Crewkerne Community

We have enjoyed a busy week so far at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

One of the highlights was helping Crewkerne and District Museum with an exhibition on local travellers with a mention of Thomas Coryate, known as “The Odcombe Leg Stretcher.” We loaned a black umbrella; a purple parasol; a ladies pair of formal heeled shoes with a press stud material ankle piece and a button hook.

We received feedback that this really helped to complete the exhibition and therefore was useful for Crewkerne Museum and CHAC.

We also aim to be at the Super Saturday event in Yeovil Town Centre tomorrow with the Yeovil Calendar – so we look forward to meeting people there!

There is also a First World War and Willow event at Coates Willow near Stoke St Gregory tomorrow – Saturday 23rd September 2017.

 

 

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Propelled to Preston

We have enjoyed an exciting week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

One of the highlights was a visit from an enquirer interested in having some glass items identified. These fragments of bottle and window glass were unearthed in their garden in Preston Plucknett. Staff suggested bringing these in to be photographed. The photographs could then be emailed to the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) near Taunton, so they can provide an initial assessment. Sending ‘preparatory images’ is very useful for the FLO as they can gain some insight, instead of simply seeing the items ‘cold’ for the very first time. This also speeds up the identification process, which is essential when four finders are waiting to be seen.

CHAC staff also accept archaeological material for identification when the Somerset FLO is not actually present to send on to Taunton for identification. However, in this case, the FLO is due to be in Yeovil shortly and the enquirer aims to meet them in person on this occasion.

During the conversation, staff discovered that the enquirer was related to the owner of the propeller-driven car and even had some additional photographs of the car in action and interestingly, not so active!

The 2018 Celebrating Yeovil Calendar is now available at £6.00 each from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, Petters Way; The Emporium, Princes Street and ourselves at the Community Heritage Access Centre, (01935) 462886.

 

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The original of this postcard is labelled “Preston Plucknett around 1925″ but can anyone tell us which direction the photographer was facing?

 

Propelling the Commemoration

We have enjoyed a busy and involving week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

The week started with a call from a Western Gazette photographer requesting to photograph objects related to the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1642; as 7th September 2017 was the 375th Anniversary of this local ‘minor skirmish’ of the English Civil War.

We were able to illustrate the story with a Cromwellian sword dating from the time of the battle and a notable photograph taken by local historian, Leslie Brooke. This was a photograph of a painting, which was lost in the Town Hall Fire of 1935, which shows Parliamentarian Forces assembling at St. John’s Church.

On Thursday, following on from the photographer’s visit, we arranged to meet a colleague of the photographer, from the Somerset Live Group, in a lay by on Babylon Hill. The lay by in question has a memorial made of Ham Stone with an inscription commemorating the 350th Anniversary of the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1992. We then completed a live to social media interview using a mobile phone mounted on a ‘selfie-stick’ – a first for CHAC!

The questions around commemoration of the Battle were very interesting, particularly as staff had copied a colour poster produced for the re-enactment of the Battle for the 350th Anniversary in 1992. One of the questions asked was “what do we think would happen for the 400th Anniversary.” This is interesting when compared with how many people know about the existence of the Commemorative Stone in the lay by and what is taught in local schools. Clearly, commemorations are important and ways to remember events, but also may only happen at significant anniversaries and therefore only every 10-25 years, when something could be mentioned every year.

We were also grateful for the response to last week’s BLOG, when we asked the question if anyone knew about the “Propeller-driven car” in Yeovil. We were delighted to receive a response highlighting a video clip taken by Pathe News reel (no less!) explaining “Mr Robins driving his propeller-driven car.” Our enquirer was ‘over the moon’ to receive this confirmation as he had told many people but had never met anyone with details to substantiate this story.

Staff also enjoyed a tour of Brympton d’Evercy House, courtesy of the Yeovil Archaeological and Local History Society (YALHS) and more of this next week!

We also have a link to an interesting project involving local artists and local museums:

https:// musemakers.wordpress.com

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar will soon be available – all enquiries to (01935) 462886

One of our other recently checked items from the CHAC Costume Collection.

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Community Highlights

We have enjoyed a busy and eventful week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Today we enjoyed the company of a lady organising a community history event at Queen Camel; a gentleman creating a photographic display for the Norton Sub Hamdon Festival in October 2017 and literally in the last few minutes, a farmer researching the Priory at Montacute.

