Mapping Progress

We have enjoyed a busy and engaging week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

Monday started with two local student researchers. The first is helping staff with a planned collaborative window display for Yeovil Library on the fascinating history of registrars in Yeovil. This will also provide a practical project assessment for the student’s coursework module.

Soon after, the second student arrived and staff helped to answer the enquiry on the development of the St. Michael’s Avenue area of Yeovil and a more specific focus on W.H. Slade Glove Factory in Glenville Road, Yeovil, owned by a relative, for which we could provide evidence from local directories, photographs of the factory and plans of factory developments.

Tuesday saw staff travel to the Literature Exchange at Haynes International Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset, which was organised by the Economic Development section of South Somerset District Council. This was an opportunity to tell around 50 local businesses and heritage organisations about CHAC. We also discovered some inspiration from the Haynes displays to help interpret some of the transport themed collections at CHAC.

Wednesday saw a busy volunteering day, which included checking and re-packing one seemingly endless box of costume; documenting the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Brochures (Yeovil Branch) and the newly donated Guide uniform. Of particular interest to our volunteer with cartographic experience was completing a detailed study of two maps for the Know Your Place Project. These were of Hinton (Mudford) and Marston Magna, near Yeovil, dating from 1763 and 1764 respectively. These used to be stored behind a Perspex frame, but following digitization at the Somerset Heritage Centre, are now stored in much more manageable inert plastic sleeves. The line drawing of the churches in each map is particularly detailed, as is the compass rose and the north pointer is indicated by a ‘fleur de lis.’ Both maps have a connection to landowner, John Old Goodford, Esq, a well-documented figure, but the actual cartographer of the map the ‘made and taken by’ Samuel Donne of Melbury Osmond (near Yeovil) in the County of Dorset needs further research, to discover more about what seems a fascinating figure based on their work.

The specific details taken by our volunteer is a great asset, which can be placed in the object history file for each map, for use by further researchers and added to our database records for each map.

Thursday saw our next Photo Afternoon, which was attended by two new people, one of which found out about the event through our library display.

While the Photo Afternoon was in progress, our contact from the Dementia Care Unit at Yeovil Hospital brought back our Glove Loan Box 1, which they were trialling. Suggestions for improvement were broadly based around more contextual information and photographs of the gloving process and this also provided useful additional income.


A photograph of W.H. Slade & Co. Ltd, Gloving Factory, Glenville Road, Yeovil.


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