Posts Tagged ‘sport’

A Lavington and Easterton Football Team

March 5, 2013
Market Lavington and Easterton football team in about 1919

Market Lavington and Easterton football team in about 1919

We think this picture could have been taken at Gye’s Yard on White Street. Ignoring the team for a moment, we can see, in the background, some kind of pump and a cartwheel which could well have been associated with the Gye’s building, carpentry and wheelwrighting business.

This is a well captioned photo so we can name the men.

Back row (left to right): Dick Sainsbury, Wilf Moore, Peto Baker, Reg Harris, Fred Burnett, B Gale, Bert Burnett.

Middle row (left to right): Bob Sainsbury, Geo Alexander, Bill Mills, Harry Cooper.

Front row (left to right): Sid Mullings, Dick Andrews.

The photo is well captioned by name, but no date is given. We date it to about 1919.

Let’s pick on the lad with the ball.

Alec George Alexander, born Market Lavington but by this time of Easterton

Alec George Alexander, born Market Lavington but by this time of Easterton

This is George Alexander. He was born in 1897, the son of Richard and Jane. Richard was the publican at The Kings Arms. The family were there for the 1901 census but our George was entered as Alec G Alexander.  In 1911 he lived with his widowed mother at The Clays, Easterton.

Alec George served in World War 1. He was injured whilst in Mesopotamia and also served in India.

In 1922 he became a postman in Easterton. He earned 8/11 a week and his duties involved 15 miles of walking every day.

In 1926 he married Nellie May Ross, daughter of a gardener at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington.

In 1936 Our Mr Alexander transferred to the Devizes area where he remained a postman until retirement in 1957 – but he worked in the office for a further five years.

Alec George Alexander had been a keen bandsman – a drummer. He played with the Market Lavington Prize Silver Band when he lived in Easterton.

He and Nellie celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1976.

Alec George Alexander died in 1980.

The Congregational Bible Class Football Team

October 13, 2012

Churches obviously look after the spiritual need of a community but they also have a social side. Today we are looking at a quite non-religious venture by the Congregational Church.  Their successors in 2012, Trinity Church, continue with the provision of social activities. It is Trinity who bring the cinema to Market Lavington once a month, showing top notch films (most recently it was ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’) along with the popcorn and bar to give the Community Hall a real cimema feel, with the bonus of it being a very social event. Trinity, without a church building of their own, have recently purchased a former shop in the very centre of Market Lavington and hope to start a tea room/drop in centre.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that in times past, the Congregational Church Bible Class had their own football team. They are pictured below.

Congregational Bible Class Football Club with manager, George Pike.

We have no date for this image but we can take a guess based on the one person we can positively identify. That’s George Pike, the chap in the coat who looks every inch the manager. George was a stalwart of both the Congregational Church and of football in the area. We suspect if he saw an opportunity to raise a football team, he’d take it.

So, George, who we have met before on these pages (check out this page) was born in 1877. If we suggest he looks around 40 in this shot, then we could say this was World War I time. Presumably there would not have been these young men available during the war, so it could be just before or just after the war. We favour   around 1920 as the time.

Of course, we want help. George looks to be the oldest person in the photo. Maybe some of the others can be identified. Can you identify any of the lads who played for Congregational Bible Class F. C.?

St Mary’s in Colour

October 12, 2012

At Market Lavington Museum we must have thirty or so different postcards of St Mary’s Church. They show views of the church, inside and out, from many different viewpoints throughout much of the 20th century.

We have just been given a copy of another – as seen below.

1909 hand tinted image of Market Lavington Church from the Recreation Ground

We think this image dates from about 1909. We have another card at the museum, clearly in the same series, which was posted in that year. We cannot be certain it is 100% accurate, for these coloured images were hand painted over black and white photos.

The picture is taken from what was then the recreation ground and it is seen complete with a goal and also the grass cutters (sheep) are well in evidence. We guess the photo was taken by Mr Burgess and he’d have organised the lad to add interest to his shot. The church looks very much the same, 100 years on, but the avenue of pollarded trees alongside the path up to the church looks very full.

In the foreground we can see Meadow Cottage and Spring Villa below the church. Further to the right the top of the cedar tree at The Old House shows up. That tree is still there. Just below it is the roof of what was then Market Lavington School – now The Old School.

We’d like to thank former Market Lavington and Easterton resident, John, for this image. John is still local and lives in Littleton Panell.

