A High-level Cistern
The oldest residents of Market Lavington remember a time before the sewerage system was laid in Market Lavington. And speak of earth closets and bucket lavatories, which were emptied by people with the contents, spread on allotments.
It wasn’t until the 1940s that flush toilets began to be installed in the village, and even then the flushing just moved the lavatory contents into the local stream via the rainwater drains. The sewerage system was installed in the 1950s.
A reminder of these early days of the flush lavatory has just been donated to the museum. Just a few days ago, this blog featured a quotation for a job from W Hopkins and Son and our new acquisition is a high-level lavatory cistern, supplied by Hopkins.
Let’s take a closer look at the legend on the front.
This cistern comes from a house on Drove Lane where it was probably installed when new and was in use until very recently.
We do not think that the cistern, which is made of cast iron, was actually produced in the village although we can find no manufacturer’s mark on it, just the Hopkins Bros, Mkt. Lavington badge as shown. The Hopkins were builders’ merchants but also produced and piped gas within the village. They had various premises on Church Street.