The gentleman from ‘Norton’ was also a ‘Yeovilian’ and recounted a story of going to Vincent Street, Yeovil as a teenager to see a car powered by a propeller, which in his words, “was similar in principle to a hovercraft and designed he believed by a worker from Westland helicopters.”

We would be grateful if anyone can confirm this account please and even more significantly, actually provide documentary or photographic evidence!

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar will shortly be available.

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Another notable example from the costume collection!

Costume Change

We have enjoyed a busy and exciting week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

One of the highlights this week was an impromptu visit from a local Scout Leader looking to book an evening tour for the Scout Group. He also explained his Father was in the car. His Father currently lives in France, but used to run a printing company in Yeovil. They enjoyed a 20 minute tour of the collection, before our own printing contact arrived with the final proof of the 2018 Yeovil Calendar.

Our volunteers have also helped us this week to check on aspects of the costume collection. Star items have featured a selection of purses of different designs, which clearly reflect a different age and style.

Best wishes to all for the Bank Holiday weekend.

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Some of the recent highlights from the costume collection, repacked by our volunteers. Condition photographs were taken to monitor any problems and provide a reference point against which to measure any further deterioration.

 

Non-Conformist Norton

We have enjoyed a busy and varied week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC), near Yeovil.

We completed our new “Student’s Choice” exhibition last week and will now inform our students involved with the possibility of taking a photograph with everyone involved to celebrate the great achievement.

Last weekend saw the 2017 Wessex Truck Show roll into the Yeovil Showground with around 600 trucks on site. CHAC staff were present with a display of photographs in the model marquee. The photographs dated from the 1950s to the 1980s and featured delivery trucks and construction sites to fit in with the show and serve as a channel for raising awareness of the collection and the work we do in the community. Around 25 people came to see us directly with visitors from Taunton, Radstock and ‘born and bred’ Yeovilians! Staff also had a collection of toy trucks to show small children and families the different types of trucks available from a tipper truck to a forklift truck.

One of our visitors this week came from Norton Sub Hamdon local history group requesting information on non-conformist religion in their village of ‘Norton.’ This was a great two-way sharing of information as the enquirer had two small booklets, with one complied by the local Women’s Institute that we had not seen before.

Our trusty Kelly’s Directories from 1910; 1923; 1935 and 1939 also proved useful once again, particularly to confirm and enhance the enquirer’s existing information. One example was the change over these times in the people and trades in the village and in a specific case the occupier of a home living next door to one of the chapels.

The Somerset County History Volume III with the chapter on Stoke Sub Hamdon by R.W. Dunning was also a valuable source of information, especially with the one part entitled “Nonconformity.”

Our next project will be a 30th Anniversary of Yeovil Library Display and 3 talks over the next 3 months – plus work on our Small Grant Big Improvement display cases and the 2018 Yeovil Calendar!

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 One of the newly discovered images used in our Wessex Truck Show Display during the building of the Quedam Shopping Centre in 1984.

 

Order of the Garter

We have enjoyed a busy and active week so far at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

Staff have completed arranging our new annual exhibition at Yeovil Town Council Building in Union Street. This is entitled “Student’s Choice” and comprises the objects chosen by our group of Yeovil College University Centre students. These include a leather bag used to collect rent by a member of the Harris family and a small Vesta case with a tiny photograph advertising a local bicycle agent.

Staff and volunteers are also in the process of finalising the Yeovil 2018 Calendar with a few tweaks here and there and discussions over the front cover!

Staff will also be present at this weekend’s Wessex Truck Show with a historical photographic display of trucks around Yeovil from the 1950s to the 1980s. The aim is to use the truck theme as a channel to share and generate interest in local heritage and hopefully raise awareness of CHAC and the collections.

We also discovered a notable find during our volunteering day on Wednesday. Two volunteers help us to look after and monitor the costume collection. In one small box was a garter dating from the 18th century, which was in a rather poor state. We did not have a record of any previous condition on our database, so therefore completed a detailed analysis on this occasion.

Last week we reported on the excavations at Lufton Roman Villa but forgot to include the link to the Blog page. To rectify this, the Blog link is below:

https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/luftonarchaeology/