A spanner in the works
Market Lavington, now considered to be a village, was a thriving, self sufficient little town, with people working in a wide variety of trades. One of these was wheelwrighting, carried on at Gye’s yard on White Street. Previous museum blogs have featured this in photographs and memoirs. See Wheelwright memories, Wheelwrighting and The Wheelwright at work – fitting a tyre.
At the museum, we have a variety of tools of various trades, including this spanner.
This heavy iron tool is 41 cm long, 9 cm across its wider end and the handle is 8 cm high. It was a wheelwright’s hub spanner or axle wrench, used for fixing the wheel of a cart. It is said to date from 1881 – 1920.
Horse drawn carts are now part of agricultural and road transport history, but there was still work for wheelwrights making and repairing cart wheels into the early decades of the twentieth century. Reminders of this trade can be seen in the Trades Room at Market Lavington Museum.