Posts Tagged ‘Volunteer Arms’

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



A view from the Volley

August 24, 2016

The old Volunteer Arms was known as ‘The Volley’. It was on Church Street, close to the crossroads. In fact a present day view would still show the bracket that the pub sign used to hang from.

We have recently been given a large collection of photos of people and events at this former pub which closed some thirty or so years ago. This one, however, was a record of history about to pass taken by an unknown photographer from the Volley’s porch.

View of Reid's house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

View of Reid’s house from the old Volunteer Arms in about 1977

Like many a colour print of its era, it has a red hue. Modern technology makes it easy to make changes and our curator reckons the colour rendition below looks better but he emphasises that colour decisions are often subjective and others might disagree with him.


The red hue is toned down a bit

The back of this photo is captioned, Mr Reid’s before alteration. Sadly no year is given but we think it is about 1977. The car in the garage is an original ‘C’ registration which dates it to 1965 but it doesn’t look to be in the first flush of youth.

Mr Reid’s house had come to him from his wife’s family. These were the Merritts and photos dating from 1910 show this as a bicycle shop. As time moved on the shop started to serve the needs of motorists and had pumps for petrol. These can be seen clearly in the photo.

Showing the petrol pumps

Showing the petrol pumps

By this time the building was no longer a shop and the pumps had long been out of use and it was time for them to go. It is good to have the reminder – and in colour as well.

This is the same building in the 21st century – clearly after the alterations.

The house today

The house today


The old ‘Volley’

September 1, 2015

The Volunteer Arms, always affectionately known as ‘The Volley’ was on Church Street in Market Lavington, on the North side of the street near the crossroads. It closed in about 1989 which reduced the number of pubs in the village of Market Lavington to three. This photo shows the building at about the time of closure.

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

The Volunteer Arms in 1989

Two things, in particular, are visible. They are the pub signs.


The bracket for that one is still in place in 2015.


That’s stretched a bit far but is just about readable.

Locals very much missed the Volley when it closed yet we have few memories of this pub, which had once been called ‘The Angel’ at the museum.

The view alongside the pub and into High Street is interesting.


Badgerline bus on High Street

The bus dates from the era when they went under the name of Badgerline. At that time the buses all terminated at Easterton and turned round at the road junction just below the jam factory. There was no regular bus service linking Market Lavington with Urchfont.

So a simple photo of a pub on the verge of closure can remind us of other things from the same era.

Some history of The Volunteer Arms

February 10, 2015



The pub known as The Volunteer Arms used to stand on Church Street, just around the corner from Parsonage Lane.  Back in the late 70s there were four pubs in Market Lavington but the old ‘Volley’ was the first of these to go almost thirty years ago. Here we present a short written account of some earlier history of the pub.


The Volunteer Arms, Market Lavington, formerly The Angel

This Public House was once owned by Mr Thomas Potter who died as the result of an accident on Ledge Hill, Market Lavington in 1848.

The property then came to his son, John Potter, who eventually sold it about 1864 to his step-mother Mrs Jane Potter who lived there till about 1876 when the house was sold to Messrs Wadworth, Devizes. Till this time the beer was brewed on the premises.

After Wadworth bought the house the first licensee was a Mr Wilkins who had been a…


…Volunteer and took a great interest in the movement, at this time the name ‘The Angel’ was changed to ‘The Volunteer’ and so remains. The sign was on a high pole at the end of the yard nearest the road.

This information was given by the late Mrs Hannah Crassweller, youngest daughter of John Potter and granddaughter of Thomas Potter.

Mrs Crassweller died February 1952 aged 91.

Which means her memories go back into the 1860s.


Friendly Society March

August 30, 2014

We live in a wonderful time for all sorts of reasons – not least in that we have health care as and when we need it. Yes, people moan about the National Health Service. But looking back 100 or more years we can realise that in times before it, most people just didn’t have health care and if they had to, they relied on charity to pay for it. Friendly Societies were a huge help in supporting their members. Today we have a picture of a meet and march in the early years of the 20th century.

Friendly Society march in Market Lavington - early 20th century

Friendly Society march in Market Lavington – early 20th century

The venue is outside the Volunteer Arms, the pub which was on Church Street – and although it has been a house now for twenty years or more, it still has the bracket from which the pub sign hung.

People are dressed up in their smart clothes and the band are there, ready to provide musical support for a march.

Unfortunately, this copy isn’t quite clear enough to read the signs.

But we can see that the film processor managed to get a thumb print on the negative and we can see some of the people quite clearly.


It’ll be a tall order to recognise anybody, but hope springs eternal!

Somebody lost their marbles

April 20, 2014

Marbles are truly ancient toys. They have been found in the ashes of Pompeii which means the Romans used them more than 2000 years ago.

Mass production of clay marbles began in 1884 but it isn’t always possible to tell if such clay marbles are from the era of mass production, or from the era of one at a time making.

However, we do think that a couple of clay marbles that we have at Market Lavington Museum do date from the nineteenth century. Here is one of them.

One of two 19th century clay marbles found during renovations at the former Volunteer Arms.

One of two 19th century clay marbles found during renovations at the former Volunteer Arms.

Being a marble, the size is about 1 centimetre across.

We do not know who lost these marbles, but we do know they were found during renovations at the old Volunteer Arms pub on Church Street. Perhaps marbles was played as a pub game, out in the yard or maybe these toys belonged to family who lived there. For much of the nineteenth century this was a branch of the Potter family. They certainly didn’t lose their marbles in any other sense.