Posts Tagged ‘market place’

Guide leaders in the Market Place

July 22, 2016

We love this photo although it isn’t the sharpest we ever saw. But somehow it seems to capture a past age.

The Market Place with three guiders - undated

The Market Place with three guiders – undated

This was part of a collection of guide photos which had belonged to Bessie Francis, one time guide leader. The three guiders in the middle of the photo were clearly the intended subject, but the surroundings also speak to us.

The first thing to say is that there is not a car in sight and standing in the road to chat, pose or just be there. It wouldn’t be like that these days for cars park in a marked out spot on the right and despite the road being ‘no through’ there’s a steady stream of traffic on it.

Next, the vantage point for this photo has gone. It was taken from the room above the carriage arch which once stood over the entrance to Woodland Yard.

We’ll zoom in a bit.

He's leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street

He’s leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street

You have to admire the cool dude who is leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street although maybe he just had an eye for the photographer here, rather than for a certain little lady. We can see that on the corner at that time there was the Midland Bank. This is roughly where the chemist is now although it is an entirely different building.

The chap behind the lads is by the sign which says ‘no through road’.

Three Guiders

Three Guiders

The three guiders. The photo quality (and/or our knowledge) doesn’t let us identify them.

A chat in the middle of the road

A chat in the middle of the road

Two more people and behind them the hill leads down Northbrook with The Terrace to the right staying on top of the hill. The notice on the window to the left of Northbrook says, ‘travel by coach’ and this would have been put there by Fred Sayer.

And finally the little girl who got in the photo

Just waiting

Just waiting


Market Place – then and now

January 25, 2016

Our Market Lavington Market Place has changed a huge amount since the second half of the 20th century. People who didn’t know it have difficulty recognising just what was there in the older pictures. Here’s an attempt to offer help using a photo from the 1950s and another 21st century shot.

One of the features of this (and no doubt other) blog platform is that you can set up picture galleries which can merge one picture into the next. So here we have a sort of simple two frame animation of the two shots.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So there we have it. The Market Place in Market Lavington, then and now.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

December 22, 2015

The title for this piece is a quote from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song, Big Yellow Taxi’. The song goes on, ‘They’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.

Joni was probably singing about an area around Honolulu but she might almost be singing about what happened in Market Lavington in around 1960. It was then that some lovely looking Tudor houses were demolished in our Market Place and replaced with – you’ve guessed it – a parking lot.

On this blog we certainly wouldn’t criticise a decision made close on 60 years ago. Advantages stemmed from that decision, not least better employment prospects locally as the agricultural engineers were able to expand their much needed operations.

What Market Lavington had, before the changes was this.


Market Lavington Market Place – 1950s

This is a 1950s photo but by 1988 this was a similar, albeit more close up view

Similar view - 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

Similar view – 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

By this stage the age of the local agricultural engineer had ended. The parking lot, in the foreground, where the bank and other buildings had stood had its lack of beauty enhanced by an old rusty van of some sort. Even the ‘parking lot’ with its displays of fine red tractors and combine harvesters might have seemed like paradise by this time.

Clocks can’t be turned back but situations change and this is the 21st century view.

Market Lavington Market Place - 21st century

Market Lavington Market Place – 21st century

What looked so abjectly awful in 1988 has become the front area of Rochelle Court. A new building on the corner now houses a chemists shop and the other shop window, in the white building has a flourishing shop too. That’s a florist.

Obviously the buildings aren’t those old Tudor ones, but planners have done a pretty good job of bringing an area back to life, providing low cost housing and also a couple of retail outlets. Oh yes, part of it is still a parking lot as we can see

Granny Cooper

November 12, 2015

Florence Cooper was known by a wide family as Granny Cooper – even to people for whom she was not, strictly, the grandmother. Our photo shows her near her home which was one of the old houses in the Market Place. These were demolished in the late 1950s.

