Posts Tagged ‘pub’

A public weigh-in

September 10, 2016

Brave or what? Standing outside a pub on a pair of scales to see how much weight you have lost. But that is what Mrs Ann Withers, landlady of the old Volunteer Arms, was doing back in September 1976.

Ann Withers weighs in publicly, to see what weight she has lost - September 1976

Ann Withers weighs in publicly, to see what weight she has lost – September 1976

The lady on the right of this photo, Mrs Jenny Dolby, was also involved in this slim-in. She was at the Drummer Boy pub

The aim, apart from fitness was to raise money for charity and the two slimmers shed 28 pounds between them to earn £120 some of which went to the Devizes Hospital Broadcasting Service. The balance of money went to a charity for blind people.

There’s a little reminder of another past thing in the background. Peter Francis’s photographic shop is there. That dates from the time before digital photography, the internet and instant messaging. There would surely be little hope for a photographic shop these days.


People in the Volley

August 29, 2016

This post shows that the old Volunteer Arms was once a thriving, busy pub. It closed some 30 or so years ago and it is now almost forgotten. Let’s face it, half the population don’t remember it at all as anything but a private house.

Here we have a colour photo of an event at the pub.

A 1970s event at the Volunteer Arms

A 1970s event at the Volunteer Arms

Centre stage in that photo is Sandra and I withhold her surname as she still lives in the village. Our curator went to ask her more about the photo but she did not remember the event but she was able to name some of the people.

At the extreme left is Billy (again surname withheld) who used to live in the village but now lives in Trowbridge. Next to him is Philip who also still lives in the village. The tall chap – his head next to Philip in the photo is Dave.

It is always interesting to see the fashions of the time. We have men in flared trousers which dates this to early to mid-1970s.

It looks as though the regulars at the Volley had a fine collection of produce but just what was happening to it all, we don’t know.

In the Volunteer Arms

August 27, 2016

A couple of days ago we looked at the outside of the Volunteer Arms, affectionately known as the Volley. That picture dates from 1967 and for the old amongst us who think that was only yesterday let’s remember that it is all but fifty years ago. And today’s images, showing the inside of the pub, also date from 1967.

Here is the bar.

The bar at the Volunteer Arms in 1967

The bar at the Volunteer Arms in 1967

We seem to be looking at a real bit of past life, albeit with not a person in sight. Our photographer has found a spot where he looks over the bar billiards table. And what a great game that was. It didn’t require a huge area because all the cueing action took place at one end of the table. We also see the dartboard which no pub would have been without at one time.

The bar itself is quite compact but crowded with drinks and mugs.


That looks to be a very elegant shell shaped uplighter at the far end of the bar.

Now let’s look at what might be called the customer area.

The seating area at the old Volley

The seating area at the old Volley

Once again we see that bar billiards table on the right, a fruit machine beyond it and an almost edge on dart board on the left.

But it is the tables and chairs that take the eye. They are so period and might be quite collectable these days.

These chairs could be collectable these days.

These chairs could be collectable these days.

We feel so lucky that these photos have turned up so suddenly, out of the blue. They will bring back memories for many older residents in Market Lavington.

The Volunteer Arms

August 25, 2016

Yesterday we looked at a view from that former pub, The Volunteer Arms which had once been known as The Angel. Today we see the pub itself.

This photo of the pub is captioned just ‘1967’.

The Volunteer in 1967

The Volunteer in 1967

The pub is on Church Street but the view beyond is into High Street and even then, all but 50 years ago, there were cars parked outside the Post Office.

Yesterday’s photo was taken from the pub’s porch. Today we see that porch clearly and also, of course, the sign board hanging from its bracket which still exists.

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

Volunteer Arms sign. The bracket still exists (as at 2016)

We can see the old ‘Volley’ was a Wadworth’s pub.

We’d like to thank former Market Lavington resident, Sue, for donating a goodly collection of Volunteer photos to the museum. This particular pub had been under represented in our collection.

This one makes a then and even longer ago comparison.


The Volunteer – 1911



The Oak again

June 21, 2016

This is another fairly recent acquired postcard. The picture may well have been taken on the same occasion as that shown on 13th May this year.

The Royal Oak, Easterton

The Royal Oak, Easterton

This is a ground level view and we can see what a fine old building it was and still is. Perhaps it has been improved by the removal of the single storey slate roofed skittle alley.

The former skittle alley

The former skittle alley

The remainder of the Oak is much as we see it today. But this gives us a reminder of a time when a skittle alley was a pub essential in this part of the world.


A memory of the Drummer Boy

June 16, 2016

This poster is one of few memories we have of the Drummer Boy in fairly recent days. It advertised live music at the pub.

