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Rey Mill Women Forever in the Limelight

October 2nd 1958
Miss Joan Lynsey the well known Wiltshire horsewoman must learn to live in peace with her neighbours said a solicitor at Chippenham on Thursday. Miss Lynsey of Rey Mill House, Lacock pleaded Guilty to the crime of common assault upon Arthur Roger Adams of Rey Mill, Lacock

A Host of Golden Daffodils - Chippenham News 5th November 1965

To commemorate the Golden jubilee of the Women's Institute the ladies of the Lacock WI have planted more than 1,500 daffodil bulbs upon the Cantax Hill. It was not easy going on such a sloping bank, but would be well worth the effort for villagers and tourists alike when they bloom in the spring.

A United Parish

August 31st 1940

Miss MT Talbot has agreed to give her co-operation for the feature film 'Kipps' based upon the novel by HG Wells to be filmed in the Lacock setting. Film stars expected in the village for the shooting are Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Another film made was 'The Magic Box' starring Robert Donat who marries his bride in the film in Lacock Church, a film about the camera, only fitting in the home of Fox Talbot. To cut down further on expenses the real Lacock Reverend was used as an extra to marry the couple. Another film was Lord Vanity; this was when Mr Thomas Selman had to apply his craft by covering an electric distribution box near St Cyriac's church with a stone dry wall to disguise it.

Bath & Wilts Evening Chronicle - 8 Dec 1971

Objections by the parish council against commercialisation were over ruled yesterday when it was recommended to the Wiltshire County Council that an invitation to open up a silversmith's workshop should go ahead. The National Trust was in favour. There was a lot of village opposition against Mr Graham Watling's proposed plans of opening a Gold & Silversmiths in the village.
The village even sent a letter to the secretary of state for the Environment about the concern felt locally over the proposed goldsmith and silversmiths workshop in the village; the letter has been acknowledged.
As we all know now the studio went ahead.


In 1720 Daniel Chamberlain, a miller at Lacock left for London to seek his fortune. The family prospered and was destined to provide the country with two of its most eminent statesmen in the Rt Hon Joseph Chamberlain and his equally famous son, Arthur Neville Chamberlain.

Chimney Pot Delight

The Tuscan columns that can be seen on the left hand side as one walks to the abbey were in fact the chimneys of the house that were removed when the new hall was built by the squire John Ivory Talbot in 1755. He had the sphinx carved and placed on top of the chimneys by Benjamin Carter. The mason Benjamin Carter did a lot of work at Stourhead and other country estates, his main fame of masonry work however was the carving of mantelpieces.

Chippenham News Friday 12th August 1966 - The Lacock Bailiff

Mr John (Jack) Butler of Corsham Road , Lacock was preparing to walk along the banks of the Avon as he does all weathers. At 83 he still looks after a stretch of six miles of riverbank, he is looking for poachers, anglers young or old who want to catch fish without paying for it. Fortunately these are found very seldom. He was born at Reybridge and left school at the age of 12, when he joined other lads waiting outside the post office hoping to deliver telegrams. Bearing in mind that seventy years ago there were no phones or motor cars and a bicycle was a luxury. The village boys used to fight amongst themselves to get to take a telegram to the Spicers up on the Hill, better known as Speye Park, the reward for the messenger boy was his cap filled with freshly baked cakes. Bearing in mind that his father only earned 12 shillings a week on which to bring up the family, these cakes were an absolute godsend. He became a carpenter and wheelwright with Mr Charles Wiltshire in1899 and remained with the firm for 54 years. He has been bailiff for 40 years and can recall getting bait for the famous cricketer WC Grace when he was staying nearby.
As the bailiff he can question anyone at all fishing on the riverbank, when asked if the sport was still popular he said ' Where you found one angler you now find hundreds'. His personal biggest catch was a 10lb 12oz Pike. His advice to young anglers! "Always approach an elderly knowledgeable angler for advice"


God Fearing People

Church going is a very deeply rooted Christian habit in Lacock. There can be few villages where pro-rata to population the percentage of Churchgoers is higher than in this lovely Wiltshire village. This was an extract from a pamphlet dated 1930, what would be the quote I wonder in this day and age?

Hoar Frost Prevents Hunting

On Monday the 27th December 1965 the Avon Vale Hunt turned out in its finery for its traditional Boxing Day hunt. Many spectators also turned out, but soon realised that the hunt would not be taking place due to a great hoar frost that morning which would prevent the hunting actually taking place.

