Market Lavington Museum

A school desk


Market Lavington Museum building was built as a schoolmaster’s house, but mostly lived in by the gardener at the Old House, next door. However, it was later used as an annexe to Market Lavington School, on Church Street, below. The garden was covered in tarmac to provide a playground and the building was used for craft lessons and, later, provided a television room. The school merged with Easterton School in 1971 and the children all moved to a new building on Drove Lane.

When the museum moved into the empty school house, an old desk was there and still is. (See In the Museum – in 1987)

It is rather the worse for wear, but serves as a reminder of school furniture in the mid 20th century. (Our records suggest the School House was used as an activities centre in the 1930s but, as Mr and Mrs Burbidge were still living there until 1954, we think this could be a misprint for 1950s.)

This was a desk for two pupils, with a hole for an inkwell at either end and a groove for pens and pencils, to prevent them from rolling. In the 1950s, it was still usual for children to be taught to write in ink, using a dip in pen and ink in the inkwell, filled by the class ink monitor. (See An inkwell)

Our desk has suffered from graffiti. We presume the trefoil, with FC in the lower two segments, might refer to a football club. There is also a love heart and various other marks and cross hatching.