A Revealing Week (Seasonal Station)
An attention to detail week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Lufton, Yeovil.
One of the main tasks this week was re-packing a small selection of costume items, with the help of one of our volunteers. We actually checked that this was acceptable with them, as when we unwrapped the acid-free tissue, the items turned out to be ‘ladies undergarments.’ Some of these were of interesting proportions, reflected in the quantity of new acid free tissue required, along with careful handling. The particular point was to roll the previously folded garments. This would prevent any further creasing and therefore hopefully minimise any areas for potentially mould growth. Not that we should have any with the dehumidifiers and air flow helping to maintain a more or less consistent relative humidity and temperature.
We also took ‘condition photographs’ of each garment to record the condition as of December 2015, to monitor any change or further deterioration. Interestingly, we had some slight technical issues with our Museum camera, so instead of wasting time waiting for the battery to charge, I used my Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera to get going. I just need to explain (if asked) why I have images of historical lace and cotton ladies undergarments – all in a day’s work!
Our volunteer also checked through one more box of gloves, taking condition photographs and noted one glove missing an accession label and the 1958 Kelways Gladioli Catalogue from last week was also accessioned!
The revealing nature continued with a leather skin thickness gauge fitted with a scale in ‘mm’ and ‘Irons.’ This seemed rather strange until we discovered the following provided by “Zelikovitz Leathers” : “As most leather is sold in Ounce thickness, the approximate equivalent in inch fractions or millimetres is possible to be made. For those in the shoe trade who are used to measuring in ‘Irons’ the comparison can also be made. (More in our next post – hopefully!)
We also enjoyed a visit from an enquirer living in Nottingham on Christmas Eve. They requested information on Yeovil Town Station, as they are building a scale model. As they were born in Yeovil, they were keen to see the new Yeovil Calendar for 2016. This prompted many memories and the 1961 Yeovil Aerial Survey, once again came in handy with images of Yeovil Pen Mill Station. These were also of use to our enquirer to illustrate the extent of the town’s railway system at the time.
In stop press news – The South West Museum Development Programme Annual Report 2014/15 is newly published with the following on page 22: “Somerset Museums were the most successful of any county in applying for Small Grant Big Improvement funding in 2014/15. One of these museums, Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC) Yeovil, received £2,000 to develop a calendar featuring historic photos from their collections. the calendar was sold across Yeovil and the proceeds will now provide a self-sustaining income stream for the future, along with a new series of greetings cards and postcards.” (Well done to everyone!)
A peaceful Christmas time from CHAC – and hopefully an equally revealing post next time!
We have a wide variety of undergarments – with these examples! These represent another form of changing social history and perspective!