Posts Tagged ‘Community Hall’

No Grove Farm! No Garage!

May 24, 2015

This photograph dates from 1999. What changes the new century brought!

Looking over the Grove Farm site in 1999

Looking over the Grove Farm site in 1999

We are looking across the area where the buildings of Grove Farm had stood. The two houses we see are on the south side of the main road. Meadow Cottage, birthplace of museum founder Peggy Gye, is just off shot to the left. To the right of the houses the concrete area was where the Spring Filling Station (Lavington Garage) had stood. Sad to say, like so many village petrol stations, all over the country, that had been swept into complete oblivion.

It’s the concrete area in front of the houses, and on this side of Church Street, that used to be yard and buildings for Grove Farm.

The area has, of course, been transformed.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

Now, we look over the approach road and car parks for our wonderful Community Hall. The two houses have been joined by Shires Close on the site of the garage.

Now that’s change for the better!


The Museum Miscellany

November 22, 2014

We are looking back about 6 weeks today – to the evening of 4th October 2014 – the evening of our Museum Miscellany. This is the evening when Rog, our curator, does one of his talks. Rog always says he can’t talk for all that long about any single subject which is why the idea of a miscellany developed. Talks are prepared, with many museum photos, on a variety of themes with some lasting about five minutes and others, perhaps twenty minutes or so. There’s something for everybody. This year, the First World War featured but the mood was lightened with Harry Hobbs shop adverts. There are always (this was the fifth miscellany) photo tours of the village and this year Rog only used photos given to the museum since the miscellany in 2013.

Rog always says the best part of the evening is the interval. ‘Our wonderful stewards’, he says, ‘have made delightful food using recipes we have in the museum. We literally get a taste of the past’.

We make the interval a bit longer than might be expected to allow plenty of time for people to eat, fill their glasses at the bar, and to chat. It makes it a wonderful social occasion.

The museum team are usually too busy to think of photographs but other folks manage some.


The hall is set out and ready – except that more chairs were needed.


An old gramophone is ready. The record is a very old one from the collection of Charlie Williams, formerly of Easterton. It pre-dates the First World War but is a piece of martial music to set the tone.


Food begins to appear and is set out alongside the recipe that is used. There will always be items made to suit people with varying dietary requirements.


The hall fills but there’s still time for a chat.


And there’s Rog explaining something during the show.

We are lucky that we have such a fantastic hall. It is equipped with a superb sound system, a fantastic screen not to mention a bar and a kitchen. It is always warm enough. It’s a wonderful venue and heavily used. That turned out to be to our advantage on this occasion for we had arranged with users earlier in the day to leave the chairs in place.

Preparations are in hand for next year’s event – the date isn’t finalised yet but it’s likely to be at the start of October.

We’ll look forward to seeing even more of you there next year.


The Community Hall is a fantastic venue and centrally placed within Wiltshire. It’s ideal for Wiltshire wide gatherings and events. The Wiltshire Buildings Symposium is held in the hall each year and we open the museum during their lunch interval. This year (November 8th), the outcome was truly memorable with 76 generous visitors coming into our small cottage museum. It’s an example of the knock on effect that the hall can have – benefitting the wider community. It certainly made a great end to the open season for us.

Grove Farm , 1972 – Community Hall, 2014

October 4, 2014

Many older people will be horrified when it is pointed out to them that 1972 was more than forty years ago. Let’s face it, it feels like yesterday. But roughly half of our population were not alive back then. It is real history to the under 45s.

So here we have a photo from 1972.

Grove Farm in 1972

Grove Farm in 1972

What we see here is a corner of Meadow Cottage on the right. We are looking up the track by this cottage to the main road which runs across the picture just this side of the brick wall. The other side of the wall is where we see Grove Farm – buildings and farm house.

On the left of the picture, behind the metal railings was an open area which may have been used for light agriculture at the time but had seen usage as a school adjunct in times past.

Now we fast forward to October 2014 and recreate the same view.

Same view, October 2014 shows the Community Hall

Same view, October 2014 shows the Community Hall

Meadow Cottage, on the right, is still much the same. The track alongside looks tidier, but is also still much as it had been.

The area to the left now has a couple of houses and a neat wall around the garden. The wall on the other side of the road maybe looks less well kept than it did 42 years earlier.

Grove Farm has entirely gone. The farmhouse, barns and buildings have all been swept away. Where once a Dutch barn and sheds stood we now have our Community Hall. We’ll be using it tonight for our annual Museum Miscellany.

Up on the hill we can see the cottages which were built when the hall was and other houses on the Grove Farm estate.

So all change – but change can often be for the better – and the Community Hall is a fantastic asset within Market Lavington.

We look forward to seeing you tonight – 7.30 in the hall for a couple of hours of local history, local food and a bar to make sure your needs are met.

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.


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.

Ten Years Ago

December 2, 2012

Today we look back to a photo the curator found on his computer – a photo he took back in October of 2002.

Shires Close, Market Lavington under construction in 2002

This photo illustrates how times and places change. This photo was taken from the edge of the churchyard in Market Lavington. We can see a little of its metal railings. In the background we can see Strawberry Hill, behind West Lavington. And in between there are new houses being built. These are now Shires Close.

Back in the 1960s Mr Haines had built his garage on this site – The Spring Service Station which became Shires Garage. When that ceased trading the site was cleared, and eventually the new houses were built.. To people who remember the garage, it seems like but yesterday that the houses arrived, but the photo makes it clear that it was ten years ago.

And since then there have been further changes for we are looking across the Community Hall site. Now what a success that has been – a great addition to local facilities which has really helped to foster a sense of community in the area.

So here we have a misty view from five years ago – October 7th 2007 with the hall nearing completion. Yes, even the hall has now been there for five years.

Market Lavington Community Hall nears completion in October 2007

Behind the hall we can see the Shires Close housing – lived in by this time.

Market Lavington continues to be a growing and developing community. We are pleased to be part of this at Market Lavington Museum.