Posts Tagged ‘Northbrook’

Northbrook view – 1910

June 8, 2016

We love this picture. It just oozes past times when elderly gents had time to stand and stare. As the poet William Henry Davis says:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

And here we have an unknown man standing and staring and, hopefully, feeling content.

Northbrook view in 1910

Northbrook view in 1910

We are looking along the Northbrook stream towards the roundabout where Grove Road, Canada Rise and Parsonage Lane all meet. Stream Cottage is visible on the right side of the stream.

Our information for this Walton series card comments that it was taken in 1910 and shows how it was possible for the stream bed to be used as a ‘road’ in the days of the horse and cart. In fact on Market days in the early 19th century the stream was part of a one way system because there was so much congestion on High Street.

There’s nothing new about congestion, but the 19th century solution of using the stream was ideal in its day for cart wheels needed moisture to swell them up and make sure spokes and tyres didn’t get loose. It would not be at all suitable for present day motor traffic.


A scrap book of news photos.

March 27, 2016

Another item recently loaned to the museum to allow us to copy relevant items is a scrapbook of photos, published in local papers. The scrapbook starts in 1950. This cutting comes from 1953 by which time the scrapbook was on Volume 2!


What we have here is largely a Northbrook family but it tells us as much about local newspapers as the family really. It seems unlikely that space would be found for four generations of one family today. And it seems almost unthinkable that married women would be given their husband’s name – but it was the norm then.

The little lad is Michael John Hibberd and with him are his mother, Mrs M Hibberd (the M was her husband’s initial. She was called Honor), Grandmother, Mrs Harry Cooper (her own name was Edith) and great grandmother, Mrs Emily Burt.

The Coopers and Hibberds lived on Northbrook in Market Lavington. Great Granny lived in Devizes.

Northbrook in the 1970s

February 24, 2016


Our information on this photo centres on Tom Burden’s cottage and says it was demolished because it was past saving.

The cottage referred to is the Tudor one at the left of this photo. Many people felt the demolition was something of a scandal but if asked, ‘would you have lived there?’ the answer was invariably, ‘oh no!’

It may have been sad, but the old, tumbledown damp and fairly derelict cottage went and was replaced by a modern house much more suited to present day needs. And we have photos and personal memories of the old cottage. It is now long gone but it is not forgotten.

There are many other changes that might be seen in that view today.


Well actually it is hardly recognisable as the same place.

Big Brother watches over the Vanishing Past

November 27, 2015

An interesting title for an interesting photograph

Northbrook in the late 1970s

Northbrook in the late 1970s

This photo shows a scene on Northbrook in the late 1970s. It was taken by our curator’s brother in law, Bill, on one of his visits to Market Lavington from his Sussex home. Bill was a very keen amateur photographer and a member of his local camera club. This photo was entered in competitions where it won prizes. The title for the blog is the one Bill wrote on the back as the title of his photograph.


The past is no longer vanishing. It vanished quite soon after. That was ‘The Tudor Cottage’ on Northbrook which was erased from this world in a single day amid much anguish from local folk. It has to be said, though, that whilst the old cottage looked an absolute delight, it wasn’t well suited to late 20th century needs. If you asked people upset by its demolition if they would have lived there, the invariable reply was, ‘oh no!’

Even so, the old cottage went with much regret and has been replaced by a modern house offering a modern family the space they need in a dry and comfortable building.

Even ‘Big Brother’ has altered – by getting even bigger. When the photo was taken this house, built on a slope was little more than a bungalow with a garage and utility room underneath. Since then it has sprouted an upper floor as well.

Here’s the similar modern view.

21st century Northbrook

21st century Northbrook

Thanks to Bill for taking such a stunning photo and producing the large print of it. It will bring back memories for many.

Supporting Rochelle Court

October 1, 2015

This is certainly an unusual view of things – a photo which dates from 1993.

It shows the building of a retaining wall and improvements to the footpath below Rochelle Court – alongside Northbrook.

Building the retaining wall and improving the Northbrook footpath in 1993

Building the retaining wall and improving the Northbrook footpath in 1993

Memories fade. Even long term Northbrook residents have forgotten this happening some 22 years ago.

At the top of the hill and on the right hand side of this photo is the old Market House which, of course, still stands having been renovated in the last few years. The house on the extreme left – we just see a corner of it – is still in place as well. So, too are the metal pipe railings on the rather grey coloured concrete wall. The present view (actually in 2011) looks like this.

Similar view today

Similar view today

A Northbrook View

August 20, 2015

These days we think of Northbrook as a road to nowhere. It’s a road that goes out of the back of the Market Place, down to the stream also called Northbrook and then up to the sands where it just stops. Footpaths radiate off in at least five directions from the end of the road. Probably, in days when most movement was on foot, Northbrook was as main a road as any other. This picture is well into fairly recent history.

Northbrook in the late 1960s

Northbrook in the late 1960s

The location here is still clear although there are many changes. The photographer was on the high footpath parallel to the road but keeping pedestrians away from it as they walk away from the Market Place.

The date is open to a bit of speculation but we put it at the second half of the 1960s. One good bit of dating evidence is the Ford Anglia Car – one of those with the oddly sloped back window. These were manufactured between 1959 and 1968. But we also turn to our old friends TV aerials for help. The cottages near that car appear to have 625 lines aerials. BBC2 was the first station broadcast in 625 lines. It went on air in 1964. However, other houses have 405 lines TV aerials. Colour TV started – only on 625 lines – in 1967 and a big royal event, the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969 persuaded huge numbers of people to get the new technology. So dating by TV aerials gives us between 1964 and 1969 for this photo.

