FUN and games are not perhaps the first thought that comes to mind with members of the civil service, but having served at Westminster in the 1980s I can vouch that recreation is very much part of life for the staff.

The Chippenham section of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship (CSRF) meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Chippenham Museum, where all retired civil servants are welcome. For details visit

The Fellowship was founded initially as a charity to support former civil servants and their dependents but it has evolved in recent years to offer services to those in later life. The chief executive of the charity David Tickner sent in the 1960s picture illustrating the local group activities in Wiltshire. Clearly fun was had by all.

Next are some photographs from the Conrad Pearce collection of Oare in the very early days of the 20th century when the main road, the A345, more or less ended at the top end of the village. Anyone who has driven, or more scarily, walked, along the main road from Pewsey to Marlborough will have noticed that for much of its length it is very narrow.

There’s hardly any room for pedestrians, horse and riders or cyclists. The reason is that up until the 1920s the road was a single track lane with verges either side.

Many lanes in Wiltshire are still like that but with the rise of the motorcar the verges were covered over, their ditches buried in culverts and a surface spread to make the road two lanes. The views of Oare from the pre-1914 era show a village were children could play in the road with the most dangerous vehicle passing through being a speeding pony and trap.

Rob Dickens has provided this paper with many interesting photos of Marlborough back in the day and the photograph of the narrow lane behind the Town Hall is one of his favourites.

It links Oxford Street and Kingsbury Street with barely enough room to wheel a market cart but would once have taken traffic in the form of horses and cyclists.

Now it is a quiet backwater with a couple of restaurants and shops and worth a look when you are next in Marlborough with time to explore.