Monthly Archives: May 2016

Conference Call

A busy and exciting week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

So far, we have sent off for the first proof copy of the 2017 Celebrating Yeovil Calendar, finalised more of our Summer Town House Exhibition and our volunteers have celebrated their 2-year anniversary of volunteering with a meal in Stoke Sub-Hamdon.

The big event of the week was our attendance at Yeovil University Centre Student Conference at Yeovil College University Centre, Mudford Road, Yeovil on Wednesday 25th May 2016.

This was a student led conference displaying a range of professional skills, including presentations and discussions on a variety of themes spanning across English and History. The conference showed the skills and knowledge gained over three years on the students’ degree course.

A notable element of these skills and knowledge were gained at CHAC as the students visited between November 2015 and February 2016, to learn about some of the key tasks staff carry out to care for the collection.

These included accessioning photographs; conservation cleaning of objects and downloading information on relative humidity and temperature to see what the climatic conditions were like in the stores; (Not to mention a chemise worn by Queen Victoria!)

The students had reflected these ‘rewarding visits’ in their ‘Student Market’ portfolio displays, with academic blogs ‘linked to a local museum’ (guess who!) and photographs of their time with staff carrying out their activities like cleaning or even locating selected objects in the store.

In the morning, we learnt about the students’ courses with elements of creative writing, journalism, teaching abilities, blogging and editorial pieces. After a refreshing lunch, in the afternoon session, the four students each gave a presentation. Three of these were critiques of novels around a specific theme, including Neoliberal Corruption; identity and the circularity of Life or approaches to narrative.

Staff from CHAC were thanked specifically for their help during the course, especially for providing access to a work-based environment and examples of actual work that has to be completed to ensure the best quality of care for the items and photographs. Staff did not realise how much they had helped and encouraged the students – and dare we say – how much fun we enjoyed along the way!

Fundamentally, the conference was a reminder to Staff of the significance of connecting with a new part of the community and that the care carried out is worthwhile and has a purpose.

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CHAC Staff with Yeovil University Centre Students –

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Yeovil University Centre Students with Staff and Lecturers

 

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Home Front Find

We have enjoyed a busy and engaging week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

So far this week, we have attended the recent Museums in Somerset Meeting and let other local museums know what we have achieved and future events and projects; held our quarterly Archaeological Finds Afternoon with the assistance of the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer from Taunton and our Photo Afternoon, where we try and show a selection of the 5000 photographs in the collection.

During the Finds Afternoon one of the notable objects to be identified was a “Binding strip from a medieval or post medieval bucket.”

For our Photograph Afternoon we enjoyed the company of one regular visitor plus a new person that discovered our 2pm to 4pm slot through our railway-themed display in Yeovil Library. They went in and asked; confirmed the time and location and then made the effort to travel on the bus from Sherborne Road and walk the last 15 minutes to be with us.

In addition, a local gardening group were enjoying a tour of the SSDC Nursery alongside us and several members came in to our Research Room. The photographs evoked a wide variety of memories.

One photograph recently located in our store remains something of a mystery, even to someone who has lived in Yeovil all their lives. This may not be surprising, as the image is a close-up of the front of a terraced house (much like other terraced houses in Yeovil). However, the notable detail lies in the fact that one half of the terrace is a shop with a ‘nylons’ dispenser on the wall. We would be grateful for any further details please!

One of the objects identified this week: a “Binding strip from a medieval or post medieval bucket.”

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Can anyone tell us where this shop is please? The number above the door is believed to be ‘141’

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Celebrating Somerset

A busy and involving week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

So far we have helped Yeovil College University Centre Students with display boards for their Student Conference and Showcase on Wednesday 25th May; organised next week’s Archaeological Finds Afternoon and Photo Afternoon and discussed a display for the 30th anniversary of the G-Lynx helicopter setting a new Class E (Rotorcraft) Absolute World Speed Record on 11th August 1986.

With our busy Volunteering Day on Wednesday, we marked Somerset Day with a number of tweets (which were subsequently re-tweeted!) on significant inventions or characters in Yeovil History. These included Henry Stiby with Denner and Stiby’s ironmongery shop at 20, High Street, Yeovil in 1883. Henry Stiby was born on 19th January 1843 at Acreman Street, Sherborne and was an early benefactor to Yeovil’s first official museum, created by William Wyndham in 1928.

We also received an enquiry related to the Brethren Chapel at Burton Lane, East Coker and would be grateful to know more information on this building and any background details.

In all ways, celebrating Somerset!

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Denner and Stiby’s ironmongery shop at 20, High Street, Yeovil in 1883.

A Punishing Schedule

A busy and intriguing week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Highlights so far have included our volunteers visit to the Alfred Gillett Trust at Street, Somerset to discover how the Trust Staff look after the collection of shoes associated with Clarks International.

We have also wrapped up the objects for our forthcoming ‘Crime and Punishment’ Exhibition. The next step is to mount the labels and chosen photographs for the exhibition and rear panel in the Town House, Union Street, Yeovil. With the recent sunshine, we took the opportunity to take photographs of the Hundred Stone, just off Mudford Road; the former Ewens & Johnson Building near Stars Lane; the Magistrates Court next to Petters Way Car Park and the current Police Station off Queensway. These illustrations will accompany key captions in our display.

In the Anglo-Saxon period, policing in Yeovil was carried out by the Shire Court, held originally at Somerton and later at Ilchester. Below the Shire Court in power came the Hundred Court. In Yeovil this was held at the Hundred Stone on the corner where Combe Street Lane, Mudford Road and Stone Lane meet. Petty crimes were dealt with such as assaults and thefts and the condition of the roads.

In our ‘object of the month’ we consider a painting of Trent Manor House by architect J. Johnston, with a notable historical link. We only had a very brief description on our database, so asked our volunteer with an artistic background to provide some more descriptive detail. This was significant as the existing description read “Landscape View of Trent Manor House.” This is true, until  we discovered that the painting also includes a blow-up image of King Charles II and his hiding place in the Manor House. This detail was added along with more insights on the Manor building itself.

For the eagle-eyed among our readers, making the observation that Trent is in Dorset, the Kelly’s Directory for Dorsetshire 1931 notes the following on this point and more on King Charles II: “Trent – this parish 3 miles north-east from Yeovil was transferred from Somerset to Dorset as from 31 March 1896. The Manor House, formerly occupied by the Wyndham family, is famous as the place in which Charles II was concealed for 15 days after the battle of Worcester, September 3, 1651.”

The Hundred Stone – the Hundred Court. In Yeovil this was held at the Hundred Stone on the corner where Combe Street Lane, Mudford Road and Stone Lane meet.

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The painting of Trent Manor House with the ‘hidden’ detail!DSCN1446