Posts Tagged ‘post office’

Three Post Office locations

February 24, 2015

When you move in to a place, be it village or town, you have a sense of timelessness. It seems that things are as they are and as they always have been. But this isn’t always the case. The Post Office in Market Lavington has been in many places and today we are going to look at three locations which all tell us they were (or are still) the Post Office.

The first one we look at was on the corner of the Market Place and High Street.

Market Lavington Post office - 1911

Market Lavington Post Office – 1911

The original postcard had been cropped to fit in a mount and frame and had suffered damage as well so it isn’t the best of photos but on the left we can see the building is labelled Post Office. The decorations allow us to date this photo to 1911. The street was decorated and bedecked with flags for the coronation of George V which took place on 22nd June of that year.

That Post Office occupied the plot which now has the chemist’s shop. It is not the same building. The one shown was demolished by the agricultural engineers to make parking space in about 1960. The building which houses the chemist’s shop dates from around 1990.

Alf Burgess, the photographer has managed, as usual, to bring forth a crowd of people, all hoping to be seen in the photo. We believe he spent some time organising them into apparently random groups.

Other points to note include the full width porch at the front of the Green Dragon – which had once been the posting house for Market Lavington itself and, of course, the fact that back in 1911 the street belonged to people rather than to vehicles.

Our next location for the Post Office is next to what is now Gemini hairdressers – almost on the corner of White Street.

Market Lavington P{ost Office - ca 1930

Market Lavington Post Office – ca 1930

We have used this photo before on this blog back in 2011. From what we know of the three young ladies – Clara Brown, Ella Ross and Mary Smith – we date the photo to about 1930. This shop which also advertises stationery, postcards and holdfast boots was a part of Arthur Walton’s department store.

Moving on just about 100 years from the first photo we have the Post Office of today and once again we have chosen an occasion celebrating a royal event – in this case the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Market Lavington Post Office - 2012

Market Lavington Post Office – 2012

This is an example of village life evolving and changing. Things certainly are not just what they used to be.



Butcher Kidner

June 7, 2014

We were very recently given this postcard.

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

We already had a copy of the image, but this had been trimmed and some of the more interesting information is on the edge which had been lost in the copy.

The picture was taken, we believe, prior to 1904 and shows a society walk through Market Lavington. We believe the society was connected with the Oddfellows.

We are looking up High Street from outside the Market Place. The building on the left – which is where the chemist’s shop now stands, has two visible letters – CE. That’s enough for us to know that it was then the village Post Office.

The Green Dragon is clear with its porch right across the pavement.

The Green Dragon – still a thriving hostelry

In the middle is a large banner.

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

This carries the Latin motto Amicitia, Amor et Veritas – friendship, love and truth. This does appear to be connected with Oddfellows.

But it is the extreme right which really interests us. This shows the butcher’s shop, not so different now from how it was more than 100 years ago.

Outside butcher George Kidner’s shop

We can see that the pavement is cobbled which must have given a bumpy ride for the baby in the pram. The longish exposure time for the photo is revealed by the totally blurred child. We can see carcasses hanging outside the shop which would be deemed very unhygienic these days. And we can see that the butcher’s name was Kidner for it is written above the door.

George Kidner came from south London to Market Lavington in the 1870s. He had been a butcher all his working life and would have been approaching 60 when he moved to Market Lavington. His wife, Harriet (perhaps Hariot) died in 1894 but George, over 80, was described as a butcher working at home on the 1901 census. His daughter Alethea was with him.

We wonder whether it might be George on the extreme right, the elderly looking man with a stick.

George died in 1904 and his age was given as 89.

Does anybody know any more about him?


January 1, 2014

Yes, it is a New Year, always said to be a time for new beginnings. But 2014 is special and we have been planning and preparing for it, not by looking to the future, but by looking back 100 years. For of course, it was 100 years ago, in 1914, that the First World War started. We will be marking that event as will the whole village. In fact one imagines the whole country will be involved in some way.

Of course, a war – perhaps particularly that war – is not something to be celebratory about. Lives were destroyed and others were severely spoiled or ruined. Nobody was left untouched by that war and although we may not have seen actual conflict here in Lavington, many of our young men did. And many more young men spent time in the parish for Salisbury Plain was used as a training area for British and Empire soldiers. For many Canadians, in particular, their first home in the UK was a tent, pitched in deep mud near Pond Farm. Of course, things got worse for them when they reached Flanders or The Somme.

You can expect aspects of that war to feature in museum displays when we open for the season. You can also expect that talks and shows will feature the war too.

But let’s not be too glum now. Let’s mark the New Year with a calendar provided by the wonderful people at our village Post Office.

Front of a calendar for 2014 given by the good folks at Market Lavington Post Office

Front of a calendar for 2014 given by the good folks at Market Lavington Post Office

That’s a very pretty front but it is the back that makes this a museum item for the future.


Can we thank David, Julie and Charlotte for the service they provide for our community?

The calendar is now kept for posterity.


Pink Windows

October 24, 2013

October is breast cancer awareness month. Our local Post Office in Market Lavington has supported this event and as part of that they have created a pink window display.

Market Lavington Post Office window - Otober 2013

Market Lavington Post Office window – October 2013

This is modern stuff – October 2013 – but it is important that we, at Market Lavington Museum keep a record of ‘now’ so that people in the future can look back at the way we lived and the quaint way we did things.

Maybe there is a hope here of some child, in a hundred years or so, looking at this photo and asking, ‘what’s cancer?’

