Propelling the Commemoration

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

The week started with a call from a Western Gazette photographer requesting to photograph objects related to the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1642; as 7th September 2017 was the 375th Anniversary of this local ‘minor skirmish’ of the English Civil War.

We were able to illustrate the story with a Cromwellian sword dating from the time of the battle and a notable photograph taken by local historian, Leslie Brooke. This was a photograph of a painting, which was lost in the Town Hall Fire of 1935, which shows Parliamentarian Forces assembling at St. John’s Church.

On Thursday, following on from the photographer’s visit, we arranged to meet a colleague of the photographer, from the Somerset Live Group, in a lay by on Babylon Hill. The lay by in question has a memorial made of Ham Stone with an inscription commemorating the 350th Anniversary of the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1992. We then completed a live to social media interview using a mobile phone mounted on a ‘selfie-stick’ – a first for CHAC!

The questions around commemoration of the Battle were very interesting, particularly as staff had copied a colour poster produced for the re-enactment of the Battle for the 350th Anniversary in 1992. One of the questions asked was “what do we think would happen for the 400th Anniversary.” This is interesting when compared with how many people know about the existence of the Commemorative Stone in the lay by and what is taught in local schools. Clearly, commemorations are important and ways to remember events, but also may only happen at significant anniversaries and therefore only every 10-25 years, when something could be mentioned every year.

We were also grateful for the response to last week’s BLOG, when we asked the question if anyone knew about the “Propeller-driven car” in Yeovil. We were delighted to receive a response highlighting a video clip taken by Pathe News reel (no less!) explaining “Mr Robins driving his propeller-driven car.” Our enquirer was ‘over the moon’ to receive this confirmation as he had told many people but had never met anyone with details to substantiate this story.

Staff also enjoyed a tour of Brympton d’Evercy House, courtesy of the Yeovil Archaeological and Local History Society (YALHS) and more of this next week!

We also have a link to an interesting project involving local artists and local museums:

https:// musemakers.wordpress.com

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar will soon be available – all enquiries to (01935) 462886

One of our other recently checked items from the CHAC Costume Collection.

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