Posts Tagged ‘water’

Broadwell revisited

January 23, 2015

It isn’t too far-fetched to say that without Broadwell (which locals tend to say as two words – Broad Well) there would be no Market Lavington. A good reliable source of water is an essential for places of human habitation. Without water, life cannot be sustained. So no wonder Broadwell is regarded as a very important place and has been much photographed. Today’s photo dates from the 1950s.

Broadwell - early 1950s

Broadwell – early 1950s

We can notice straight away some age old problems. Things get thrown in the water. We can also see that back then part of the area was fenced against animals. This, allegedly, helped to keep the water for humans more wholesome. It’s quite hard to see but at the extreme left the village pump can be made out. It’s rather a shame we no longer have that. Behind the pump and in front of the thatched ‘Broadwell Nook’ is a chestnut paling fence which surrounded a small wooden area. In the 1960s the trees were deemed unsafe and they were felled. A children’s play area was built on that patch.

To the right we can see sheds which were associated with the Merritt’s smithing and agriculture business.

This will be a reminder for many older residents and ex-residents of this crucial part of our village.


Broadwell in the 1950s

December 27, 2013

Broadwell – always pronounced by locals as two distinct words with an emphasis on ‘well’ – was the main water supply for Market Lavington. As late as the 1930s people came down to the spring with their bucket to collect the wholesome water which flowed out from the downs there.  Some people continued to use this source as their water supply until after World War II, believing it to be better than water piped to houses.

But it was also always a playground for children. Youngsters, it seems, only have to look at a stream to start pondering on how to build a little dam across it. Youngsters also love paddling, playing with boats or even playing the game invented by A A Milne of Pooh Sticks.

Our photo today shows Broadwell in the 1950s with some youngsters who are just messing about in or by the water.

A 1950s view of Broadwell, White Street, Market Lavington

A 1950s view of Broadwell, White Street, Market Lavington

The scene is recognisably the same now although there have been many changes. The upper pond is no longer fenced. It used to be to ensure humans could get clean water from there whilst animals had to get their vital liquid from points below that fenced area.

The little wood, fenced off by palings, was felled in the 1960s, apparently it was deemed unsafe. A young children’s play area was constructed, very much with a 1960s space age theme. That play area, devoid of safety precautions has been replaced by the present one.

The little concrete footbridge in the foreground had been built as an alternative to the ford where the nearer group of boys are playing. It is still there.

The big change, though, is that these days the area is a car park and normally has a goodly collection of vehicles in that area to the left of the water.

It’s a charming scene, redolent of that age of innocence, when children were allowed to be young and to have a bit of their own fun.

The Easterton Pump

September 17, 2012

Back in May we looked at the Easterton pump in a series of photos taken  between the 1900s and 2012. (click here). This time we are filling in a gap with a couple of photos in the 1980s. In fact our photos are taken in 1984 and 1985.

Easterton pump and stream in 1984

Here, in 1984, we see the pump in an area that looks a bit uncared for. Behind it, we can just see the jam factory on top of the high retaining wall that lines Kings Road as it starts its narrow journey up onto the sands. The edge of the stream looks to be a muddy mess. No doubt children loved the bit of water to play in. Children always have.

Step in the LACES team. Back in the mid 1980s, employment was a problem, particularly for school leavers. Now that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Back then it was possible to get funding for schemes to improve the community, to pay unemployed youngsters and give them training. Now that was a win/win situation. Our youngsters felt wanted and needed and gained respect and the environment was tidied. We have met this team before – on Ladywood Lane. But here they are at Easterton pump.

Lads working to improve the environment , edging the stream by Easterton pump in 1985

Here, in 1985, we see that the stream has been edged with concrete and is being finished off with bricks. What a good job the lads have made of the area.

The Local Reservoir

August 4, 2012

Mains water came to Market Lavington in 1936 (against the wish of most locals, who felt that the supplies at Broadwell and Northbrook, along with many private wells, were perfectly adequate). Perhaps an older resident could tell us where this piped supply of water came from.