Poster for live music at The Drummer Boy in 2006

Poster for live music at The Drummer Boy in 2006

We think this was 2006 – like many posters it gives no year but there was a Friday 16th June that year. Bob South was a successful touring guitarist and no doubt he gave his audience a night to remember with his mix of rock classics, bluesy flavoured music and even more folk stuff.

The Drummer Boy has gone and we still await thoughts on what happens next. So far all plans for converting to housing have been turned down.

The Oak at Easterton

May 13, 2016

This is not a tree. It is Easterton’s pub.

The Royal Oak pub at Easterton - between the two world wars

The Royal Oak pub at Easterton – between the two world wars

Once upon a time Easterton certainly had other ale houses. Just along the street what is now a comfortable house was a pub called ‘The Cow’. But that predates living memory. In remembered times the Royal Oak, to give it its full name, has been Easterton’s only pub.

This postcard is by Burgess Brothers of Market Lavington. It dates from after World War One.

The Oak, of course, is a lovely thatched building and features in many postcards. This one shows the long thin building out the front – we think it was a skittle alley and we also think it was demolished when space for cars to park became more important. The house on the hill above the pub is Kestrels – former home of Ben Hayward.

Well done the Burgess Brothers. We have another delightful photo.

Drummer Boy memories

April 16, 2016

As this is written, the Drummer Boy pub stands idle and empty. The sign still hangs over the pavement, the blackboard still announces upcoming events, but this pub has now been closed for some time as it awaits new owners and, probably, conversion to dwellings.

It took the name of The Drummer Boy in about 1970 to commemorate the legend of the dead drummer. Events in that tale are supposed to have happened up on Salisbury Plain in the parish of Market Lavington. Formerly it had been The New Inn. It wasn’t new in anybody’s memory but the name changed when accommodation was no longer offered. Places called ‘Inn’ offered overnight stays so the name had to change. At the time, with the new Fiddington Clay estate being largely military, a name implying a soldier was probably a good idea.

We have some photos, some given to us by the daughter of a former landlord who still lives in the village, but other memorabilia has largely evaded us. However, we have a menu – probably from the 1990s or maybe even the early years of this millennium.

Curry menu from the Drummer Boy pub

Curry menu from the Drummer Boy pub

The Drummer Boy clearly tried to find custom by being a curry house.

Of course, in a fortnight we open for our 2016 season which features a display on the pubs in our two villages so you can discover and enjoy more by visiting the museum.

At the Kings Arms in 1985

April 12, 2016

One of the new displays we’ll have this year is about former pubs in Market Lavington and Easterton – not forgetting, of course, our two survivors, The Royal Oak in Easterton and the Green Dragon in Market Lavington. We open for the coming season on the first of May

We have most memorabilia about The Kings Arms. When that closed in about 2008, Wadworth, the owners, allowed us to gather up some items for the museum.

And more memorabilia arrived the other day – photos which we guess were taken in connection with a barrel rolling event.

Red Indians at the Kings Arms in 1985

Red Indians at the Kings Arms in 1985

Here we see a Red Indian chief with four squaws.

One squaw is holding a shield so clearly they have won something for the year 1985.

The picture is taken just outside the front door of the pub and gives us a bonus extra. Above the door is the name of the licence holder.

Mr A Thorn held the licence

Mr A Thorn held the licence

Aha! Mr A Thorn held the licence to sell intoxicating liquors for consumption on or off the premises.

Almost inevitably, we don’t know the names of our redskin chums. We guess somebody will let us know.

Hopkins and the New Inn

October 22, 2015

This photo – we have a copy of the original and clearly it is under glass – is not of the highest quality, but nonetheless it shows and interesting scene.

Hopkins Ironmongers and The New Inn - Church Street, Market Lavington

Hopkins Ironmongers and The New Inn – Church Street, Market Lavington

This is a part of Church Street in Market Lavington in the early years of the 20th century and it shows two thriving and prosperous businesses.

The near one is clearly labelled Hopkins Ironmongery Stores. And some of the wares are displayed outside – it looks like a shovel for every purpose. We do not know if the people outside the shop are members of the Hopkins family or passers-by at the time.

In early Victorian times Enos Price had run a horse drawn coach service from here to a railhead at Hungerford and that, no doubt, explains the current name of Coach House. The shop closed many a year ago and has been a private home for years now.

Next door is the New Inn which changed its name to the Drummer Boy when it no longer was an Inn because it didn’t offer overnight accommodation. That, too, has closed and at the time of writing is awaiting further development in some form. At the time of this photo it was clearly offering Usher’s Ales – a Trowbridge company.

The New Inn was selling Usher's Ales

The New Inn was selling Usher’s Ales

Times change. Back in 1860 Market Lavington was a market town. Gradually it has turned into a large village but we can be thankful still to have shops, a coffee shop and a pub serving our needs.