Market Lavington Museum

Fund raising whist drives

Looking once again at our copy of the Wiltshire News item on Market Lavington from 24th July 1959, we find a couple of paragraphs about the whist drives held at the village hall. We have already seen that Whist Drives were popular in 1949 and they were still going strong ten years later.

The newspaper stated that ‘The parish hall is the centre of its (Market Lavington’s) activity. A weekly whist drive has been held there every Wednesday for 20 years and today the master of ceremonies is Mr M (“Taffy”) Jones.’

Perchance, we have a photo of this community minded gentleman in a team of volunteers helping with Creating the Davis Field for football.

Taffy is seated centre front in the picture, just behind a lad in a dark coloured shirt.

The newspaper informs us that proceeds from his whist drives benefitted most of the village and that, at times of the year when attendances were lower, the profit went to the parish hall fund. At that time, the parish hall was the wooden hut type building that stood where the nursing home is now.

Our news article goes on to describe some of the many activities that this hall was used for in 1959.

‘The hall was recently taken over by the Parish Council, and hard work by volunteers has brought great improvement. It is also used as an overflow for the village school. Here the men’s and women’s sections of the British Legion meet as well as the Wilts Regt. O.C.A.. the Mothers’ Union, the Women’s Institute and the special dances of the Gay Nineties Club are held here. The Boy Scouts Association is very active, but have their own premises.’