Market Lavington Museum

Market Lavington in the mid 20th century

The previous post shared Rosalia Hayball’s memories of her adoptive parents’ shop, as recorded in an oral history for the museum. We will now consider her schooldays and the village street as she remembered it.

In this tableau, Rose is standing third from the left. She was, however, younger in her first memories of school in the village. She was in Mrs Elisha’s infants class and said that children aged 5-7 years were supposed to have a sleep during part of the school day.

At the time, there was not room for all the children in the school building on Church Street, so she did not move there until she was of junior school age. Mr Stowe was the headteacher in those days and Rosalia said that she learned and had fun there. On one occasion Mr Stowe sent her to the butchers to buy some chops.

Rose spoke about some of the other shops along High Street and Church Street. She talked of a grocer’s shop opposite the Hayball’s shop. When rationing was still in force after the second world war, they swapped clothing and grocery coupons between the two families. The post office was opposite Hayball’s shop too and there was a hairdresser’s ‘up the road’. Along Church Street there was a grocer’s under the name of Potter, run by Mr and Mrs Price, and Milsom’s garage was down there too. Opposite the Co-op was another draper’s shop and the ironmonger’s and a fish and chip shop up the lane. The village was well catered for in the 1950s.

Just opposite Hayball’s on the other side of White Street, in the building currently run as a cafe, was a second fish and chip shop. Interestingly, it had colourful murals of scenes featuring fish, which had been painted by Americans during the war.

We are very glad to have a collection of oral histories in the museum, which complement our photographs and bring life to the history of our village in past decades.