Market Lavington Museum

When banks served villages.

Time was when banks came to people rather than the other way around. In the 1970s there were two banks with premises in Market Lavington, both operating part time. A third company operated a mobile bank which took its turn in Lavington.

In 1967, the two banks with premises both placed ads in the local paper announcing extensions of opening hours.

There was the Midland Bank.

The Midland Bank advertise longer opening hours in Market Lavington

And there was Lloyds Bank – who maybe felt they had to follow suit to keep business.

Snap! Lloyds Bank follow suit and extend opening hours in Market Lavington

Now there are no banks in the village although, of course, some transactions can be carried out at the Post Office.

Peggy Gye, our former curator, was adamant in her belief that the closure of the banks had a knock on effect on other shops. If people were banking in the village, they shopped there as well, but when the banks closed, people had to go to Devizes and so they shopped there instead.

These days, with internet and armchair banking, it hardly matters to many people just where the bank branches are. If we need cash we can use a ‘hole in the wall’ or get cashback from the supermarket. The need for physical buildings and real people to help customers probably is much reduced.

And while shops have closed in Market Lavington, we still have a supermarket, a newsagent, the post office, a butcher, a chemist etc – so it seems that many retail outlets have survived the closure of the banks.