Unsurprisingly, Market Lavington has a market place. Long ago, markets were held there but, over more recent decades, it has become the village car park. It does now have a tree and some raised planters, to make it a bit less austere. Being in the centre of the village, alongside the High Street, it has festive lights in December, to brighten the evenings and lift the spirits of residents and passers by in the run up to Christmas.
For a number of years, a lovely tall Christmas tree was erected there and lit with coloured light bulbs and, on one evening in mid December, part of the car park was left clear of cars and villagers came to sing carols by the tree. This carol singing began in 1982 but, sadly, no longer takes place in the Market Place.
Here is part of the tree on a snowy night in 1999. The music for the carols was often provided by Bratton Silver Band. Here they are in 1998.
In 2007, our previous curator wrote:-
The Christmas season really started for us with the now traditional carols in the market place in the village. I love this event, with a brass band and a chance to have a good sing. And this year it felt very traditional, for the weather played its part. It was possible to think, ‘deep and crisp and even’ when the temperature was hovering around the zero mark and any grass you walked on was crunchy under your feet. But certainly there was no snow to be deep. The sky was clear and walking home again it was a pleasure to see (and recognise) some of the constellations. So yes, Christmas truly started today.
Unfortunately, the tree became prone to vandalism and was replaced by some light bulbs, strung high above the car park. In 2009, carols were sung to music provided by Devizes Town Band, but there was no tree.
We have just received another donation for the museum, which links to the theme of this blog. The local Women’s Institute tend the brick built planters in the Market Place. One of their members found these bulbs in there and saved them for us.
A little memento of Christmasses past. And, to finish, here is a picture of Market Lavington Market Place lights in 2019.