Community Spirit

We have enjoyed a busy and eventful week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC).

Tuesday morning saw staff and three volunteers attend the Photo Sharing Event at Ninesprings Café. Yeovil Country Park Staff are preparing new interpretation for the Country Park Area and wished to collect memories and photographs of the former pleasure garden and surrounding landscape.

The main aim of the 2 hour time together was for photographs of Ninesprings to be scanned and returned and to enjoy stories and reminiscences; all of which could be used in new information about the Country Park.

Particular highlights included three members of the Yeovil Swimming Club by one of the pools dated 22 December 1901 with one of the members about to dive in! We await a resulting image of the same diver emerging.

We also met a fascinating gentleman whose grandparents lived in the Ninesprings Thatched Cottage as caretakers up until the 1960s.Their memories were intriguing and exciting as we discovered new perspectives on one of Yeovil’s former, best known and most photographed landmarks. The detail on where the bedrooms were located and arranged was great to hear as was the story of a certain trout and monkey.

The gentleman’s grandparents caught a trout in Langport and brought this back to the lake, where the grand fish lived for many years. A small monkey also frequented the holly behind the cottage but seems to have stayed within the bounds of the building and the lake.

Interestingly, a keen local photographer brought in large, mounted photographs of Yeovil Country Park taken in the snow between 1995 and 2010. These were a great contrast and accompaniment to the ‘older days’ and reminded everyone that we need all perspectives; old and relatively new. As someone noted: “I didn’t bring in my photographs because I thought they were too old.” When asked how old the photographs were, they replied: “Oh, only about 30 years!”

The event was also useful to explain the role of the museum collections and we reflected this to a BBC Somerset Radio Reporter and a photographer from the Western Gazette Newspaper.

Tuesday afternoon saw staff travel to view a potential donation of a Friendly Society Banner and on Thursday, staff provided a talk on ‘Education in and around Yeovil’ to a Retired Teachers Association at the Quicksilver Mail at the top of Hendford Hill. Spookily, one of the teachers in the group was a staff member’s primary school teacher.

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A busy display at Nineprings Cafe for the Photo Sharing Morning

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The Yeovil School blazer from our handling collection, which the Retired Teachers Association enjoyed as part of a talk on ‘Education in and around Yeovil’

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