Market Lavington Museum

Teenage TV and radio favourites – 1958


In 1958, student teacher Rowena spent a month at Market Lavington School and was tasked by her college to produce a file of work on the school and village. This has now been donated to our village museum and is a fascinating snapshot of the time. See Rowena – Student Teacher – 1958 and Our museum building in 1958 for previous blogs inspired by Rowena’s time here.

Her college had provided a printed form to record some information about the pupils. There were five classes at Market Lavington School, but Rowena must have concentrated on the older children for this piece of work, judging by their listening and viewing habits. (At the time, children attended the school from five to fifteen, unless they passed the 11+ exam and moved on to Dauntsey’s School in West Lavington or Devizes Grammar School.)

Rowena recorded information about 29 children from a school of 120 pupils. Most of them were regular attenders and all of them had school milk.

The 1950s was a decade when many people were beginning to buy, or often to rent, a television. By this survey in 1958, we see that, whilst the majority of the class had a television at home, nine did not.

The favourite radio programme was The Archers, a series based in a Midlands farming village, which is still running in 2021. The second most liked radio programme was Meet the Huggetts, a comedy drama series about a working class family.

On the television, cowboy programmes and Robin Hood were most popular. Dixon of Dock Green was a police series and Emergency Ward 10 was set in a hospital.