Point of Perspective
A busy and engaging week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.
One of the main events so far was Data Protection Training for our volunteer team, provided by two of our District Council colleagues. Many of the points of security on Data tend not to apply to historical Museum data, but making sure our computer is locked and a tidy desk policy certainly do – that is why one staff member tries to ensure they have two desks! Many of the points also have an application in our daily lives, especially who we forward emails to in a multiple conversation. Overall, the Data Protection Training was also useful to remind every one of how apparently technology has progressed, but presents new security issues; smart telephones with the ability to access emails for example – never leave lying around!
We also had another ‘point of perspective’ literally speaking. One of our most recent donations was a series of photographs showing the building of Yeovil’s Quedam (Qwee-dam) Shopping Centre, completed in 1984. One of the main problems was just how much had changed in this area over the last 31 years. One photograph, in particular, presented a few puzzled expressions. A local fish and chip shop, Palmers was a distinctive yellow building on the corner of Market Street and the building in question certainly was a strong contender as the same building. However, under a magnifying glass, we read “Bat-Liners Automotive.” The strange thing was that staff remember going to the chip shop in the 1980s, the same period as the photograph, apparently showing a different shop in the same building. We even have a planning application showing when Palmers came into the Market Street location. Fortunately, we found another black and white photograph of the same scene, which stated ‘on the corner of Vincent Street and Earl Street,’ highlighted on a map that the two streets are near each other and with a car park in the background, literal perspective is once again a notable factor. However, we do not wish simply to accept what the donor writes on the back! We now believe Central Road is in front of the building and Reckleford in the foreground!
Fundamentally this highlighted the significant balance between what and how we remember and actual evidence – often when we wish we had a photograph that was ‘just left a bit’; closer in or further out – perspective in a ‘time’ sense.
Fortunately, we often do and some are featured in our 2016 Yeovil in the Past Calendar with images from 1880 to 1965.
The interesting image from one of our recent donations; Vincent Street, with Earle Street to the left.