Posts Tagged ‘William Cambridge’

Behind the Workman’s Hall

December 19, 2015

Rear views of buildings can reveal a less high quality look as compared with the front. We recall it being said, once upon a time that if you wanted to see countryside then travel by train but for towns make sure you are on the road.

Here we have a back view of buildings on High Street, taken from The Clays. Early and unfulfilled railway plans might have seen a railway line in this area.


Behind the Workman’s Hall in 1971

First, we’d better admire the fine garden in the foreground. That looks to be doing quite well.

The building to the right in this photo is the Workman’s Hall.


The Workman’s Hall

We can see the arch leading through to High Street and we can also see evidence of change to the building in the brickwork. This building opened its doors, as a temperance hall, in the 1860s. There was a resident caretaker who, amongst other things would have kept the clock which faced onto High Street wound up. At times the hall was quite successful but most people were not part of the temperance movement. They might enjoy the food on offer and the games and books they could use, but many slipped out to a local pub for a drink. These days the hall is used for our wonderful village library and by the scouts.

Before the hall was built this area had been the works of William Cambridge, iron founder and maker of steam engines and best known for inventing a clod crushing agricultural roller still known as a Cambridge roller.

Behind 38 High Street

Behind 38 High Street

Other buildings on High Street do not show off their best side. The large barn like building on the left was a maltings at one time. We have featured that before on this blog. Click here.

This photo dates from 1971.

Market Lavington High Street in 1837

October 17, 2015

This is another sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow, brother of the then Vicar of Market Lavington.

Market Lavington High Street in 1837 - a sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow

Market Lavington High Street in 1837 – a sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow

This shows the High Street. Philip was standing more or less outside where the Workmans’ Hall now stands. But at this time, the building on the left was the home and workplace of William Cambridge. He was the inventive iron founder, who back then was making portable steam engines and exporting them around the world, and also devising a clod crushing agricultural roller which still gets used today and is still called a Cambridge roller.

Straight ahead, the buildings which form the Co-op now still look correct although the right hand gable end was demolished years ago.

On the right hand side of the road, just beyond the trees is Greystone House which still looks much the same today.

The area on the right, between Greystone House and the artist has all changed and changed more than once since then.

Set back from the road we see what looks a lovely house, possibly a farm house. At the museum we didn’t know of the existence of that house before seeing the sketch. It had probably gone 10 years after Philip produced this sketch and it was replaced by a brand new and grand vicarage for our Reverend Wynell Mayow to live in. Then, in the early years of the 20th century the Parish Room was built along the street.

All of that area is now a part of the nursing home. The Parish Room has gone but the mid-19th century Vicarage is at the heart of the home still.

The William Cambridge Engine

July 23, 2013

Back in 1837 William Cambridge was an iron founder, agricultural engineer and inventor based where the Workmans’ Hall now stands in Market Lavington. Amongst the products made there were steam engines. These were mostly the so called portables – little work horses that could be towed from place to place to drive machinery. Such engines, and Cambridge’s other agricultural products were exported all over the world and by about 1849 Cambridge moved his operation into Bristol where costs were lower because transport was vastly better.

As far as we know, just one Cambridge engine survives. It isn’t a portable but was a barn engine made for a farm in Chitterne.  Some forty or so years ago this engine did the rounds of local shows. Our photo of the engine was taken at a rally in Seend in 1971.

Steam engine made in market Lavington by William Cambridge. The engine dates from 1837. The photo was taken in 1971.

Steam engine made in Market Lavington by William Cambridge. The engine dates from 1837. The photo was taken in 1971.

The boiler, on the left is not original but on the right we have William Cambridge’s works. It’s a little beam engine – a bit like a miniature version of the engines at the Crofton pumping station on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The engine is not at the museum and even if it was offered we do not have the space for it.

In fact, until recently the museum had no idea where this engine had got to but we have now located its whereabouts and hope to get an opportunity to create a good photographic record of it.

Maybe, one day, it will be back in steam. Perhaps we could then see it at events in Market Lavington.