Market Lavington Museum

A 1960 nativity play


If you go to our home page and type nativity into the search box, you will find several entries about nativity plays in churches over the years and the more recent ‘real nativity’ events. Unfortunately, in 2020, this year of the Covid pandemic, getting together for Christmas performances and services has been far less possible.

In Market Lavington Museum, we have two pictures of a school nativity play in 1960, when Mr K Pickering was the headteacher. The photos were taken by Market Lavington’s village photographer, Peter Francis.

Here we have a scene with the three wise men visiting baby Jesus. If you think some of the children are rather big for a primary school, you could be right. 1960 was two years before Lavington School opened as a secondary modern school (later comprehensive) and, although some children might have gone to Devizes Grammar School, many would have been at the Old School until the then school leaving age of fifteen.

In fact, the five school classes could not fit into the three classroomed Victorian school building in Market Lavington and the infants were taught in the old parish room/village hall, whilst one of the junior classes was in the old Congregational Church, formerly Quaker chapel building. (There are many blog posts to be found by typing school into the search box.)

We presume our second picture might show the complete cast of the 1960 nativity play.

Fortunately, there was no need to consider social distancing on that cramped stage or amongst the audience in 1960.