Market Lavington Museum

A drain inspection cover


What a utilitarian item! It is a rectangle of sturdy cast steel that can, with the right tool, be lifted to allow access to a drain. It would have been in a place where drain rods or something more powerful could be used to clear blockages. Such items are almost as common as the muck which ought to be flowing, out of sight and out of mind, beneath them.

But here’s one with a Market Lavington connection for it is badged with the name of a Market Lavington builder.

Drain cover badged G W Bishop, Market Lavington

Drain cover badged G W Bishop and Son, Market Lavington

It’s G W Bishop and Son of Market Lavington.

George William Bishop was born in Market Lavington in about 1884. His father, Jesse was a farm labourer. On the 1911 census we see George still a single man and at home with his parents. George was a bricklayer. The family lived on Church Street.

George married Helen (possibly known as Annie) Notton in 1916. Son Edward was born in 1918.

The Bishop company is best known, in Market Lavington, for building the Alban Estate. That’s the houses along The Spring and in Park Road.

George died in 1955 and Annie in 1959. Both are buried in Market Lavington church yard.

We would like to know more about George. Do get in touch if you knew him and, in particular, if you have photos you are willing to share. It would be good to be able to put a face to a drain cover!