Posts Tagged ‘garage’

Milsom’s Garage

September 18, 2015

We have seen this photo before on this blog, in connection with the Milsom family but this copy is sharper and shows more of the car on the right. It has damage, but we think it is worth seeing again.

Milsom's Garage, Market Lavington with an interesting collection of cars in 1937

Milsom’s Garage, Market Lavington with an interesting collection of cars in 1937

Let’s start by dating the photo. Our museum documentation gives a date of 1937 and there is evidence here to prove that is certainly within plus or minus 2 years.

The garage sold Essolene petrol

The garage sold Essolene petrol

This style of bulb sign, for Essolene petrol, was, apparently, only in use from 1935 to 1939. So we’ll be happy with that 1937 date.

Mr Milsom may well have been flying Union flags because of the coronation in 1937.

We have no expertise on cars but the leading car looks to have a Jaguar motif on the bonnet. As far as we know such cars appeared in 1935. There will be car experts out there who know more than us and who can tell us what each of the cars actually are.

The garage, it seems, had an agency for Morris cars.

Morris Cars at R. Milsom motor and general engineer

Morris Cars at R. Milsom motor and general engineer

The old garage has completely gone now but the name is remembered for the new houses built in this area have an address of Milsom Court.

This is a delightful period photo of Church Street in Market Lavington.

There is one person in the photo.

Was this Mr Milson - or maybe a member of the workforce?

Was this Mr Milson – or maybe a member of the workforce?

We do not know who this is but just maybe he’d be recognised.


All gone!

September 17, 2014

All gone, but not forgotten. That phrase applies to the man-made bits of this photo.

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

This picture dates from 1986. That’s 28 years ago as this is written.

In the foreground we have the pens and yards associated with Grove Farm and behind them, on the right hand side there is the farm house.

At that time it all looked sad and derelict but of course it had been a tidy and well kept working dairy farm. When the Francis family had it they sold milk from buckets which they took around the village on bicycle handlebars.

Down below the house and to its left are various sheds which were also part of the farm.

This whole site is now where the Community Hall and car park stands. This new building has done much to maintain and revive community spirit in the area.

Those corrugated iron roofed sheds lined the road and opposite them, the brick and white building was the garage set up by Eddie Haines. Later it became Shires Garage and then that, too, was swept away and became the little housing development now called Shires Close.

Not all changes are for the worse. We might and do regret the passing of farm and garage which offered employment to people within the village. But it can’t be denied that the newer arrangements are neater and tidier.




Edgar Haines

March 30, 2014

Over the years, Market Lavington and Easterton have had various outlets selling petrol. There have been, and still are all sorts of motor repair businesses.  There is still at least one place selling second hand cars. But the place which combined it all – and sold brand new cars – was Edgar Haines’ garage known as The Spring Filling Station and later as Shires Garage. This opened in about 1967 and now, like so many village service stations, it is now long gone.

Today we look at the man, Edgar Haines. And as we often do, we appeal for help. This photo is captioned ‘Edgar Haines’.

One of these men is Edgar Haines who opened and ran a garage and filling station in Market Lavington

One of these men is Edgar Haines who opened and ran a garage and filling station in Market Lavington

But as we can see there are two men in the photo. Both of them look far too smartly attired for dealing with car tyres but we’ll note they are on a carpeted floor so it is probably all quite clean. The question for us is, ‘which man is Edgar Haines?’ A second question is then, ‘who is the other man?’ (Update – Edgar is on the right)

We do not know a lot about Edgar. He was a local man, born in 1930 to parents Wallace and Edith.

Sadly, he died as quite a young man in 1980.

Again, any further information about Edgar would be appreciated.

Market Lavington Garage

August 15, 2013

Market Lavington’s garage was built on The Spring so was known as ‘The Spring Filling Station’. It was run by E J Haines, sold Esso petrol and had an agency to sell Fiat cars. And here it is.

The Spring Filling Station, Market Lavington in the 1970s

The Spring Filling Station, Market Lavington in the 1970s

We believe the garage opened around 1970 and this photo dates from the late 1970s.

Apart from the garage, we can see Spring Cottages under the Esso sign.

The garage, later, became Shires and had an agency for Seat cars.

By the year 2000 it had gone the way of many a village garage – swept into oblivion. The site is now Shires Close, a small housing estate. Cars can still be admirably serviced and repaired in the Lavingtons, but petrol is not available in the area. ‘You have to go to Tilshead for that’.

