Market Lavington Museum

Easterton boyhood memories 1940s-60s

Another of the oral histories recorded for Market Lavington Museum shares Jim’s memories as an Easterton lad. He moved to the village in 1947, just before he started school. His first two years were spent at Fairfield Farm. as his father was a livestock farmer. (See Looking up White Street – Then and Now.) An alarming memory from those days was of a shell (from the nearby ranges on Salisbury Plain) exploding by the cattle trough. Fortunately no animals were drinking there at the time, but it left a big hole.

Jim went to Easterton School, where there were just two classes, each of about thirty children. There were doors on rollers between the two classrooms, which were opened for whole school occasions such as Christmas parties. (See Christmas at Easterton School.)

Jim’s first teacher was Miss Alexander, pleasant, but remembered for the stare she gave if you did anything wrong. The second class was taught by Miss Windo, who took the children through to the 11+, when they would leave for Dauntsey’s School in West Lavington or Devizes Grammar School if they passed the test. Those who didn’t went to Market Lavington School.

Jim remembered Miss Windo having a ruler on her desk for rapping knuckles. He said she lived in a flat at the vicarage up Kings Road. The Reverend Stacey lived in the other part of the house. The children called him Pop Stacey on account of the pop pop noise made by his Jowett car. In those days, Market Lavington and Easterton churches both had their own vicars. When this role was combined, the Easterton vicarage was sold off as a private house.

Miss Windo was also remembered for borrowing a barrel organ for village fetes and carnivals.

We will share more of Jim’s memories on another occasion.