Coals to Yeovil

Another busy week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil, Somerset.

One of the main themes this week so far is ‘returning’ with an archaeological handling box returned from our District Council Countryside colleagues, which helped with a Roman themed activity day and our “Flight Over Everest” Panels which were used during Westland Helicopters Centenary Celebrations Day in July.

Last week also saw our “Record Breaking Storytelling” in Yeovil Library as part of the children’s Summer Reading Challenge. This all began when I asked a librarian the theme of the 2015 Reading Challenge and was informed “Record Breakers.” This instantly brought an idea to mind and I asked the librarian if they were highlighting any Yeovil-based records and this was actually proving a struggle to find any. I then explained about the Westland G-Lynx which still holds (as far as we know!) the world air speed record for a helicopter at 249.10 mph.

Suffice to say, we enjoyed a superb storytelling (the children and adults said so!) with grateful thanks to Westland Helicopters Archive for a great image of the G-Lynx pilot Trevor Eddington (which helped to illustrate the ‘grandpa’ in the story) and The Helicopter Museum, Weston-Super-Mare for permission to use detailed accounts of the modifications to the standard Lynx helicopter and explanations of the record-breaking day itself on 11th August 1986. We also used my Lego Airport helicopter dating from around 1986 to illustrate these modifications and images of gloving and the first Flight Over Everest (which was also by a Westland Aircraft) to place the G-Lynx record in a historical context.

One of our most recent accessioned objects was a simple looking book with “ledger” inscribed on the spine. However, inside were a selection of receipts confirming we believe that this was a ledger used by Bradford’s Building Supplies and dates to around 1904. One of my favourites from these is a yellow receipt which details the number of Bradford depots across Somerset and Devon, the type of products supplied and the all important telephone numbers (2 or 3 digits in length!) Bradford Receipt086 One of the memos from a recently accessioned Bradfords ledger.

IMG_2216 Part of our CHAC Display for the Summer Reading Challenge

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