A School Football Team

August 12, 2012

Yesterday we looked at Girl Guides relaxing at a summer camp. Today, to make sure we have gender balance, we’ll look at a group of boys. They were the Market Lavington School football team of their era. We think that era was around 1948.

Market Lavington School football team in about 1948

Our boys here are –

Standing (left to right): Lenny Jenks, Gerald Baker, Gordon Baker, John Izatt, Bert Cox.

Sitting (left to right): Lennie Cartwright, Brian Matthews, Mike Baker, Ralph Cox, Michael Sainsbury.

At least one of these lads was a semi-professional footballer in later life. I gather Mike Baker was offered terms by football league clubs but in those days of a maximum permitted wage for footballers, Mike decided that to have to up sticks and move was not what he wanted. He was much better off doing the day job and then playing for local semi-professional clubs at the weekend.

Before Lavington School

August 9, 2012

We commented, recently, on how the old Market Lavington School suffered from lack of space. Student teacher Rowena Campbell Trigger recorded these classes in her 1958 survey.

Market Lavington School classes in 1958

So, there were five classes but only three rooms. Other halls in the village were pressed into service.

Relief came in 1962 when Lavington Secondary Modern School opened. Secondary education had been available to those who passed the 11plus exam. Devizes Grammar School was open to them. But for the majority, until 1962, they started and finished their schooling at Market Lavington School.

Our picture today shows the site chosen for the new Lavington School, along The Spring and close to the parish boundary with West Lavington. This new school was to serve a range of local villages, taking the children aged between 11 and 15 from quite a wide area and providing them with specialist classrooms and teaching.

Lavington School playing fields – before the school was built

This picture dates from about 1958. Some of the items visible in the photo, taken by Peter Francis, tell us something of the history of the area.

The biggest, central item is the huge Wellingtonia tree. This would have been about 70 years old at the time for it was planted in 1887 as the tree to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It is still there today, now about 125 years old. Back in 1887, this field would have seemed the ideal place, for it was in use as the village recreation ground.

But that was to change. In 1902 Charles Awdry bought the Manor and that included the recreation ground. Charles had a passion for cricket and converted the area into a classy cricket ground, building the lavish pavilion that can be seen to the left of the Wellingtonia.

The cricket pavilion built by Charles Awdrey of Market Lavington Manor

The pavilion has now gone. The small estate of houses built on the site has the name, ‘Pavilion Gardens’.

Charles Awdrey died in 1912 and his executors decided the Manor must be sold. Nobody wanted the house until, eventually, Dauntsey’s School bought it. The nearer part of the field, as seen in the photo became a playing field for the boys. (Girls were not admitted to the school until much later.)

And then Wiltshire County Council built the Lavington School which opened in 1962. It is still there, much expanded, and is now a thriving comprehensive school.

The Kings Arms Skittle Alley – 2010

July 17, 2012

We are returning, today, to the former Market Lavington Pub, The Kings Arms, just before the builders moved in in 2010. We have seen the main bar (click here). Today we look at the skittle alley.

A skittle alley was a must have feature of a Wiltshire pub. Most, including the Kings Arms, had teams operating in local leagues. A separate bar was provided to serve the players and their followers.

Skittle alley bar at The Kings Arms, Market Lavington

A skittle alley needed seating and tables as well as space for bar and the actual alley. By the time this photo was taken, furniture was cluttering the once, almost sacred, playing surface.

Skittle Alley at the Kings Arms, Market Lavington

Down at the far end, the spots to mark where to place skittles could still be seen. Pub skittles was not automated. Youngsters were often employed to stand up skittles something which often gained them a bit of cash, some food, soft drinks and the interchange of respect between then and the older folks who were playing.

Spots mark where to place the skittles

But by 2010, the skittle alley at this former pub had become a dumping ground. Here’s a table football game.

Table footbal – just dumped in the alley

A pool table has been dumped in a corner.

A pool table in the Kings Arms skittle alley

The King’s Arms alley doubled up as a function room. At one time, a local table tennis team played there and it was used for quizzes and private parties. It had been like that since 1983, as a plaque on the wall showed.

Plaque commemorating the opening of 1983 – by Major Bartholomew of Wadworth’s Brewery in Devizes

The Kings Arms may have called a final ‘Time’, but Market Lavington still has The Green Dragon and The Drummer Boy whilst at Easterton, The Royal Oak is running.

