Posts Tagged ‘sport’

Cricket Week

November 7, 2011

We have looked at the former cricket pavilion on an earlier blog. You can click here to see it.

The pavilion was built, and the cricket ground laid out, at a time when Charles Awdrey had Market Lavington Manor – roughly the Edwardian era at the start of the twentieth century.

One story, which we’d love to confirm, says that a South Wiltshire team beat The Australians at Market Lavington in 1909. Can anybody come up with a scorecard?

Our picture, today, is captioned, ‘Cricket Week, 1914’.

Cricket Week, 1914 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

We assume this is the Lavington ground although we can’t identify the building in the background.

A couple of cricketers in whites and blazers relax with some ladies. This group of people are sitting comfortably on deck chairs. It all looks very relaxed and refined.

Sadly, we have no names. It is probably a very outside chance – but do get in touch if you can tell us more about this photo or its location.


A Hawk Kite

August 26, 2011

There will be many people who dislike what get called country sports, but we live in a rural area and these sports have taken place and still do. The shooting of game birds has been something that people do for many years and, of course, this was not only sport. It provided food for the table. At a rural museum, like Market Lavington, we have memorabilia from these activities because it would be wrong for us to be pro or anti anything. We simply keep such record as we can of the way of life of local people.

So, amongst our displays is an early twentieth century hawk kite seen below.

A hawk kite at Market Lavington Museum

This was used when shooting partridges, particularly on open downland. Beaters – usually young men or farm workers supplementing their income – were employed to make sure the birds flew. Shooters do not deem it right to take a sitting bird. But partridges are very quick and gain altitude fast – soon getting out of range of shotguns. So, to keep them lower, a hawk kite was flown. The partridges, wary of this monster in the sky, kept lower, giving the guns a chance of success.

A local 90 plus year old recalls flying a similar kite when he was a lad. Apparently a near gale was blowing across the downs and it took two of them to keep hold of the kite. When the birds were flushed into the air, the strength of the wind took them so rapidly that they were almost instantly out of range and not one pheasant was bagged under the kite. Our nonagenarian became a regular country sportsman but this was the only time he ever saw a hawk kite in use, from which he deduces they were not as very successful idea.

A 1953 hockey team.

July 18, 2011

When it comes to this year’s Museum Miscellany, on September 17th at 7.30 in the Community Hall, one of the featured topics will be ‘School Days’.

Our curator is busy getting this together now, sorting out photos and information to be used.

Here we see a hockey team at Market Lavington School in 1953.

1953 hockey team at Market Lavington School

The girls are

Back row: Miss Stockley, M Cooper and D Sargent

Front row: M Gibbs, H Preedy, S McKinnon and V Preedy.

Any ‘where are they now’ information would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the curator if you can help.

The Grove area in about 1933

March 20, 2011

The Grove in about 1933 - a postcard at Market Lavington Museum

This area of Market Lavington looks completely different in 2011 from the way it looked some 80 years earlier. We think the picture was taken from the bottom of Canada Woods, perhaps roughly where the close called Beechwood stands today. A lady, walking her dog stands on the little footbridge and surveys what was then a pastoral scene.

Surveying the pastoral scene

These days the lady might have been on Grove Road and looking across Roman Way and Saxon Close.

There are some buildings in the background  of this Burgess Brothers postcard to fix the location. St Mary’s Church stands on its knoll near the right edge of the image.

St Mary's Church

Further to the left we can see three larger buildings on Parsonage Lane.

The Old House

Here we have The Old House…

Parsonage Lane Barn

…and the Parsonage Lane Barn.

The Racquets Court

At the extreme left hand corner we can see the Racquets Court.

Now, the modern view which as near as possible matches the postcard. The top of the church tower is the only point of reference that remains visible as we look across Grove Road, Roman Way and Saxon Close.

March 2011 - an attempt to match the 1930s view.

Lavington and Easterton United – 1937/38

February 17, 2011

The 1937/38 season was one to celebrate in local football for Lavington and Easterton United were the runners up in the local Trowbridge and District League.

Our photo shows the team and the backroom boys displaying the silverware.

Lavington and Easterton United - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The back row includes Ben Hurkett, Albie Potter, Andrew Deacon, Walt Merritt and Celic Saxton.

In the middle row there are Keith Ellis, Ken Buckland, Mr Stone, Stan Ingram, Roy Ellis, herbie Alexander and Freddy Hurle.

The front row has Mr Webb, Harry Andrews, Bill Elisha, Bill Mills, George Burgess, Bob Sainsbury, Alfie Alexander and Lewis Butler.

The trophies won in the 1937/38 season

Alfie Alexander is easy to recognise with his distinctive whiskers

A quick release dog lead

January 11, 2011

Norman Neate is a name we have met before on this site. He was the son of James Neate and took over his father’s brewing business, becoming the last commercial beer brewer in the parish.