Florence Cooper (née Moore) outside her Market Place home

Florence Cooper (née Moore) outside her Market Place home – probably early 1950s

We think this photo was in an area which had been called St James’ Square. Possibly, the building facing us, at the back of the alley, is actually the back of the Co-op. But we’d welcome further information on this for the only other picture we have which we think shows the same area is actually of the buildings being demolished.

Florence was born Florence Moore in Easterton. She was the daughter of Samuel Moore of the jam factory. She had been born in 1890 and was the first born of Samuel and his first wife, Bertha.

Florence married Walter Cooper in 1912. He’d have been a gardener at the time, living with parents in Northbrook.

We can see that the couple lived at Market Place in the various electoral rolls we have for the 1920s and 30s.

Walter died in 1948. Florence followed him in 1966.

The Market Place in 1989

August 26, 2015

Once again we are looking at what many of our readers will regard as modern although, in fact, 1989 is more than a quarter of a century ago. But in outline the Market Place of 1989 looks much like the Market place of 2015.

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

Market Lavington Market Place in 1989

But there are differences. First of all, the Market Place is one big car park rather than an area divided into two. It may not be clear in this photo but the road leading round to the housing at back left is completely separated from the car park area. The parked cars are all at right angles to Northbrook rather than parallel with it.

The pollarded trees outside the old Market House are looking healthy – and completely hiding that old building – the only survivor of the Market Place of old.

The rather austere looking concrete lamp post has gone and has been replaced by a rather twee metal lamp standard.

And of course, cars are different. We can see a ‘proper’ Mini in this photo.


There aren’t many of them around now


And in that part of the photo we see a Citroen 2CV variant. They have all but vanished from the scene these days.

But change was afoot. We can see the paint mark on the road indicating how the pavement was to be extended so that parked cars could pull in along the inside of it. Did anyone consider what this would do to make life awkward for drivers of large articulated lorries delivering to the Co-op?

As John Lennon might have said, The Market Place has changed for ever but maybe not totally for better.

But we don’t criticise on this blog. The planners of the day did what seemed right at the time and we do recall that sometimes you parked your car in that old style market Place and then the front row filled completely and you couldn’t get out.


All change

March 24, 2015

No, this is nothing to do with asking all passengers to alight from a bus. It just shows a part of Market Lavington which looks entirely different now, from when the photo was taken. We believe that was in 1967 – some 48 years ago.

The Market Place - 1967

The Market Place – 1967

We are looking at a corner of the Market Place. It is the corner closest to the Co-op shop. Back then the village centre phone box was in the Market Place. It got moved to the crossroads and is still there but probably gets very little use now. The end building was in the throes of demolition when the photo was taken. That included the gable end and tall chimney we see. At least the remainder of that building survives as the Co-op, now the only grocery store in Market Lavington and Easterton.

The Market Place in 1915

January 6, 2015

We have used this picture before on this blog – about five years ago when the blog was young. As many more people look at our blog now, it seemed worth repeating this image – particularly as we are now fairly confident we can date it to 1915.

Back in November 1915 Market Lavington held ‘Our Day’. This was a fund raising market, held in the Market Place, with the idea being to raise cash for the British Red cross to help fund care and treatment for servicemen and others in difficulty.

We are pretty confident that this image shows goods arriving to be sold in the market.

Goods arriving for sale in the Market Place - November 1915

Goods arriving for sale in the Market Place – November 1915

We understand that the First World War Group in Lavington are planning to recreate this event, more or less 100 years on – but in the summer which might seem more suited to an outdoor market.

Points of interest include signs on Market Place buildings.

Market Place signes for Tom Haines and Counties Steam Laundry

Market Place signes for Tom Haines and Counties Steam Laundry

We have a sign for T K Haines – Tom Haines and he certainly had premises at that spot in 1915. The other sign looks to be for Counties Steam Laundry. We still don’t know any more about this. Was this an agent’s sign? Or was the laundry actually in the Market Place here?

Reverend Sturton and M.r Walton were officers for some kind of club

Reverend Sturton and M.r Walton were officers for some kind of club

We know nothing of the organisation with members in the corner shop window. Mr Sturton was the Market Lavington vicar and Mr Walton was the proprietor of his department store centred around the crossroads.