Post War Football

July 13, 2012

We have recently been given a photo of The Lavington and Easterton United football team for the 1949/50 season.

Market Lavington and Easterton football team in 1950

Unfortunately, we don’t have the names of the players, but we do have Bill Elisha’s note, written on the back of the photo.

Bill Elisha’s note on the back of the photo. Bill was chairman of the Market Lavington and Easterton Football Club

The one person in the photo we are fairly certain we know is Bill Elisha. He’s the man in the coat, crouching at the right hand end of the front row of players.

Can anybody tell us who the other people are? Maybe somebody can see enough to identify the location as well.

Please email the curator if you can.

The beaters at the Manor Shoot

July 1, 2012

The year is 1908. A shoot was held at The Manor. These were important social occasions. No doubt the gentry from near and far came to enjoy a day’s shooting, hoping to bag something for the table.

To make sure the guns had a good day, the workers were employed as beaters. The beater’s job was to make sure birds – probably partridge or pheasant, kept appearing in front of the guns and in the air. The etiquette of the business means you don’t shoot a sitting target.

Of course, there’d have been employed gamekeepers – manor staff who had the job of rearing the birds until the time came to shoot them. But for big shoots, many more were employed for the day. Often these were just the village lads who probably skipped off school for the day quite happily.

On this occasion, Mr Burgess got the beaters lined up for a photograph.

Beaters at a 1908 Manor shoot in Market Lavington

We don’t have any names but maybe somebody out in blog land will recognise their relatives or even ancestors here.

Some of the younger beaters in close up

It is interesting to see that the older chaps really are wearing gaiters.

Gaiters being worn in Market Lavington

We have a couple of pairs of gaiters like these in the museum.

A 1953 school football team

April 1, 2012

With this being Diamond Jubilee year, we are looking back to the 1950s, when our Queen Elizabeth came to the throne. Her coronation, of course, was in 1953.

We have looked at the 1953 school hockey team in the past. Click here.

Today we are looking at the lads – a school football team from 1953.

Market Lavington School Football Team - 1953

These lads are standing outside the door to what was then Market Lavington School and is now ‘The Old School’. It looks as though a 7-a-side version of the game was played. We do not have the full names of all of the players.

On the back row from left to right we have; Ellis, Owen, J Matthews and H Stockley.

The front three from left to right are: Burt, G Ellis and either R Chapman or T Webb.

We will, no doubt, see some of these young men at the museum this year. Then we’ll get full names.

Opening The Davis Field

March 27, 2012

It’s funny how memory fades The creation of the football field at the top of Northbrook is well within living memory, but we only have a date of ‘approximately 1950. Perhaps a reader will be able to be a bit more accurate. Our photo shows three men at the opening. No doubt all had been enthusiastic footballers in their day.

At the opening of the Davis Field, Northbrook, Market Lavington in about 1950

The man in the middle is Frank Davis.

Frank Davis of Market Lavington

Frank owned the land and gave it to the football club. It had been an orchard at one time, and much hard work was needed to convert it into a suitable playing area. Frank would surely be pleased to see the ground still in use, now with lighting to allow for evening training.

Frank was born in 1881 in Market Lavington. His father, John, came from Imber. Mary (née Blagden), his mother, was a Market Lavington girl.

The 1881 census lists a 2-month-old Frank. His oldest brother had been born in Imber but all the rest were Market Lavington born. They had been at the thatched cottage on Northbrook for about ten years.

In 1901 Frank was listed as a boot maker’s apprentice – still at home on Northbrook, Market Lavington.

In 1911 Frank was still single and living at the family home on Northbrook. Boot making may not have suited Frank for he was a labourer.

Frank married Annie Elizabeth Andrews in 1914. He died in 1954 and is buried in St Mary’s, Market Lavington.

Frank’s grandson, Keith, the newsagent in Market Lavington was only a youngster when the field was opened for football. He tells us that his grandfather kicked off the very first ball after the guest of honour had delivered a speech. The guest of honour was a man called Stanley Rous.

Believed to be Stanley (later Sir Stanley) Rous

Keith thought this man was Rous – later Sir Stanley Rous and president of FIFA from 1961 to 74.

Maybe another reader could confirm if this is, indeed, Stanley Rous.

The third man in the photo has not been identified.

A third man at the opening of the Davis Field in Market Lavington. Can you identify him?

Can anybody help identify this chap?