Posts Tagged ‘engineer’

Ivydene Discovered

November 27, 2013

Oh to have records which were perfect in every detail. The photo below is described as one of nine photos dating from 1957-60 of the Market Place and surrounding areas during demolition of old buildings to make a council estate.

Photo dating from about 1960 showing Ivydene and the old Vicarage in Market Lavington

Photo dating from about 1960 showing Ivydene and the old Vicarage in Market Lavington

This description hardly fits the bill for this picture. We have an aerial view with some of the new housing in place. There’s a line of chimneys along the bottom edge. A little bit of the Market Place shows at the bottom left corner but essentially we have a view of an area to the north-east of the Market Place.

Let’s start with the Ivydene area. Ivydene had once been the home of Bus proprietor, Fred Sayer and during World War II it became the HQ for a search light battery. To a large degree, though, it is now off local radar. Well, it vanished 50 or more years ago so most people never knew the place. But here it is in this photo.

 

Ivydene - former home of Fred Sayer

Ivydene – former home of Fred Sayer

As we can see, there is a terrace of buildings. We think Fred Sayer had the larger building at the right hand end.

Further left we can see the pair of cottages on The Terrace.

Cottages on the Terrace. The Blakes and the Wilkins lived here

Cottages on the Terrace. The Blakes and the Wilkins lived here

Less than a month ago we featured the wedding of Mary Cooper and William Blake.  They made their married home in one of the cottages and when their daughter married she and her husband (Percy Wilkins) lived there.

At the time of this photo the agricultural engineers had the yard and sheds behind Ivydene. Behind them was the former vicarage which became, in recent years, a part of the nursing home.

 

The old Vicarage. In Victorian times the Reverend Edward Blackston Cokayne Frith held sway

The old Vicarage. In Victorian times the Reverend Edward Blackston Cokayne Frith held sway

We can see the big sweep of the drive in front of the house. That drive leads out onto High Street and at the top right of the photo we can see some of the houses at the far end of High Street, towards the old Congregational Chapel.

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A part of the High Street in Market Lavington

It is unusual for a photo not to leave us with more questions. Just behind the old Vicarage there are two large barns.

Does anybody know anything about these barns?

Does anybody know anything about these barns?

Does anybody know any of the history of these buildings? It looks as though access was from the Vicarage.

Barnes Wallis visits Market Lavington.

March 12, 2011

Barnes Wallis was a famous inventor, scientist and engineer. He was born in 1887 and he is best known for inventing the bouncing bombs, which were used in the dambuster raids against dams of the Ruhr Valley during World War II. But he also invented the geodesic airframe as used on the R100 airship, an airship with a short career because of disasters involving the R101 and the Hindenberg vessels.

It is no wonder that such a pre-eminent man should be in demand to give lectures. Dauntsey’s School certainly invited him to speak on a number of occasions.

On these visits to Wiltshire, Barnes and his wife, Molly, stayed at the Cliffe Hall Hotel in Market Lavington, which was run by Stewart and Barbara Reynolds.

Letters sent by the Wallises, requesting accommodation, have survived and are now at Market Lavington Museum.

A letter from barnes Wallis at Market Lavington Museum

In 1959, Barnes signed a typed letter.  Older readers of the blog will remember embossing address stamps, a device swept into oblivion by the word processor. This was the Wallis address and as late as 1959, the phone was just Bookham 27.

The embossed address

A later letter is less formal in style and comes from Molly

A letter from Molly Wallis

It certainly seems that 8 years on, in 1967, Mr and Mrs Wallis regarded the Reynolds family as friends.

The embossing address stamp was in use again, but it had changed.

Embossed address again - but with an updated phone number

The phone number had had 2000 added to it. Of course, this enlargement of phone numbers still has to go on.

In 1971 formality was back in order. Barnes can explain why in his own letter. It looks as though Barnes had been knighted since 1967 and the old address embosser had been discarded

Another letter from Barnes Wallis

James House of Market Lavington

March 31, 2010

One of the artefacts on display in the entrance room at Market Lavington Museum is a cast iron trade plate which carries the simple message – J. House Market Lavington.

J House Market Lavington - 19th century trade plate

We have no other records of J. House but some quick research can paint a little of his life.

J. House was James and he was born in 1821 to Robert and Elizabeth.

By 1851 James was living with his widowed mother in Market Lavington Market Place where he was running a machinery making business, employing five workers.

James married Eliza from Stockton, Wiltshire in 1854. According to the censuses, James continued to run the engineering business in the market place until at least 1891.

James died in 1894 and is buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Market Lavington. His widow, Eliza, continued to live in the Market Place – she was still there for the 1911 census but died soon after.