Posts Tagged ‘West Lavington’

The career of Miss Ross

June 28, 2015

Miss Ross was, for fifty years, the infant teacher at West Lavington School, but her home, for many years, was in Market Lavington for she was the daughter of a Market Lavington man. This news article was published in the Wiltshire News of 19th February 1982 and, sadly, it was following the death of Miss Ross. Miss Ross is at the left hand end of the back row in this picture.

Miss Florence Ross(back row at the left)as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School.

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

Miss Florence Ross as a very youthful teacher at West Lavington School

The story with this picture, shown in full below, tells of Miss Florence Ross, daughter of Joseph Ross who was head gardener at Clyffe Hall. When her father died, Florence lived with her mother and other family members in Market Lavington High Street.

Clyffe Hall is close to West Lavington School and Florence attended it as a pupil until the age of 14. That was in 1918. The very next term, Florence returned to the school as a teacher and she taught there until 1968.

The day after she retired she became Mrs John Parr of Swanage and Dorset became her home until after the death of Mr Parr when Florence returned to the Lavingtons. She died in 1982.

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Maybe members of the Alexander family could add something to this story???


The Guides of 1924

March 30, 2015

Yes, there were guides in the area more than 90 years ago. In fact they were the West Lavington Guides, but we believe Market Lavington girls will be in these photos. Amongst Market Lavington girls we know had joined the |Guides by this time there were Edna Mills, Evelyn Bullock, Doris Colman, Winnie Cooper, Mary Spiers, Winifred Mundy and Winifred Kurle.

The local guides at their new hut in 1924

The local guides at their new hut in 1924

All of the girls look happy to have their own hut.

A happy bunch of Guides

A happy bunch of Guides

We cannot name people on these photos and rather hope you will be able to do so. These would all be over 100 if still alive.

The hut, by the way, was in West Lavington. These days, the guides, which reformed in 1975, meet in the Old School in Market Lavington.

A Single to Paddington

January 19, 2014

Lavington Station was in the parish of West Lavington but it served the whole area. No doubt people from all the Lavingtons, Easterton and the Cheverells made use of the station which opened for business in 1900.

Tickets issued at Lavington Station were of the Edmonson type, those delightful rectangles of thick card. Each pre-printed card had a serial number which meant the ticket office clerk had no difficulty keeping a record of what he had sold. When sold, the ticket should have been date stamped so that any inspector could be sure it was a valid ticket.

We have just been given an Edmonson ticket – a Lavington to Paddington single.

A Lavington to Paddington single rail ticket from about 1965

A Lavington to Paddington single rail ticket from about 1965

This ticket was issued by British railways Board and was valid for three days. As it has no date stamp we do not know when those three days were.

The fare of 23/9 is in pre decimal money which is no surprise since the station at Lavington closed before we changed our money system. However, we can be more accurate with the date of this ticket.

Until 1964 fares were charged on a strict mileage basis – at 3d per mile. Given that it is 87 miles from Paddington to Lavington, that would give a fare of 21/9. In 1964, many fares stayed based on the old three pence a mile rate, but rural fares were sometimes increased. So it would seem this ticket dates from between 1964 and the closure of Lavington Station on 28th April 1966.

These days the fare (from Pewsey) might be anything between £17 and more than £50 – plus getting to Pewsey and paying to park, of course.

If you have memories of the train service at Lavington why not tell us about it.

Cornbury Mill

December 28, 2013

Not long ago we showed a picture of a man apparently fishing in the stream by Cornbury Bridge – just a few yards below the old water mill known as Cornbury Mill.

The stream, which marks the boundary between the two parishes of Market and West Lavington, flows right under the mill so it has parts in both parishes.

Back in 1953 a local newspaper picked on the mill as one of the scenic gems of Wiltshire.

Cornbury Mill - a newspaper photo from 1953

Cornbury Mill – a newspaper photo from 1953

The paper is, of course right. The old mill building and house was and still is a scenic gem.

This is the paper’s caption.


The caption tells us who lived there and that the stream carried trout

The caption tells us who lived there and that the stream carried trout

Aha! Maybe our fishing man was hoping to entice a trout to take his bait.

We do not know which actual newspaper this was in, but we do know some of the incorporated papers


Incorporated newspapers

Incorporated newspapers

It’s a lovely picture and it reminds us of times when newspapers felt able to do little features like this.