Can you name any of these people from 100 years ago?

Can you name any of these people from 100 years ago?

No, we can’t name any of the people in the photo.

This photo is also a reminder that the First World War continued 100 years ago. You can still read one man’s view of it on the Jack Welch Diaries (there is a link on this blog). And we’ll continue to have our monthly war report from Lyn Dyson.

Market Place – 1914

December 26, 2014

We do not know who drew out this map, but it gives us a good idea of what our village Market Place was like 100 years ago. And that, of course, was nothing like it is today!

A plan of Market Lavington Market Place dated 1914

A plan of Market Lavington Market Place dated 1914

The added words tell a story. Let’s start with ‘The Market House’ – still standing. And yes, it is still standing but it is the only building shown surrounding the Market Place which is in situ in 2014. Buildings that front onto High Street are still there in most cases.

It is interesting to see that the hill down Northbrook from the Market Place was called St James’s Hill. We are tempted to say it is a name that hasn’t survived.

Alongside that hill in rather small writing it tells us we had ‘Doctor’s house – demolished 1920s.

Doctor Lush lived here

Doctor Lush lived here

The fire station was sited in a building that would have been closely adjacent to the current Co-op building.

The Fire Station opened onto High Street

The Fire Station opened onto High Street

Malt houses had been a major feature of Market Lavington but many had gone out of use by this time and other uses were being found.


This area is now Rochelle Court


And for those of us for whom Sayer’s Bus Depot and Wordley’s mean nothing, in 2014 this area is Rochelle Court.

What a handy plan this is. It certainly helps us to understand what the Market Place was like in the past.

Village Festival – 1994

August 9, 2014

Golly! 1994 is twenty years ago. Market Lavington had a village festival with a variety of events and here’s the pig roast which was held in the Market Place as a part of it.

Pig roast in Market Lavington - September 1994

Pig roast in Market Lavington – September 1994

The buildings have not changed much since then, but had we seen a bit further along the Green Dragon we’d have seen the wonderful porch which reached right across the pavement.

Our curator often finds it easier to name people in older photos but this time he’s in luck. Just to the left of the apparent butcher looking down at the pig we can see Rog – our curator.

We think the acting butcher is Derek Birch and possibly, to the right of Derek is Frank Jones who now chairs our First World War commemoration group. The butcher on the left may be John Clarke. Other people in the photo we have yet to name.

This could bring back happy memories for many and it shows that community events can occupy the Market Place.

The Market Place in about 1870

January 10, 2014

We have been very lucky to have had the use of professional quality photo copying equipment. The device we were able to use (with many thanks to Roger) just whips through the copying process and does a really high quality job. It means we are copying (we hope) the entire archive, even those photos which are not tip-top quality ones.

Which brings us to today’s offering – a picture of the Market Place believed to be very early, dating from the 1870s.

Market Lavington Market Place in about 1870

Market Lavington Market Place in about 1870

Perhaps the most surprising thing is to realise how recognisable this looks – it is very much Market Lavington Market Place although, in fact, nothing in the photo remains in place today with the exception of one house, lost behind the trees in the photo.

With that exception, all of the buildings seen were deemed outmoded and unwanted in the 1960s and they were demolished to be replaced by buildings and parking space for the agricultural engineers. When that firm closed, its buildings were demolished and flats and shops were built – known as Rochelle Court. The shop on the corner we see here is where the chemist is now – but in an entirely different building.

In fact the last items to vanish, were the pollarded trees. The last of these were removed only recently.

When we wrote about the band, a couple of days ago, we commented on how short the people looked – which they were. Men, on average, are four inches taller now than they were then. Take a look at this chap.

A detail from the photo

A detail from the photo

He looks to be dwarfed by his rake. Maybe he was using the delightful barrow behind him to help him collect horse manure from the road.

So, yet another delightful image of our village, helping to tell the tale of times past.