Market Lavington Museum

More water problems

Our previous blog entry looked at complaints about the taste of the water supply in Market Lavington back in the 1930s. At the museum, we have several scrapbooks of local newspaper cuttings in which we learn that there were problems with the quality of the water in 1971 too.

This time the issue was the colour of the water, described here as ‘chocolate coloured’. The heading reminds us that, in those days, there were still housewives who did a weekly wash on a Monday as in the song.

‘Twas on a Monday morning as I beheld my darling

She looked so neat and charming in every high degree

She looked so neat and nimble-o, a washing of the linen-o

Dashing away with the smoothing iron

She stole my heart away.

It seems that the water colour was particularly bad on Monday mornings, the reason being that more water was drawn through the old, rusty pipes then, due to all the washing, and the rust was dislodged into the water. The suggestion that the problem could be avoided by staggering washing times and doing it in the afternoon was not acceptable to a disgruntled housewife.

The following week, there was another newspaper article about the problem. This time the resulting stained washing was described as ‘ginger’.

It seemed that solutions to the problem would either be to replace the rusty old pipes with PVC piping or to reduce the pressure on the system by increasing the supply. This could be done, at a considerable cost, by bringing in water from the north of Wiltshire. Alternatively, more local water might be available if continued borings in the Easterton area proved successful.

Scrapbook cuttings from the same year draw attention to the new housing being built around the village of Market Lavington which, presumably, added to the demand for water.