A mechanics life by John Buckland

March 31, 2013

John is a long term Market Lavington resident and has written this in response to the article about an oil pump published on 28th march. You can click here to see it.

Now, in John’s words…

I have used this actual pump. In 1963 I started work for Edgar John Haines, who had taken over Milsoms Garage. I well remember the pump (and getting in a sticky mess with it).

There were two petrol pumps that were outside the workshop doors that you had to reverse in from Church Street to access. Petrol was four and four pence a GALLON. (That’s about 5p per litre.)

Milsom's Garage on Church Street, Market Lavington - later becoming Edgar Haines garage. John Buckland worked here.

Milsom’s Garage on Church Street, Market Lavington – later becoming Edgar Haines garage. John Buckland worked here.

One of the pits in the workshop that were used to access the underneath of vehicles had a circular bulge in the centre, I was told this was to drop steam boilers down in to so maintenance could be carried out. (I never got to use this facility, as steam cars were a bygone era.)

The Fiat car company approached Edgar, the agency was taken on and business prospered, the German Wartburg agency soon followed with limited success.

As the new estate was built for the Army / RAF most of the personnel had foreign cars and as Edgar had a foreign car agency, working on VW’s, BMW’s, etc. became the norm.

The workshop was extended towards Gye’s workshops in White Street. Quite soon after, a new workshop and filling station was built in the Spring by Eddie Bishop builder also from the Spring, his workmen Fred Shepherd and Strawberry Cooper doing the majority of the work.

Edgar Haines moved his business to the new Spring Filling Station in the 1960s

Edgar Haines moved his business to the new Spring Filling Station in the 1960s

After Edgar’s early death, the business was sold, became a Seat agency, and then was demolished for new housing.

I recall assisting in the preparation of a Ford Cortina GT that was owned by one of the RAF officers, that was entering the first ever London to Sydney car rally. How it fared I cannot recall.

Also, Victor Gibson, step-son of Lt. Colonel Bradshaw of White Street raced a Morgan plus 4 sports car that had some notoriety behind it. In 1962 it was entered for the Le-Mans 24 hour race by the Morgan car co. of Malvern. Known affectionately as “old mo” Remarkably it finished first in class for up to 2 litre sports cars and thirteenth overall. In Victor’s hands it was less successful!!!

It was road legal and garaged in Monday Market street in Devizes at the rear of the Lucinda wool shop. (Mrs Bradshaw had a chain of these shops locally, even one in Lavington.) I recall trying to bump start it to bring it to Haines’s along Monday Market Street with the bonnet open, me running alongside trying to give the carburettors some choke and flames licking at my arms. Victor wore a leather pilot’s hat when racing, safety was yet to come to the fore.

Somehow Victor managed to write it off along with the Colonel’s Rover 2000 and the trailer on his way to Castle Combe at the turnpike garage. (on the way to Melksham)

I left Haines’s employ in 1971 after eight years, to become a Police motor technician, a position Edgar had held previously.

A View from the Church Tower in 2000

January 4, 2013

A few days ago we published a photo taken by Maurice Baker. Maurice was on top of the church tower in 1981 and the picture we looked at showed a rather derelict Grove Farm and a thriving looking garage at The Spring.

Maurice was up the tower again on 11th August 2000. He took a dozen photos showing the panorama around the church tower. We have picked one which roughly matches the one we showed taken in 1981.

A view from Market Lavington church tower in the year 2000

The big differences are that buildings have gone. The garage site was, by the year 2000 just the concrete with foundation traces of buildings. Grove Farm has gone too. Again, all that remains is concrete, where the yard once was.

But there are new arrivals too. At the left hand edge we see one of the two new houses on the Chantry Mead site and on the little green area just before the old garage entrance there’s a sign telling motorists they are approaching a mini roundabout. Grove Road has been built, linking the bottom of Spin Hill with The Spring. We can just make out the roundabout.

This photo shows The Spring wending its way to West Lavington and we can pick out houses in that village in the distance.

Let’s remind ourselves of that 1981 photo before imagining the scene now.

Grove Farm and Haines’ Garage from Market Lavington church tower in 1981

The old garage site now has five houses on it – Shires Close. We’d be looking over the top of the Community Hall at those houses and we’d almost certainly see cars in the hall car park for the hall is almost always in use.

It’s probably time for another set of church tower photos.

