Posts Tagged ‘cricket’

Tom steps out to drive

April 7, 2016

As a museum we are devoted to the whole of the parish of Market Lavington, past and present. Inevitably some families and activities get well represented at the museum because people give us things. A family who have always been good to the museum is the Gye family. This means we have quite a lot of material that relates to this particular group who have always been active in the village.

Peggy, of course, founded our museum and her husband Tom and his wide family have always been very helpful to us. And once again, here, we have a photo which features Tom as a youngster.

Tom Gye and John King play cricket in Gye's Yard, Market Lavington

Tom Gye and John King play cricket in Gye’s Yard, Market Lavington

Tom is playing cricket and appears to be stepping down the wicket to play a lofted leg drive.

The equipment is clearly a bit ad hoc and the pitch isn’t quite what you might expect. This is actually the entrance to Gye’s yard with the houses of White Street visible behind. The picture must date from about 1930. 1930 was the year Don Bradman came to England with the Australian team and took the cricket world by storm. Mind you, the England team had heroes a plenty at that time too, what with Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Woolley amongst others.

But here in Market Lavington we had Tom Gye with the bat and behind the wicket we had John King. The wicket itself was a carbide container for making acetylene, according to the photo’s caption.


Now we know about Tom but can anybody add anything about John King?


Tom George

September 26, 2015

At the time of writing we think Tom George may be the oldest surviving person who was born in Market Lavington.

Tom was born in the spring of 1920. His parents were Albert George and his wife Florence (née Ailes). Neither of Tom’s parents were local people. They moved to Market Lavington from the London area when Albert got the job of manager at the brickworks sometime between 1907 and 1910.

We were recently given a photo of Tom George in the garden at the brick manager’s house.

Tom George in the garden of the brickworks house in 1927

Tom George in the garden of the brickworks house in 1927

So there we have Tom, complete with a cricket bat which looks to be a few sizes too big for him.


The back of the photo is captioned.


So we have a date of 1927 when Tom would have been seven years old.

Tom still lives fairly locally and we hope to record an oral history with him.

A Home Field find

July 1, 2015

The Home Field was the name given to the field which is situated behind the houses on Shires Close. Once upon a time it was used as the village recreation ground and we have posts on this blog which show all sorts going on there including cricket, football (well, a goal post) and political rallies. People remember circuses, fairs, carnivals etc all taking place on this field. These were occasions where crowds of people met up and, inevitably, things get lost.

Step in a metal detectorist, with permission from the owner. A staggering collection of twentieth century coins has been found and also other items and these have very recently been donated to the museum. We’ll take a look at one such item today.

A cricket motif item found on the Home Field in Market Lavington

A cricket motif item found on the Home Field in Market Lavington

This piece of non-ferrous metal obviously has a cricket connection.

This measures some 6½ centimetres across and 5½ centimetres from top to bottom. It clearly depicts a couple of cricket bats, a cricket ball (even the seam is shown) and three stumps. They are not all scaled to match. Damage has been clearly suffered with both bats looking just a tad battered.

If we look at the back we can see this is a thin sheet of metal with the shapes just pressed into it.

This was cheaply made out of non-ferrous metal

This was cheaply made out of non-ferrous metal

There’s no obvious method in which this has been fastened to anything and so no obvious purpose for this item.

Our guess, and it is no more than a guess, was that this may have been attached in some way to a cricket bag – one of those large bags for holding cricket gear.

We can’t begin to put a date on this but it is most probably twentieth century.

We seek further help can you tell us anything more about this? We’d like to get an age and original purpose for this item.


At the cricket

May 25, 2015

It’s 100 and a bit years ago – we are not certain if it is 1913 or 14. All is right with a world and life goes on as it has since time immemorial. Well that may have been the way that the well-off saw things and we capture some of this atmosphere in photos taken at Market Lavington’s cricket ground in one of the last summers before the Great War changed everything.

The photo originals belonged to the Awdry family. Charles Awdry had owned the Manor and estate but he had died in 1912. Charles, like many of his family, was a cricket enthusiast and the Market Lavington ground was made very classy by him. It had a pavilion which could have graced a county ground but it never ran to stands for spectators. They occupied benches and deck chairs.

