Hopkins and the New Inn
This photo – we have a copy of the original and clearly it is under glass – is not of the highest quality, but nonetheless it shows and interesting scene.
This is a part of Church Street in Market Lavington in the early years of the 20th century and it shows two thriving and prosperous businesses.
The near one is clearly labelled Hopkins Ironmongery Stores. And some of the wares are displayed outside – it looks like a shovel for every purpose. We do not know if the people outside the shop are members of the Hopkins family or passers-by at the time.
In early Victorian times Enos Price had run a horse drawn coach service from here to a railhead at Hungerford and that, no doubt, explains the current name of Coach House. The shop closed many a year ago and has been a private home for years now.
Next door is the New Inn which changed its name to the Drummer Boy when it no longer was an Inn because it didn’t offer overnight accommodation. That, too, has closed and at the time of writing is awaiting further development in some form. At the time of this photo it was clearly offering Usher’s Ales – a Trowbridge company.
Times change. Back in 1860 Market Lavington was a market town. Gradually it has turned into a large village but we can be thankful still to have shops, a coffee shop and a pub serving our needs.