He was also a keen country sportsman – notably a shooter and therefore he kept and used gun dogs. Norman devised a quick release dog lead so that when a bird was brought down, the dog could be set free to retrieve it. This item was featured as a mystery item at the 2010 Market Lavington fete and, as such, has appeared in these pages.

Norman Neate's quick release dog lead - an item at Market Lavington Museum

Just how Norman used this device is not entirely clear, but he obviously valued it enough to give it some ornamentation and his initials.

Ornamentation on Norman Neate's dog lead

Nice work, Norman!

Our present day country sportsmen suggest that to even need this device, Norman must have had a poorly trained dog since a well trained one would have never needed to have been on a lead. If this was the case, then at least the museum has been bequeathed a rather nice item as a result.


November 16, 2010

Skittling was and still is a major sport in Wiltshire. Many pubs have a skittle alley and there are often several teams who compete in a local skittles league.

The Kings Arms had an alley and had teams playing there until closure a couple of years ago. The only reminder left of those days is one skittling ball, found in the pub by the Market Lavington Museum curator when he was given the opportunity to take a look.

It is not the most photogenic object, being a plain black ball some 12 centimetres in diameter.

Former Kings Arms skittle ball, now at Market Lavington Museum

The photo shows the scars of skittling from when the ball, of some kind of rubberoid material, crashed into the nine pins at the far end of the alley.

Skittles, as opposed to ten pin bowling, is a low-tech game. There’s no automatic re-standing of the fallen pins and no auto return of the balls to the players. And of course, the scoring had to be done by the players, with scores chalked up on the handy board provided. It was and is a friendly and cheerful game.

The Green Dragon still has a skittle alley in Market Lavington. Long may it continue.

Newspaper Cuttings

November 5, 2010

Market Lavington has a couple of regular local papers – The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald is one and the Wiltshire Times is the other. In addition, there have been and are free papers, some of which have covered local news.

For many years, members of the WI put together scrapbooks of local newspaper cuttings and these have found their way to Market Lavington Museum. To illustrate some of the photo content, I have chosen the Market Lavington barrel rolling competition from almost 40 years ago – in 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Barrel Rolling in 1971 - a news cutting at Market Lavington Museum

We know who is rolling the barrel here for the caption tells us. Maybe Gordon can tell us who the two watchers are. Gordon was representing The Kings Arms, which now, alas, is no more a pub.

Barrel Rolling in 1972

The following year, 1972, and the photographer, Peter Francis, has captured the start of a heat in this competition.

Barrel Rolling in 1973

In 1973, the weather was less than 100% good. Sadly our rollers are not captioned.

Our news cutting scrapbooks are not yet indexed to tell us who or what is included in them. Do ask to see them when you visit the museum. Who knows what you might find out about members of your family?

George Burgess and also the Cricket Pavilion

October 14, 2010

Regular correspondent, John Burgess sent this about the 1914 Roll of Honour.

I found this very interesting as I think it includes my Grandfather George Burgess (lance-Corporal).

What I know of his military history is very little but I do know that he served in the Army during 1914/18 and I understand that between the wars he was abroad and was then a Sergeant training the Ghurkhas and at the end of that he was presented a pair of kukris (curved knives) which my brother has.  I have a small silver milk jug and a silver sugar bowl, which were his.

We’d love to be able to tell John more about the military service of his grandfather, George, who was born around 1889, the son of another George, a shepherd on Salisbury Plain and his wife Mary. Young George married Ethel Earley in 1911.

But sadly, we have no further information on George or his military service.


A change of topic – Market Lavington’s cricket pavilion

Some fairly recent housing in Market Lavington carries the address, ‘Pavilion Gardens’. It is an attractive little development at the entrance to Lavington School.

Pavilion Gardens at the entrance to Lavington School

The old cricket pavilion - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This is what Pavilion Gardens replaced and as the card suggests, the cricket ground and the pavilion were once a part of the Manor Estate.

Perhaps older residents could confirm the rumour we have heard that Wiltshire used to play at the ground sometimes.

A Succesful English Football Team

June 21, 2010

I gather that England’s chances of progress in the football World Cup are somewhat on a knife-edge. I haven’t watched any, but it seems performances so far have been indifferent. Those of us with memories long enough to recall the 1966 tournament may remember that it wasn’t so different then and of course, England went on to win it. And from my position of knowing almost nothing, I believe other fancied European teams have not done very well this time.

But in the 1937/8 season the Market Lavington and Easterton United team gathered quite a bit of silver ware. Players and others were keen to display their collection of winnings.

Market Lavington and Easterton United football team 137/38 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

We know quite a lot of the names players who actually ended up second in the Trowbridge and District League in that year. Here are names from our record card.

Names of players on a record card

Unfortunately, we can’t put names to faces for the number of names given doesn’t match the number of people. Maybe you can help us with this. Do leave a message on this blog or contact the curator by email if you can help.