This photo – we do not know who the people are – captures the rather gentile life style of these privileged (by money) people. There was time to sit and enjoy the sunshine and the company of a handsome young cricketer.

At the cricket in Market Lavington in 1913 or 14

At the cricket in Market Lavington in 1913 or 14

Another group are fairly obviously not watching cricket. The women wear the large hats that were fashionable in that era but also have umbrellas or sun shades. The building was the Market Lavington cricket pavilion.

People may not have had much interest in the cricket but it was a social event at which to be seen.

People may not have had much interest in the cricket but it was a social event at which to be seen.

Lavington School was built on the cricket field and for many years the school caretaker lived in the pavilion. The little estate called Pavilion Gardens now occupies the site.

We don’t believe there is an active cricket team in Market Lavington at the moment although back in the 1980s there was a local club using the Elisha Field


A Ladies Cricket Team

July 22, 2014

It’s summer and England’s men have been involved in test matches against India in recent days.

What we are looking at is a cricket team from times past consisting of members of the local Women’s Institute.

W. I. cricket team at Urchfont - probably late 1930s

W. I. cricket team at Urchfont – probably late 1930s

The local ladies were clearly having fun in this away match. The match, we believe, was played at Urchfont. The dress code suggests rather a carnival atmosphere.

The back of this photo has a caption.


So why do our museum records have this listed as the WI football team? That’s got to be wrong. The tall lady on the right is holding a cricket bat.

We need help!

What we can say is that Bess, as mentioned, is the second from the left on the front row. She is Bessie Gye, later the wife of photographer, Peter Francis. It is often hard to identify people in fancy dress, but maybe others can be identified. Once again, we need help.

Judging by the age of Bess, we would date the photo at late 1930s.

Do, please, get in touch and help us sort out a bit of a muddle.


Looking back at the cricket

September 17, 2013

For lovers of England and Test Match cricket it has been a grand summer with England beating the old rival – the Australians – by three matches to nil.

Perhaps the heyday for Market Lavington cricket was 100 years earlier.

Charles Awdry, who had bought the Manor and what was left of the estate had laid out a very fine cricket ground and built a pavilion on quite a lavish scale for a village ground. Wiltshire never had a first class team but it seems some quite prestigious matches were played at the ground. It is rumoured that a touring Australian side. The MCC have no record of a match but have suggested that the 9th June 1909 was a likely date if such a match ever happened.

Today we look at cricketers and supporters a few years after that event – in 1914.

Players and supporters at Market Lavington Cricket Week in 1914

Players and supporters at Market Lavington Cricket Week in 1914

Lavington Cricket Week was probably having its last fling as a social event. The outbreak of war ended such frivolity and much of it never returned.

This picture was copied from an album still owned by members of the Awdry family.  Sadly we do not know who any of the men are but we hope they enjoyed their time as cricketers at Market Lavington.

Before Lavington School

August 9, 2012

We commented, recently, on how the old Market Lavington School suffered from lack of space. Student teacher Rowena Campbell Trigger recorded these classes in her 1958 survey.

Market Lavington School classes in 1958

So, there were five classes but only three rooms. Other halls in the village were pressed into service.

Relief came in 1962 when Lavington Secondary Modern School opened. Secondary education had been available to those who passed the 11plus exam. Devizes Grammar School was open to them. But for the majority, until 1962, they started and finished their schooling at Market Lavington School.

Our picture today shows the site chosen for the new Lavington School, along The Spring and close to the parish boundary with West Lavington. This new school was to serve a range of local villages, taking the children aged between 11 and 15 from quite a wide area and providing them with specialist classrooms and teaching.

Lavington School playing fields – before the school was built

This picture dates from about 1958. Some of the items visible in the photo, taken by Peter Francis, tell us something of the history of the area.

The biggest, central item is the huge Wellingtonia tree. This would have been about 70 years old at the time for it was planted in 1887 as the tree to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It is still there today, now about 125 years old. Back in 1887, this field would have seemed the ideal place, for it was in use as the village recreation ground.

But that was to change. In 1902 Charles Awdry bought the Manor and that included the recreation ground. Charles had a passion for cricket and converted the area into a classy cricket ground, building the lavish pavilion that can be seen to the left of the Wellingtonia.

