Hand in Glove

Another busy, energetic and exciting week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Our new exhibition on the ‘Early Years of Westland’ is now in place in The Town House, Union Street, Yeovil and we have just received an exciting donation of gloves.

If there is one area of our collection we are always keen to receive, this would be gloves and gloving. Many people living in Yeovil today or the casual visitor will associate the town with Agusta Westland and the production of helicopters. However, Yeovil was responsible for around half of England’s glove production up to the 1950s and the donation which recently came in reflects this time.

Clothier Giles Ltd Glove Manufacturers were based in Addlewell Lane, Yeovil and were a leading glove producer at the time. The 12 pairs of gloves were made by Clothier Giles, which is something in itself and sufficient in terms of our collecting policy, but the donor was able to supply more superb detail and provenance.

Like the clock from Preston Road Methodist Church we looked at in a previous blog, the existing detail is significant, but this was heightened by the knowledge that these gloves were samples taken around by salesman to try to establish sales with shops and businesses. In addition, the donor’s wife also worked in the office of Clothier Giles as a secretary. This level of detail provides an extra degree of insight and social history, which places the already eye-catching designs, in a wider, intriguing context and provides another source of information when visitors enjoy a research visit to CHAC.

Not wishing to forget, of course, that there are a number of different designs of glove, in the 12 pairs donated, literally showing the variety of materials, techniques and stitches involved in glove production at the time. From fancy cuffs, to fine leather pointing and warm mittens, the gloves reflect the time, when the phrase ‘fit like a glove’ meant what it said and reflects our collecting policy and context go ‘hand in hand.’ (Or hand in glove!) We are also grateful (as ever) for donations with a Yeovil and South Somerset Connection and especially in this case, where the donation was ‘handed in!’

Upcoming events include our Storytelling for the Summer Reading Challenge at Yeovil Library on Thursday 20th August 2015 at 10am on a local history and helicopter theme! Hope to see you there.

CHAC Gloves 3 (2) DSCN1857

Gloves made by Clothier Giles of Yeovil.


Our new ‘product line’ of Greetings Cards and our ‘Remember First World War Booklets’


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