forward to and savoured long after the day had come and gone.

The chosen destinations for the Congregational Church were often Marsh’s Tea Gardens at Bratton or the Monastery Gardens at Edington. In 1912 the outing went to Edington.

It is hard for us to imagine the logistics these days. Huge numbers – maybe a couple of hundred people made the trip. Transport was by farm cart or wagon, equipped with temporary seats. These would have trundled along at walking pace, making the journey take a goodly part of the morning. Once there it was time to enjoy yourself.

George Pike rows members of Market Lavington Congregational Church on Edington Lake in 1912

Here we see Mrs Hobbs’s father, George Pike taking people out in a rowing boat on the lake at Edington.

It’s a long shot that the other occupants of this boat will be recognised, but do let us know if you can.

100 Years of the Congregational/Trinity Church

October 29, 2012

In 1892 a new church opened in Market Lavington. This was the new building for the Congregational Church, allowing it to move out of the old Quaker Meeting House.

We showed a picture of bricks being delivered to build the chapel in a piece on Fowell Traction Engines. Click here.

The centenary was celebrated in 1992 with a number of events. A local free church magazine, ‘Link’, ran some articles of memories by church members. Today we look at the memories of Mrs Hobbs. In 1992 she was the oldest member of the church. She was born in 1902, so her memories date from before 1910.

From the Link magazine of March 1992 – Memories of Mrs Hobbs of Market Lavington

Let’s transcribe her memories

My earliest memories, 87 years ago as a little girl are – going to chapel, sitting between my mother and father (Mr and Mrs George Pike) – the choir and organ were then at the back – standing on the seat turning round and looking at the ladies in the choir. Especially Mrs David Draper who opened her mouth well when singing! MRS Draper was the grandmother of Mrs Ada Askey who was our organist for a good number of years.

The Minister I remember was the Rev. Fred Lowe who still lived in his own house just opposite the church when he retired. My dad, every Sunday morning helped him across to the morning service. I can remember him walking round with his walking stick, which he left to dad and I still have it and make use of it myself.  This was well over 80 years ago when it was the Congregational Church. As the years went by we had a wonderful Sunday school. All our social life revolved around the church – the Prize Givings, Christmas tree then lit by candles, our Sunday School anniversaries with seats having to be put up the aisles, practising for Sunday School concerts and Social evenings held in the Sunday school (the old chapel).

The outings to Edington Tea Gardens or Bratton, Dad getting the wagon and horses from the local farmers then having the wooden boards nailed on each side for seats, very bumpy but we enjoyed our day out.

The Sunday School has been a vital part of the Church going back a good many years. The superintendent was Mr James Hobbs of Easterton (no relation) a devoted leader. Several of us little girls used to go part way to Easterton to meet him. Our next leader was Mr Samuel Hopkins (we always called him Uncle Sam) who lived for his church, the choir and Sunday School. Then Mr George Pike (my dad) carried on. He had a class of bigger boys. Some young men called their seats ‘The Lions’ Den’. He was church secretary for many years and a local preacher.

I can well remember the day in 1932 when Harry and myself were married. The minister was the Rev Daniel Jones. Being the first couple to be married by him, he gave us a nice bible written inside;

‘To Betty Pike and Harry Hobbs

“No one is poor who is rich in love”’

Thinking back over the years has brought back many happy memories of the Sunday school, Choir and Chapel.

Mrs Betty Hobbs

Twenty years on we often get Mrs Hobbs’s daughter to help identify people in museum photos.

Drove Lane, Then and Now

September 19, 2012

What a change in less than forty years! The section of 1973 Drove Lane we show was a rather austere looking piece of road. This was an area that had been widened and provided with a pavement when the new St Barnabas School opened in 1971. Drove Lane still had that harsh, new look when the photo was taken.

Drove Lane, Market Lavington on 25th February 1973

On the left we can see the steps that lead up to the footpath across to Northbrook. The building is the cemetery chapel of ease. The cemetery is in Market Lavington but is run by the Easterton Parish Council. When the old chapel was no longer needed and was beginning to be in an unsafe state, it was demolished. So that is no longer a part of the scene.

Looking up the hill we see new looking streetlamps and a small forest of electricity poles based around the electricity substation which had been constructed alongside the road. At the top end of the photo we have the new St Barnabas School, providing primary education for all of the children of Market Lavington and Easterton. It replaced Victorian buildings in both parishes. It is interesting to see that the new school was not big enough. A mobile classroom stands in front of the main building.

And now the same scene in 2012.

Drove Lane, Market Lavington on 24th July 2012

The steps on the footpath to Northbrook help locate the scene.  And oif course, Drove Lane follows the same course. But the harsh new scene of 1973 has become a scene of lush and verdant vegetation. The cemetery chapel may have gone, but even if it was still there it would hardly show behind the copper beech tree.  The street lamps have been changed and the substation has been masked by trees and shrubs planted for just that purpose. St Barnabas School is not visible because of the new growth. Another change in the area does not show at all. Back in 1973 mums walked to school with their young children. In 2012, working parents drive their children to school. A car park/drop off point/turning area was required to cope with this and one was created. It, too, can’t be seen at all.