The cricket pavilion built by Charles Awdrey of Market Lavington Manor

The pavilion has now gone. The small estate of houses built on the site has the name, ‘Pavilion Gardens’.

Charles Awdrey died in 1912 and his executors decided the Manor must be sold. Nobody wanted the house until, eventually, Dauntsey’s School bought it. The nearer part of the field, as seen in the photo became a playing field for the boys. (Girls were not admitted to the school until much later.)

And then Wiltshire County Council built the Lavington School which opened in 1962. It is still there, much expanded, and is now a thriving comprehensive school.

Cricket Week

November 7, 2011

We have looked at the former cricket pavilion on an earlier blog. You can click here to see it.

The pavilion was built, and the cricket ground laid out, at a time when Charles Awdrey had Market Lavington Manor – roughly the Edwardian era at the start of the twentieth century.

One story, which we’d love to confirm, says that a South Wiltshire team beat The Australians at Market Lavington in 1909. Can anybody come up with a scorecard?

Our picture, today, is captioned, ‘Cricket Week, 1914’.

Cricket Week, 1914 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

We assume this is the Lavington ground although we can’t identify the building in the background.

A couple of cricketers in whites and blazers relax with some ladies. This group of people are sitting comfortably on deck chairs. It all looks very relaxed and refined.

Sadly, we have no names. It is probably a very outside chance – but do get in touch if you can tell us more about this photo or its location.

The Cricket Pavilion

July 30, 2011
We have looked at the cricket pavilion in Market Lavington before. We’ll take another look, with extra information today.

This was the photo we used before.

Market Lavington Cricket Pavilion along The Spring - 1912

It is hard to read on this copy, but the caption says ‘The Cricket Pavilion East Lavington’ so even into the 20th century the former name for our village was in use.

This photo dates from 1912.It probably comes as no surprise that the cricket ground, and the pavilion, were a part of the Manor Estate. When the Pleydell Bouverie family departed, the Manor House was bought by the Awdry family and they created the cricket ground and associated pavilion.

Cricket in progress 100 years ago with the pavilion in the background

Here we see the pavilion from across the ground with a match in progress. The photographer must have been standing somewhere near where the main building of Lavington School now stands when he took this timeless looking English scene.

The batsman and others from this photo at Market Lavington Museum

There we see batsman, wicket keeper up to the stumps, a slip fieldsman and an umpire. The chap at square leg appears to be facing the wrong way.  Perhaps he is fascinated by the thatched stacks in the next field.

Lavington School – the secondary school serving the local community –  opened in 1961, so the cricket field must have gone out of use before then. For many years the old pavilion was the school caretaker’s house.

The Pavilion in 1961

This was the pavilion in 1961 in a view along The Spring. There still looks to be a builder’s shed at the entrance to the school.

Now, the pavilion is gone, replaced by Pavilion Gardens, a pleasing small housing development.

George Burgess and also the Cricket Pavilion

October 14, 2010

Regular correspondent, John Burgess sent this about the 1914 Roll of Honour.

I found this very interesting as I think it includes my Grandfather George Burgess (lance-Corporal).

What I know of his military history is very little but I do know that he served in the Army during 1914/18 and I understand that between the wars he was abroad and was then a Sergeant training the Ghurkhas and at the end of that he was presented a pair of kukris (curved knives) which my brother has.  I have a small silver milk jug and a silver sugar bowl, which were his.

We’d love to be able to tell John more about the military service of his grandfather, George, who was born around 1889, the son of another George, a shepherd on Salisbury Plain and his wife Mary. Young George married Ethel Earley in 1911.

But sadly, we have no further information on George or his military service.


A change of topic – Market Lavington’s cricket pavilion

Some fairly recent housing in Market Lavington carries the address, ‘Pavilion Gardens’. It is an attractive little development at the entrance to Lavington School.

Pavilion Gardens at the entrance to Lavington School

The old cricket pavilion - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This is what Pavilion Gardens replaced and as the card suggests, the cricket ground and the pavilion were once a part of the Manor Estate.

Perhaps older residents could confirm the rumour we have heard that Wiltshire used to play at the ground sometimes.