Posts Tagged ‘firestation’

Easterton – Fire and Water

May 15, 2012

Another photo recently given to Market Lavington Museum shows a little bit of Easterton in about 1900.

A charming scene in Easterton, Wiltshire in about 1900. The photo is at Market Lavington Museum.

It can be seen that this picture is not in perfect condition. The photographer must have been standing on the bridge over the stream. This is on the road which leaves the main route and then veers round to the right, behind the two girls to head to the Village Hall and on up to The Sands.

The photo dates back to a time before Easterton had a pump for water. The two girls are about to fill their pitchers from a dipping well.

Girls fetch water from the dipping well at Easterton

So that’s the water from the title. What about the fire?

Fortunately, there isn’t a fire, but had there been, the wooden door behind the girls would have been opened to reveal Easterton’s very own fire engine. We have looked at this venerable machine before. Click here to see it.

In fact, the door behind the girls is clearly labelled FIRE ENGINE – it’s a bit blurred in this photo.

FIRE ENGINE is written on this entrance to an underground room.

This entrance also housed the jam factory pump – presumably to get water up to that building.

The door is still there, although it no longer hides a fire engine and the jam factory is long closed. Brambles and other plants have all but concealed this historic little cave-like building.

The Fire Station Bureau

April 23, 2012

A very recent arrival at Market Lavington Museum is a small, rather ordinary little bureau. It’s an ordinary item made special by its history. This is an item which was once used as the desk in the Market Lavington Fire Station.

Many people will not be aware there was such a fire station, but in fact, at one time both Market Lavington and Easterton each had their own fire engines, ready to serve (at a cost) the people of the villages.

Market Lavington progressed from a towed fire engine with a steam powered pump to a proper lorry style fire engine in the 1930s. You can click here to read Marjorie Milsom’s account of how her father came to build the first proper fire engine in the village.

Like the old towed vehicle, the new one was kept in the Market Place although the location for the station moved further back, behind the Co-op. Perhaps the small bureau arrived at that time – paper work had to be done and this item gave a chance to have somewhere to write and to store paper work. The glass-doored front, below the desk, allowed any trophies won by the brigade to be displayed.

When the station closed (about 1960, we think), the chief fireman, Alfie Burt rescued the little bureau. For the last 50 years the item was with the Burt family, handed down from father to son. Now it has been given to the museum where it can serve something like its old purpose. We have paper work in the desk – all items connected with the fire service in Market Lavington and Easterton.

Other museum artefacts are displayed in the glass-fronted section.

Bureau which once was the office desk at the Fire Station in Market Lavington

What a lovely little item this is – and for the first time for many a year, the old Market and Easterton Fire Brigades are remembered at the museum

Market Lavington Fire Brigade

April 20, 2012

One of the most altered parts of Market Lavington is the Market Place. There’s not a thing, in the picture below, which still remains today. In fact today, where these old buildings stood you find bungalows built in about 1960. Here we look back to the time when there was a fire station. Sadly, we don’t have an accurate date for this photo. It is probably from the 1940s, perhaps during World War II.

Outside Market Lavington Fire Station in about 1940

The fire appliance itself appears to be a small covered lorry. It has a ladder on the roof, a bright, roof mounted lamp and a bell, which in past times was all that was needed to warn other road users to move out of the way. The lorry has a towed trailer, which may be the pump mechanism, for delivering water onto a fire.

The men, all of them volunteers, stand outside the fire station in this clearly posed photo.

Market Lavington Museum has just been given a small bureau, which was used as a desk in the fire station. A display of fire station and engine memorabilia is on show in and around this bureau for the new season.

The Market Place in the 1950s again

April 16, 2011

Today we are getting two photos for the price of one for we have a montage. This was originally done, in pre digital days, by careful cutting and placing of two photos. Now we have done the same job digitally which produces a considerably more seamless joint.

The picture shows the Market Place before redevelopment in 1960.

A composite picture of the Market Place - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

On the left we have a building next to where the co-op shop stands. The telephone box in the village stands next to it. Behind the telephone box is the last part of a maltings and next to that is a coach, possibly a Bedford.

A coach in the Market Place, Market Lavington

Behind the bus there are a couple of houses that have fallen into disrepair and then there is the fire station.

Market Lavington's fire station still stood in the late 1950s

Beyond fire station doors we can peep into St james’ Square and then we move round the corner to Wordley’s yard. A Wordley’s lorry stands in front of the yard along with a couple of cars.

Parked vehicles in the Market Place including a Wordley's lorry

Finally and almost behind a tree we can see the top of Northbrook making its way down to the stream of the same name.