In the 1970s, a new reservoir was provided at the top of Market Lavington’s White Street. It was constructed roughly where Lime Kiln Farm once stood. Our picture shows the reservoir in course of construction.

The Lavington Reservoir under construction in about 1970.

A huge amount of chalk had been moved to create the subterranean tank where our vital liquid could be stored. The water is pumped from near Clays Farm in Easterton.

Although a huge scar was made, the area was re-landscaped. All that is really seen at the reservoir now is the small building associated with it.

The Lavington Reservoir viewed from across the village at Northbrook in July 2012

And for forty years, the villages have had a reliable supply of water.

Easterton Dipping Well – Then and Now

May 17, 2012

A recent correspondent loved the photo we showed of the Easterton dipping well in about 1900 and asked if it was possible to see what the scene looked like now.

We’ll do a bit better than that. We can thank Jim for taking a ‘now’ picture and also for finding a couple of others showing much the same scene,

So let’s work forward. Here’s the original, 1900, photo that was our starting point.

A charming scene in Easterton, Wiltshire in about 1900. The photo is at Market Lavington Museum.

A pump was added above the dipping well and we can see that in use, probably in the 1940s or early 1950s.

Easterton – the pump in use

We can see the dipping well, down near stream level. It looks much as it did in the old photo but the brick plinth has been added on top to support a pump. The pump allowed larger containers to be filled.

We believe the man operating the pump is the appropriately named Charlie Wells.

We can now move forward to 1973.

By 1973 Easterton’s water pump was out of use

The caption tells us this was no longer in working order, but we can still see the old fire engine door behind.

And so to 2012.

The pump and scene at Easterton on 16th May 2012

This view is dated 16th May 2012. The pump and dipping well are still in place, albeit looking entirely devoid of water. The edge of the stream can be seen just a little lower down.

The fire engine door is lost behind brambles and has, in fact been bricked up. The space behind the door also housed a pump for the jam factory (now closed) some of which can be seen at the top of the photo. The outline of the door can still be seen by those willing to brave the brambles.

So there we have the scene, brought completely up to date.

Easterton – Fire and Water

May 15, 2012

Another photo recently given to Market Lavington Museum shows a little bit of Easterton in about 1900.

A charming scene in Easterton, Wiltshire in about 1900. The photo is at Market Lavington Museum.

It can be seen that this picture is not in perfect condition. The photographer must have been standing on the bridge over the stream. This is on the road which leaves the main route and then veers round to the right, behind the two girls to head to the Village Hall and on up to The Sands.

The photo dates back to a time before Easterton had a pump for water. The two girls are about to fill their pitchers from a dipping well.

Girls fetch water from the dipping well at Easterton

So that’s the water from the title. What about the fire?

Fortunately, there isn’t a fire, but had there been, the wooden door behind the girls would have been opened to reveal Easterton’s very own fire engine. We have looked at this venerable machine before. Click here to see it.

In fact, the door behind the girls is clearly labelled FIRE ENGINE – it’s a bit blurred in this photo.

FIRE ENGINE is written on this entrance to an underground room.

This entrance also housed the jam factory pump – presumably to get water up to that building.

The door is still there, although it no longer hides a fire engine and the jam factory is long closed. Brambles and other plants have all but concealed this historic little cave-like building.


April 5, 2012

It’s just one of those matters of fact. Without the water supply at Broadwell there just wouldn’t be a Market Lavington. In the days before piped water, this was where many villagers came, with buckets or bowsers, to collect the vital liquid.

By the mid 1960s, the need for drinking water from Broadwell had gone. But it still provided other functions. In this picture, the cars are there for their Sunday wash.

Broadwell, Market Lavington, as seen from Beech House in the mid 1960s

The car in the middle, with a man working on the passenger side door looks to be a Mark 1 Ford Cortina. It is a D registered car meaning it hit the road in 1964. The car on the right, with a women at the back of it is an older style Ford Anglia, probably dating from the 1950s or early 1960s. On the left we can see a part of a Mini – the iconic car of the early 60s. In front of that is an older, ‘sit up and beg’ black car.

This photo is taken from a Beech House window. White Street is running from left to right across the picture. The large house at the top of the picture is Knap Farmhouse.