Another view from the church tower

December 5, 2012

Maurice Baker is a former bell ringer at St Mary’s Market Lavington. No doubt this gave him access to the tower which, of course, gives scope for semi-aerial views of the village. We have recently been given two series of photos taken by Maurice. One set was taken in 1981 and our chosen image for today comes from that set. We are particularly pleased to have this photo for it gives us a rare, and good view of the former garage sometimes known as the Spring Filling Station.

Grove Farm and Haines’ Garage from Market Lavington church tower in 1981

In the foreground we have the derelict buildings of Grove Farm. The house  has certainly lost some of its tiles and the farm buildings look to be less than weather proof in places.

That whole area has now been swept into oblivion and has been replaced by our wonderful Community Hall and its carpark.

Beyond we see the garage which, at the time was owned by Mr E J Haines. Later it became Shire’s Garage.

During Mr Haines’ time, the garage was an agent for Fiat cars and the showroom, at the right hand end no doubt had a goodly display of these Italian cars.

Next to that, under the slightly pitched roof there was the workshop where cars of all sorts could be repaired and serviced. The two storey building at the left hand end housed the shop with offices above. There were four petrol pumps on the forecourt. The price appears to be £1.50 (or so) but that is per gallon so that’s about a quarter of the current price – not that you can get petrol in Lavington any more.

At the front of the forecourt there are 2nd hand cars for sale. At thwe left hand end there’s a row of cars awaiting attention in the workshop. The three near the back of the building were probably in need of something major.

Now Shires Close stands on the site. Not a trace of a garage remains.

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.

Petrol in Easterton

October 15, 2012

Easterton Street with the petrol station in the foreground – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

These days, in Market Lavington and Easterton, we do not live in a good place for petrol. It is four miles in a straight line to our nearest (and very good) source of petrol in Tilshead and more like five miles in a straight line to Devizes where petrol is also available. Roads don’t go in straight lines so actual distances are more.

Of course it wasn’t always like it. Once upon a time just about every village could supply petrol. Certainly a motorist on the B Road from West Lavington, through Market Lavington and Easterton to Urchfont and beyond, would not have been more than a mile from a petrol station some 40 years ago.

Easterton’s was one of the first to go. It may have gone because of regulations about petrol storage. There was nowhere to move a tank any further from the road or from houses.

We have recently been given a delightful photo of Easterton’s High Street showing the petrol station. It complements another picture which we have previously shown on this blog.

The pumps at the petrol station in Easterton

The scene is barely recognisable as the Easterton we know today. Easterton has changed a great deal. At the moment, an Easterton resident is working on an update of Sheila Judge’s book about the village. He has commented on how hard it is to get a handle on the location of older pictures. We think the photographer was standing in the High Street, not that far from The Royal Oak and was facing towards Urchfont.

It doesn’t look as though the petrol station owner was going to be rushed off his feet serving motorists. But what delightful pumps he had to use.

We can see that the brand of petrol was Shell Mex. The garage also advertised Mobiloil. We can also see that the pumps were right on the edge of the road with no space anywhere for a petrol store tank away from the roadside.

Grove Farm and The Spring in 1986

August 15, 2012

Goodness! What changes can happen in 25 years. None of the buildings seen in the photo below still stand today. Many people would say that the village has improved as a result – but with regrets, of course.

Grove Farm and The Spring Filling Station, Market Lavington, in 1986

The photographer was standing on land above the old Grove Farm. The foreground walls were clearly a part of the farm but just what function they served, we do not know.

Above the walls, on the right hand side, we can see some of the slate roof of the farmhouse.

To the left of the house, we can see corrugated iron sheds which backed onto the main road through Market Lavington, known in this part of the village as The Spring.

Across the road is the old Spring Filling Station – the garage set up there by Eddy Haines in the 1960s although by the time of this photo it had changed ownership and name and was called Shires Garage.

And every bit of it has gone. The garage, like many a village filling station, could not compete with supermarket prices. Once upon a time, a traveller between West Lavington and the Chirton end of the B3098 would have had access to petrol in West Lavington, Market Lavington, Easterton, Urchfont and at Wedhampton. All have gone. On that former garage site in Market Lavington we now have Shires Close providing homes for five families in the village. Many folks, though regret the absence of a petrol station in the area.

The Grove Farm site has become the Community Hall. The photographer must have been somewhere around the upper car park. The house stood more or less where the lower car park is now.

In the background of the photo we can see Salisbury Plain and that, of course, is still there and more or less unchanged.