Market Lavington Museum

Christmas Opening Success

The museum opening yesterday was a heaving success – so thanks to Mike who had the idea.

Rog and Sue opened up for the crowds yesterday, but Rog had already been at the museum in the morning for some cleaning and dusting (that’s the museum, not Rog). Whilst there, a family arrived from Malibu so, although not officially open these folks were in to see what was on offer. Being from what we call the new world, they were amazed at the age of everything.

The first arrivals of the afternoon followed in straight behind Rog and Sue at the afternoon opening. This was a former village man and his wife who now live in Bromham, the other side of Devizes. We were able to find him a photo of his former home, when it had been The Brewery Tap pub so he could show his grandson. We also had a photo of his father serving in the Home Guard in World War II.

A local lady arrived, with her cousin, keen to find something about the house, Cherry Lodge. Our WI produced a history of the village in the 1950s and after much searching they found the piece they were after.

Cherry Lodge – at the far end of Common Road was at one time a Cherry Orchard.  It was owned by a family named ‘Gray’.  They lived there during the summer and sold the cherries and garden produce and back to the village for the winter.  The old couple died many years ago.

Materials from the Old Mansion at Cherry Lodge were used by Samuel Saunders to build The Hollies and The Hawthorns.

The proceedings at Cherry Lodge on Great Cheverell Feast Day (29th June, St. Peter’s Gooseberry Feast) can hardly be published!  Apparently barrels of beer and other good things were carted up there and a good time was had by one and all, celebrating the Festival of the Cherries.

By now there was not room to move in the museum for it was jam packed with people – all of whom seemed interested in some specific family or area although a couple of chaps spent some time discussing the finer points of traction engines as they looked at the book, ‘The Big Box’ which you’ll find after this blog entry.

So, a lovely afternoon, rounded off with a French family who seemed to love everything about the place.

Let’s hope today is just as vibrant.