Lacock & Bowden Hill Parish Magazine Found in 1964

During repairs to 28 Church Street a copy of the Parish Magazine dated 1913 was found under the floorboards, there were many well-known village names included. The Vicar was the Rev WH Ramsbottom and what was strange is that the service times had not changed at all in 50 years, not even the times of choir practice!
The magazine was founded by the Rev HW Armstrong in January 1895 which recorded that Lacock in 1894 had 21 baptisms, 3 marriages and 18 burials, five of whom were under the age of two and a half. Bowden Hill had 12 baptisms, and 3 burials. Village life was active, the cricket club had two eleven's, there were two football clubs Lacock FC who played in the 'Lion Field' and Lacock Victoria FC who played in the 'Turnpike Field'. The village also had a library with 50 new books.

Lacock Fare - Great Success Saturday 5 July 1969

Lacock Fare - Saturday 5 July 1969 - Great Success
Hot day, flower stalls, dressing up. Lots of booths, highwaywoman, town crier, Morris Dancers, strolling minstrels, its own postal stamp Elizabethan ruff 2,500 letters posted and stamped. Sweeping the streets at half five the next morning all neat and tidy by lunchtime. All proceeds to the modernisation of the village hall, formally the Oddfellows hall built 100 years earlier, incidentally the most modern building in Lacock

Lacock Gets Bypass

Ladd's Bridge

Ladd's Bridge as the older locals refer to the bridge was built in the18th century. Ladd was the name of one of the builders of the bridge. Under it flows the Byde Brook (Sometimes referred to as Corsham Brook) flows past the Abbey and then shoots into the River Avon. In 1955/6 the Wiltshire County Council had the bridge widened and left a plaque on the stonework, which they had rebuilt very carefully, calling it Lacock Town Bridge.

March 30th 1940 -The Abbey Crocuses

The magnificent display of crocuses in the grounds of Lacock abbey is now at its best. Self propagated over a long period, they cover about one and a half acres of ground and are in all shades of mauve and purple. Large numbers of visitors came to see them at the weekend among them Queen Mary, who motored over with friends from the west Country mansion which she has made her home since the outbreak of the war.

Military Funeral - Lacock Cemetery

Mr George Jones of Lacock saved the life of Field Marshall Lord Methuen of Corsham Court in the South African War, when Mr Jones died the Field Marshall arranged that he should have a Military Funeral.
Photo shows the funeral procession coming down Cantax Hill on its way to the cemetery.

Mrs Shop Tayler

8 Church Street used to be a general stores run by a Mrs 'shop' Tayler to distinguish her from the Taylors at No 3 Church Street. She gave up in 1954 when it became grocers until 1963 when the lease ran out. Incidentally Lacock once had three bakers.

Not A Village - But A Township

Only Eight Shillings A Week

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald Thursday October 9 1958
Another point in Lacock's favour is having the National Trust since 1944 as its Landlord. Rents within the village at 8 shillings a week inclusive are surprisingly low. True they have outdoor sanitation and no bathroom and also lack damp coursing but never the less there is always a waiting list of potential tenants.
Two groups of Council Houses have now been provided one on the Corsham Road and the other at the bottom of Bowden Hill. Inclusive rents here are 27 to 30 shillings a week. In addition there is always the estate of Army huts at Notton.

The Brinkworth Bakery Lacock - Founded in 1833

The Brinkworth's used to always be the village baker, following the Great War around 1916 a little ditty that used to be passed around the villagers was:
Take your sugar, and your fat
Take your fruit if any
Mrs Brinkworth will provide the dough
And bake you a cake for a penny.

The Lacock Chalice

Christie's experts' felt that the cup, which was given by nobody, knows whom to St Cyriacs was made around the year 1400. There are no hallmarks or clues to where or who made it. It is parcel gilt and weighs 29 ounces and had been in use as a communion cup for some 400 years. Since January 1963 it has been on indefinite loan to the British Museum where it can be seen in the Edward VII gallery. It is considered as one of the great treasures of Britain and it seems almost a miracle in itself that after all this time it is still in a virtually perfect state.

The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother attended a church service at St Cyriac's on Sunday morning accompanied by Capt FFF Spicer and his wife Lady Avice Spicer of Speye Park where the Queen Mother had been staying whilst attending the racing at Cheltenham.