Thanks go to Jim for finding the picture he took in 1973 and matching it up in 2012.

The Baptist Chapel

September 10, 2011

Not many people in Market Lavington will be aware that they have visited the former Baptist chapel, yet many have fairly frequently.

Former Strict Baptist Chapel in Market Lavington

And many, looking at this picture, will not have much idea where it is. Let’s look at a modern photo of the same scene.

The chapel today - as a fish and chip shop

Here we see what people might call the fish and chip shop – or the Chinese take-away. It has been a take away food shop for 80 years or so but its origins were as a Baptist Chapel and the footpath sized lane alongside it is called Chapel Lane.

We have looked at some of the baptism and burial records from this chapel before. Click here to see them.

This was the Strict Baptist Chapel and the Wiltshire Council Website (click here) has this to say about it.

Strict Baptist Chapel, Market Lavington

This church was formed in 1832 when eight people, probably mostly from the Lower Chapel, were baptised by John Dymott of Hilperton. A chapel was built and attracted fair numbers, although it was said that most of the congregation came from outside the parish. On Census Sunday in 1851 there were 50 at the morning service and 40 in the evening. Numbers declined in the late 19th century and the chapel probably closed in the early 20th century. The building was converted to a fish and chip shop, and the graveyard still exists alongside it

The graveyard does still exist, between the chapel (or fish and chip shop) and the gardens of houses along The Clay, but these days there are no visible signs. There is just a level lawn behind the screening fence.

For the record, the Wiltshire Council site also has one further snippet of information.

In 1855 a second Baptist chapel was opened on the south side of Church Street and was still marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1886.

This was at the premises which were once, Mr Potter’s Shop, the Vivo, The Spar or Mr Dempsey’s shop and which is now a private house.

New Display – The Congregational Church

April 5, 2011

New displays are now taking shape at Market Lavington Museum – ready for opening on Sunday May 1st.

One display portrays something of the life of the Congregational Church.

There's a new display about the Congregational Church at Market Lavington Museum

This body of people set themselves up as the Independent church at the start of the nineteenth century. Soon, they were using the former Quaker Meeting House at the Easterton end of Market Lavington High Street. The group flourished and in 1892 a new church was opened, opposite the former Quaker room, which was retained for Sunday Schools. A vestry was added to the building in 1919.

The Sunday School building was sold off in 1968. A new, small hall was opened behind the church, which became known as The Powner Hall after Bertram Powner who was the Pastor at the time.

Various mergers have taken place. Nationally, the Congregational Church became the United Reformed Church in the 1970s. Then, locally, the Methodist congregations at both Easterton and Littleton Panell joined with the Market Lavington group with the three churches forming Trinity Church.

The 1892 building began to need quite extensive repair work and it was decided to move services to Market Lavington’s new Community Hall. The last service in the 1892 church took place in June 2008.

In 2010 the chapel building was sold by auction for conversion to a dwelling house. Trinity Church continues to meet in the Community Hall.

The church was not just about services and worship. Church members enjoyed a good social life as well, with outings to places like Bratton Tea Gardens, when transport was horse powered, or as far away as Weymouth when charabancs became available. Our display includes photos of some of the social occasions.

Cups of tea have been the backdrop to much social activity during the time the church has existed and we are delighted that a local lady saved a pair of the teapots used by church members and has just given them to the museum. They form a part of the display.

The newest acquisitions at the museum are the church teapots. They form part of the display

Drove Lane Cemetery Chapel

May 14, 2010

The Drove Lane Cemetery Chapel was built in 1868 by the Independent, Congregational Church of Market Lavington.

The cemetery and the chapel came, eventually under the jurisdiction of Easterton Parish Council even though it stood full square in Market Lavington.

A picture, taken on a cold and frosty morning in 2006 shows the chapel in its cemetery setting.

Drove Lane Cemetery and chapel, Market Lavington, - 2006

Soon after this photo was taken, it was noticed that the end walls were bulging a little and some tile slippage occurred. Barricades were put up to prevent access to the building whilst decisions were made as to its future. Eventually, in 2009 it was decided that the chapel, only used to store a few items of Parish Council possessions, would be demolished. By the end of April 2010, the chapel was no more.

But perhaps it will get a new lease of life somewhere. The demolition company decided to take the building down with care and have now offered the chapel on ebay as a building kit, for re-erection elsewhere. They point out that the chapel is ideally sized to make a good garage.

The sale of the chapel has attracted publicity. A London commuter sent this extract from the free paper, The Metro, for 13th May 2010.

Page from 'The Metro' for May 13th 2010, telling of the sale of the Drove Lane Chapel as a building kit

Let’s take a closer look at the text of this article.

Text from article about the sale of the former Market Lavington and Easterton chapel

This page, from yesterday’s paper, becomes the latest artefact to be stored for the future at Market Lavington Museum.