Market Lavington Museum

Cottage life during WWII


We have already covered some of Maurice Came’s talk about his memories of life as an evacuee in Market Lavington in An evacuee in Lavington and More evacuee memories. The write up we have of this talk gives us a wonderful snapshot of a time with fewer ‘mod cons’. Whilst mains services were quite common in towns before the war, this was often not the case in villages. (World War II – 1939 -1945)

Market Lavington had been connected to a mains water supply in the 1930s, but Maurice remembers that many still did not have this in their homes. They collected water from Broadwell, some using yokes to carry their buckets. One of these yokes can be seen on the wall in Market Lavington Museum, just above the cobblers display.

Sewers weren’t laid in Market Lavington until the late 1950s. (See Market Lavington Sewerage Scheme.) Maurice remembered homes having earth closets. These privies were housed in little huts in the garden. A toilet seat was placed on top of a removable container. Earth or ashes were shoveled over the contents, which were later buried in the garden. Alternatively, the buckets were collected by Dawnie Cooper, who took them to the allotments along The Clays.

The Clays, Market Lavington

Although the village had had electricity since 1927, Maurice recalled that many cottages were not connected to the supply and people used paraffin lamps and cooked on Primus stoves.

We will consider some more of the experiences of this evacuee lad another time.