But well done to Dave, Julie and the team at the Post Office for mounting this display and also for the all the year round service they give us, of advertising local charities and events.

Amongst non-commercial posters we can pick out in the window, there is one for a Farm Africa Lunch – and these have always been enjoyable events and there is one for the Day Centre sale – another fun morning. I note we are invited to go on ‘Ted’s Walks’. The WI has a poster and so, too does the Community Choir. And of course, there is one there for Market Lavington Museum.

We’d like all our readers and our local residents to know that we are very interested in conserving what happens now for the future – and not just special events. The ordinary way of life matters if people in the future are ever to understand why we did things.

Easterton Post Office – then, then and now.

March 30, 2013

This postcard image shows a little bit of Easterton Street. We are uncertain as to its date, but the building on the right was the house and shop, then in use as the Post Office. It is more or less opposite the Royal Oak.

Easterton Street and Post Office probably before 1920

Easterton Street and Post Office probably before 1920

We have enlarged the photo a bit too much but we can read the sign – Easterton Post Office – and also note the large square bracket which would have held a gas lamp.


Post office sign and a gas lamp bracket

Further down the street we can see a bicycle leaning on a wall. There’s some kind of cart (with unreadable writing on the back of it) and a small group of people standing near it. With no evidence of a modern age we suspect this might date from before 1920 – but do let us know if you have more knowledge than us.

Our next comparison shot is also undated. We do not think that the 7/84 is a date. The photo is older and could be the 1950s or early 60s although the one car we see looks older than that.


Easterton Post Office – about 1960

There are many changes. The post office has had its slates replaced by a sheet metal roof and it has been linked to the house with an extended frontage. The building next to the shop – the one with the bike – has been demolished and replaced by lean-to and garage type buildings. We can see Oak Cottage in this shot. In the older photo only the chimneys were visible.

A car at Easterton's petrol station

A car at Easterton’s petrol station

There’s the car which is at the petrol station (long gone of course). It looks as though the sign is for Regent petrol.

Let’s move on to a miserable wet day in March 2013.

Former Post Office and Easterton Street - March 2013

Former Post Office and Easterton Street – March 2013

Cars, of course, have proliferated. The Royal Oak sign can just be seen on the left. The former Post Office is now slate roofed again. So is the extended former entrance to the shop.

A new house has sprouted up beyond Oak Cottage. The distant car is not at a petrol station. One by one these service stations have closed and there are none in any of the Lavingtons or Urchfont these days.

Market Lavington Post Office.

February 27, 2011

When you move into a village it is easy to think it has been set in stone since time immemorial. The Post office in Market Lavington is on the corner of High Street and Parsonage Lane now, but it has not always been there. It has been in various locations, including The Green Dragon and the corner of The Market Place. But in this photo, taken in 1923, it is more or less opposite its present location.

In 1923 Market Lavington Post Office was opposite its 2011 location. The photo is at Market Lavington Museum.

We can see that this was the Georgian era of the 20th century, for the post box carries the G R letters. The giveaway for location is on the left hand edge – a bricked up window is clearly in The Red House.

A period bicycle stands by the shop. This won’t belong to any of the three ladies by the entrance, for the bike is a gent’s cycle.

Bicycle by the Post Office

The three young ladies in the photo are Clara Brown, Ella Ross and Mary Smith.

We think Clara was born in about 1904 in West Lavington, the child of George and Emma Brown.

Ella Ross was the daughter of Joseph and Florence Ross. She was born around 1900. Joseph was the gardener at Clyffe Hall and you can read more about the Ross family by clicking here.

Mary Smith – a common name so it is hard to be certain just who she was. She could have been the daughter of John and Anna who lived in the Windmill area of the village.

Any further information about these people would be appreciated.

The Corner of the Market Place

November 26, 2010

Much of the centre of Market Lavington has looked much the same for the last hundred years or so. The Market place, however, has changed and re-changed out of almost all recognition.

The corner of The Market Place in Edwardian times - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This photo shows a corner of the Market Place and a view along a little of the High Street, looking towards Easterton.

Along the High Street we can see the premises where Harry Hobbs had his shop. Older residents may remember this as the newsagents.

The left side of the photo shows the buildings, which used to line that side of the Market Place. This is now where Rochelle Court is. These old buildings were deemed ‘not wanted’ and ‘standing in the way of progress’ in about 1960 and they were demolished. The site they are on became the entrance and the car park for the local agricultural engineers. Of course, in its turn, that gave way for the present set of buildings, which actually look much more like the 16th/17th century buildings shown in this photo.

Let’s now concentrate on the shop right on the corner. At the time of this photo (probably during the early years of the twentieth century) we can see that the shop, which occupies the site where the chemist’s shop now is, was the village Post Office.

The corner shop was Market Lavington Post Office

The shop window looks to be full of clothes and drapery goods.

The drapery window in the corner shop

This is not surprising for one of the signs on the wall reads,






The sign above the shop door

Thomas Morris was born in Billericay in Essex in about 1857. He was the postmaster in Market Lavington at the time of the 1891 and 1901 census. In 1891 he lived with his elderly father who was a retired wine merchant and his sister.

By 1901, Thomas was married to Maria who was not a Wiltshire girl. Maria came from Cambridgeshire. Thomas’s father, Fred Morris died early in 1901 and is buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

The Morris family had left the Lavington area by 1911.

At Market Lavington Museum we have no actual records or photos of the Morris’s time in the parish. Can you help us?