The Western Daily Press Friday 4th November 1966

A solution has been found to the deadlock which threatened to leave people in the village without a post office. Head postmaster for Chippenham Mr Lancelot Johnson last night announced the appointment of a sub post mistress - Miss Peggy Butler of High Street, Lacock, to which the post office will be transferred across the road from the present premises on December 1. Difficulties arose when the sub-postmaster for the past 40 years, Mr Herbert Potter aged 72, decided to retire at the end of October. Miss Butler's parents and Grandparents have conducted a general shop since 1896.
Pensioners breathed a sigh of relief, as this will save them having to travel to either Chippenham or Melksham to collect their pensions. Mr Potter has also delayed his retirement by a month in order not to disrupt the villagers........
The parish made a gift of two fireside chairs to Mr & Mrs Potter as a thank you for the forty years service that they had given to the village...........
He died on the evening of March 25th 1970 aged 74.

The Wiltshire Times Friday 19 September 1958

Lacock Lady 98 Years Young
Mrs Mary Ann Rawlings of 63 Corsham Road, Lacock, celebrated her 98th birthday on Tuesday. She was hired as a dairy maid for Home Farm Dodington,at the hiring fair at Tetbury Mop some 80 years ago. Born on the 16th September 1860 at Hawkesbury Upton. She attended school at Badminton. Mrs Rawlings has never used make up, and does not think the results of it are any improvement on soap and water.
Wiltshire's Oldest Resident - 20th Sept 1963 Chippenham
Mrs Anne Rawlings of 63 Corsham Road, Lacock was 103 years old on Monday where she lives with her only daughter Edith and her son in law Mr Earnest Drewett.
She died on 3 June 1965 aged 104, she would have been 105 in September.

Thee Olde Abbey Laundry

28 Church Street, Lacock - 14th Century building was once the laundry for the abbey. Water was laid on from the abbey and the tap was located outside the back gate.

Tinker, Tailor, Tayler, Taylor

3 Church Street - The Cruck House one of the oldest medieval houses in England. Home of Mr & Mrs Taylor. Mr Taylor senior apart from being called Taylor was also a tailor who made those enormous coats for coachmen, Box coats they were called and he made them for Hetherington the Tailors of Chippenham. When he retired he made ices and sold them as a sideline at the Cruck House, he used to have a sign up in the window saying simply 'ICES'.

Treasure Found in Lacock

Village Hall Modernisation

Western Gazette 5 September 1968 - Charity Begins At Home

What a Six !

Cricket has been played at Lacock for well over a century, the earliest record available shows a match between Chippenham and Lacock in 1861. In the Bowden Hill Parish Magazine for May 1898 there is a reference to an Easter Monday match between Lacock and Bowden Hill, resulting in a victory for Lacock, 156 for 5 and Bowden a meagre 44. Their best season was 1955 when they won 30 matches and only lost 5. There is a story that a terrific six was once hit with the glorious willow, from the crease on the cricket field behind the Red Lion, and ended up in the school playground in the high street. Who hit it nobody seems to recall!!

Whitehall Garden Centre - From Little Acorns

Wiltshire Gazette 3 October 1968
A Lacock couple Mr & Mrs RN Self of Whitehall Farm, Lacock have won their appeal against refusal of planning permission for the establishment of a garden centre and nursery on part of the farm. This followed a recommendation of the Local Government following a Public Enquiry that was held.

Wiltshire Gazette 5th October 1972

Wiltshire Gazette 9 September 1971 - Historic House To Be Sold

Notton House, Lacock part of which is late 16th century, and has 20 bedrooms, is to be put up for public auction by the department of Health and Social Security. The main structure is Georgian and was used forally as a nursing training school, during the war American troops of the fourth armoured division were billeted here and at Lackham house, including Blood & Guts Patton at Lackham. The Parish Council, was against it being turned into a licensed hotel, a motel or a country club, The auction was cancelled. Plans concerning Notton House reveal that it is to be used as a residential school for maladjusted children. There should be about fifty pupils none of whom is mentally handicapped

Woman Flying Instructor In Oz

Western Gazette 4th August 1977 - Lacock Girl Flies High Down Under
The only woman-flying instructor in Queensland Australia is Julia Brown who migrated in 1966. She lived with her Aunt Mrs E Wade at Bridge Cottage, Lacock