And here is a more recent photo of the mill taken in 2011.


A 2011 view of the mill from the rear

Gone Fishing

December 22, 2013

One can’t imagine many anglers heading for the stream that goes under the road between Market and West Lavington these days. But photographic evidence suggests it happened in the past.

Fishing in the stream by Cornbury Bridge

Fishing in the stream by Cornbury Bridge

The caption on the card reads Cornberry Bridge, Lavington. It should say Cornbury Bridge and it is the bridge over the stream which separates the two parishes of West and market Lavington. The road we see in the bottom right, the man apparently fishing and half the bridge are in West Lavington. The rest of the picture is Market Lavington.

We cannot date the photo but believe it may be from between the two World Wars. If anyone can identify the fisherman, or, indeed, the small boy sitting on the bridge parapet, it might help us to get more accuracy on the date.

The people in the photo

The people in the photo

Any thoughts, anyone?

An Overseas Club Certificate

November 28, 2013

This blog post could be called another request for First World War stories. Here we look at work that children could do on the home front.

The child in question here is Bert Shore

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Albert (Bert) Shore was the oldest child of John Shore, a Market Gardener and his wife Annie. He was born in 1906 in West Lavington and he probably lived in that parish during the time of World War One. In 1911 the family were certainly in West Lavington with a home on Rickbarton.

But Bert later married a Market Lavington girl, and one close to the hearts of people involved at the museum, for his bride, when he married in 1940, was none other than Flo Burbidge, born and raised at our museum building. The couple lived in Market Lavington and many of their artefacts ended up in our museum, including this certificate.

The certificate certifies that Bert Shore has helped to send some comfort and happiness to the brave sailors and soldiers of the British Empire, fighting to uphold liberty, justice, honour and freedom in The Great War.

We do not know just what Bert did but as someone aged 9, we feel sure he was proud of his certificate. This one was issued for Empire Day in 1915.

Another fine wedding photo

October 28, 2013

Weddings are well photographed these days and many were in times past. This photo, a particularly lovely one, was recently sent to us by Virginia in Australia. The photo shows a bridegroom who was a relative of hers.

The bride was Mary Ethel Cooper who was more usually called Ethel and the groom was William Blake.


Mary Ethel Cooper was born around 1880. She was the daughter of Jacob Bolter Cooper who we have met before on this blog (Click here). The family had premises on Parsonage Lane and it is possible that this photo was taken at that location. The wedding took place in 1920.

William Blake lived in West Lavington, but William was a Londoner by birth which was around 1890.

After their marriage the couple lived on The Terrace, Market Lavington in one of the cottages along the path above Northbrook. As far as we know they lived there for all of the rest of their lives. Both died in the 1950s and are buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

Because the photo came from a member of the Blake family, we know more about them. Virginia wrote the following.

Identified by my parents – Dad being the only son of Jimmy Blake (James Robert Christopher Blake)

Back Row

4th from left – Mary Blake (sister of William the Groom). The children in the photo belonged to her. She never married. They are Margaret Blake & Henry Blake.
2nd from right Jimmy Blake my Grandfather.
I suspect that the two people sitting behind the little girl are John & Mary Blake – William’s parents but that is a guess.
William had three sisters in all – Mary already identified, as well as Charlotte (Lottie) & Eva. They are probably in the photo but I can’t identify them.  The bridesmaid sitting between the children could possibly be a sister?
William had another brother John but I believe he died fairly early on.
My Dad seems to think that the lady next to Jimmy Blake is Dad’s mother Lilian (nee Cutting) although my Mum seems to think not.  Jimmy & Lilian were married in 1924 (4 years after this wedding) so I suppose it could be my grandmother. Jimmy was only 5 ft 1 ½ inches & Lilian was 5 foot exactly. This fits in with the photo.

It seems likely to us that Jacob Bolter Cooper is in the photo for he was still alive at the time, aged about 80. His wife, Ethel Cooper’s mother, had died some years earlier.

We believe that William and Ethel had one daughter, Lilian. Lilian Blake married Percy Wilkins in 1948 and we know that Percy and Lilian lived on the Terrace as well.

Market Lavington Museum and Virginia have the same hope now – that other people in the photo can be identified.

Do contact us if you can tell us any more.