At the top of the hill we have the Northbrook houses up on the sands including Northbrook Close.

Northbrook Close

Northbrook Close

In the foreground on the left are some semi-demolished cottages. Northbrook was once lined with small cottages most of which had gone by the time this photo was taken – but interesting to note those remains.

Demolished cottge remains on the side of Northbrook

Demolished cottge remains on the side of Northbrook

In the middle distance we can just make out the Tudor Cottage although it has a tree in front of it.

The Tudor cottage is just visible

The Tudor cottage is just visible

Tommy Burden lived there at this time. His Wilts CC lorry is recognisable.



Reverend Mayow Wynell Mayow – artist?

July 18, 2015

We have met the Reverend Mayow Wynell Mayow before on this blog but the other day a most unexpected email arrived with some sketches. The sender was requesting information about this Market Lavington vicar from 1836 to about 1860. It is known that the sketches were in a book of such drawings belonging to a member of the Mayow family. And here is one such sketch.

Sketch of Northbrook - probably 1840s

Sketch of Northbrook – probably 1840s

This sketch is located by the title on it.


So this is Northbrook in Market Lavington.

There is no clear signature. However, we do not think the writing is that of our former vicar for we can compare it against writing we have in a letter.


The capital M looks particularly different. So we are reasonably certain it wasn’t Market Lavington’s vicar who drew this image. It, and others, must be by  by a relative of his.

It is a lovely image and we’d like to thank Lido Vintage Images for making this and other pictures available to us. Quite reasonably, they retain copyright on a set of images they have shared with us. Their web site is at

A final thought – the location is clearly by the stream we know as Northbrook. It is believed this picture dates from the 1830s or 40s and probably the buildings depicted were demolished before present living memory. We certainly can’t identify them.

Thatching The Rest

February 21, 2015

The Rest is a pretty thatched cottage on Northbrook in Market Lavington. Towards the end of 2014 the house was re-thatched. House owner Dougald Ballardie became a photo journalist recording all he could of the thatching process. He has put this together in a twenty page A4 sized book and has given a copy to the museum. It’s a fascinating story, starting with a brief history and description of the house and then going right through that thatching process.

The front cover shows the house at the completion of the thatching job.

The front cover of 'Thatching The Rest'

The front cover of ‘Thatching The Rest’

We are pleased to see that Dougald’s well-known and well-loved dog, Sam, got into that photo.

Inside the book we see Dougald’s fine photos and captions.

Just one of the pages in the book

Just one of the pages in the book

This is a great addition to our museum for it is about a local house, but it would also have more general interest to those keen to learn about thatching.

Thanks Dougald.


Northbrook Cottage

July 19, 2014

A recent gift to the museum is a watercolour painting depicting the former Tudor cottage on Northbrook. The cottage stood close by the bridge which carried the road called Northbrook over the stream of the same name.

The Tudor Cottage on Northbrook - a watercolour by Roy McGrath

The Tudor Cottage on Northbrook – a watercolour by Roy McGrath

The artist (who was not the donor) has signed his work.


He was R McGrath – Roy.

At present we cannot be 100% sure just who he was, but we believe he married Linda Sheppard in 1937 in Market Lavington and that the couple lived on the sands just to the north of the village centre. We also believe that the McGrath family moved to Tisbury in the early 1950s so we can probably date the painting to that period of time.

Roy also titled his picture.


Of course, we’d have recognised the scene without a title. This delightful little cottage was well known and certainly was the home of Tommy Burden for many years.

To be generous to developers, the old house had passed its use by date and one day it was demolished and a house more suited to family life was built in its place. Many villagers think it was an act of wanton vandalism but very few people will say they’d have liked to have lived in the old cottage.

Roy, perhaps, has captured a lady who did live there.


We think this painting is absolutely fantastic. It needs a little frame restoration and then we’ll find space for it, somewhere, on the walls of the museum.

Huge thanks to Gaile, the donor. Her parents had been friends of Roy.


A World War Two kit bag

May 18, 2014

Sometimes the story of where an item comes from can add interest to the item. This recently donated item is a World War two RAF kit bag.

A World War Two RAF kitbag

A World War Two RAF kitbag

This was found under the eaves in a loft. The house was on Northbrook Close and it certainly must have been there for more than forty years and probably much longer. The person who found it saw the name and wondered whether it had anything to do with our village newsagent. Keith Davis, the newsagent, has the same name as that on the kit bag. He obviously shared thoughts with his sister and they knew it belonged to their father. It was Keith’s sister who brought it to the museum.

Our electoral register drawn up in 1963 shows the owner of this bag, L F Davis living at 39 Northbrook. This is the very loft it was found in although the address is now Northbrook Close.

Lionel Frederick Edward Davis was born in 1918.  His parents, Frank and Annie lived at The Rest on Northbrook. They would have been the occupants when the photo we showed yesterday was taken.

We have yet to discover what Fred actually did in World War II, but the kit bag was issued to Leading Aircraftman Davis L F. so he was clearly promoted.

The back of the bag has a hand written message which is very hard to read but appears to have the same number but may say Sgt Davis of North Brook, Market Lavington

Hand written message on the bag may indicate a further promotion for Market Lavington man, Fred Davis

Hand written message on the bag may indicate a further promotion for Market Lavington man, Fred Davis

Fred, as he was known, became the village newsagent. He was just 66 when he died in 1985.