The single storey building, just across the water from the cars was once the smithy operated by the Merritt family. That building and the ugly black sheds have all gone. The house called Old Forge stands there now.

To the left of the cars there is a small wooded area. The trees were deemed unsafe and felled. The young children’s play area is now sited there.

Easterton Street

June 23, 2011

Today we feature a truly delightful picture which was given to the museum earlier this year. It shows a view of Easterton High Street. Sadly, the picture is undated but it clearly predates much in the way of traffic.

Easterton Street - undated but delightful. The photo is now at Market Lavington Museum

The view is towards Eastcott and Urchfont. The stream is on the left side where there must, once, have been more to the picture for only the last three letters of ‘Easterton’ still show.

The cottage at the end of the street, facing the camera has long since been demolished.

In the road – clearly a safe place to be – we can see a man with a horse, another with a laden barrow and there may be a couple of hens on the junction with the road up to The Sands (now Kings Road).

There is no pavement. With little traffic, and that slow moving, there was no need to keep pedestrians on the edge.

On the right of the main picture we can see a family in a doorway.

This family would appear to be keen on growing flowers. Note the pots on the porch. Mum looks really happy as she holds the baby. Sadly, we do not know who any of the people in the photo are but perhaps somebody can help there.

Perhaps the star of the picture is the older lady, fetching water.

This lady has, presumably, got water from the village pump which still stands near  the road junction. And to take it home she has occupied the middle of the street. What a determined look she has and what a great snapshot of village life – this time in Easterton.


June 20, 2011

For this blog entry we are looking at one of the main reasons for the existence of the village of Market Lavington. In 2011 we  expect a water supply to be piped to our houses, but that facility only arrived in Market Lavington within living memory for our oldest inhabitants. Back in the 1930s, and before, people collected water from Broadwell.  Market Lavington is just one of many spring-line villages along the edge of the chalk scarp. Scenes like this might have been seen in many a village during the early years

Broadwell in the early 20th century - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

We know who some of the people in this photo are. The man in what might be called the back row, second from right is a Mr Potter, one of several in the village. The two men in the front row are believed to be Mr Tom Merritt and his father.

But let’s look at the water collection. A lady to the left of the Merritts is dipping her bucket for water.

Dipping for water at Broadwell

Broadwell water was much appreciated by locals and even after World War II some people continued fetching water from this spring. Can anybody identify this water gatherer?

Our other method for getting water was to use the pump. Somebody is filling a horse-drawn water bowser from the pump.

Pumping water at Broadwell

A wooden ‘aqueduct’ has been hung on the pump to lead the water to the bowser.  Presumably, this water was destined for a farm elsewhere in the parish.

Behind the pump we can see the nasty little fence around the little area of woodland. This is the place where there is now a play area for young children.

A Box made tile from Homestead Farm

March 24, 2011

All sorts of items are given to us at Market Lavington Museum. Every item must have a good connection with the wider parish of Market Lavington, which includes Easterton and Fiddington as well as areas now in West Lavington – Gore and the Russell Mill area.

Today we look at a simple item which was made in the parish and which has never left. It is a red floor tile made at the Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works at Broadway. It measures some 22 cm square and close on 5 cm deep.

A floor tile from Homestead Farm - now at Market Lavington Museum

As can be seen it has suffered a little of the ravages of time – but it has had plenty of time for it is of nineteenth century origin. It has been rescued from Homestead Farm, which is on Drove Lane. The old farm building was not in the best of repair and the current owners obtained permission to demolish and build anew but the old materials have been reincorporated wherever possible. We had a temporary display on Homestead Farm last year. Next time we feature the farm then there will be more items to include.

The tile carries a maker’s name – W Box.

William Box ran the brickworks for much of the second half of the nineteenth century so we know this tile dates from that era.

One item that has re-appeared as a result of changes at Homestead Farm is the old well. This had been covered and had become a part of the inside of the old building when an extension was built on that. But now old bricks have been used to create a well head and the 90 feet deep well has been opened. And what superb condition it is in.

The well at Homestead Farm - Box made bricks, perhaps?