Monthly Archives: November 2017

Timely Mystery Road

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Image (c) South Somerset District Council Heritage Team (01935) 462886 – Please do not reproduce without permission.

For our BLOG this week, from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, we feature a photograph from the 2018 Yeovil Calendar – this has caused some interest as quite a bit has changed!

Can any one guess the name of the road in Yeovil from the early to mid 1970s? There are a few visual clues!

As always, please let us know any memories evoked by the photograph.

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar is now available at £6.00 each from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, SSDC Brympton Way Reception and The Emporium, Princes Street, Yeovil

and the Community Heritage Access Centre!




The Mudford Insight

South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC) near Yeovil recently provided a tour for ten members of the Friends of St. Mary’s Church, Mudford.

This was a new group to visit with an interest in local history and artefacts. Staff provided an insight into the type of objects and documents in the collection and how we look after them. The collecting policy and accurate documentation were also explained, which were two of the key aspects of fulfilling and maintaining the Accreditation Standard.

One of the fun elements staff created came in the introduction to the collections and specifically on Mudford. Three Kelly’s Somerset A-Z Directories dating from 1910; 1923 and 1939 just happened to be open at the pages for Mudford! This was a very simple idea, but reflected how Mudford had changed over a 29 year period; particularly the type of traders in the village; the population and specific details of St. Mary’s Church itself.

Staff also showed a ‘book end’ type of two photographs related to Mudford’s history. The first was an image of St. Mary’s Church taken by Henry Stiby around 1890, which the group had not seen before and which led to some debate as to exactly where Henry Stiby was standing when he took the photograph. The second image was a colour photograph of “GT Motorcycles Yeovil” in 2001 not far from the Half Moon Inn courtesy of the Peall & Co Estate Agent Collection. This was another simple idea but was a great start to the tour and served as a useful ‘icebreaker.’

The tour of the stores once again highlighted parts of the collections we are less familiar with and where we need to increase our knowledge; blue and white tea cups and saucers being one example!

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The image of St.Mary’s Church, Mudford, taken by Henry Stiby around 1890 © South Somerset District Council, Community Heritage Access Centre. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Pays to be Prepared

A Scout Troop of 20 members from Ilchester came to South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre to see the collections and learn about local history in order to gain their ‘history badge.’


Having the Half-Term Victorian themed trail already in place was another bonus as this really helped with the structure of the evening and is now in place for future events, with only minor alterations to the questions on the trail and small adjustments to interpretative text on the objects.

Volunteer development was another key highlight. Volunteer assistance was required in order to run the evening successfully as 1 staff member to 20 visitors is not practical on health and safety grounds or for the enjoyment of the visitors, or for the safety of collections. What was good to see was how all the volunteers took their role; 1 assisting me in starting off on the trail and two starting off with the three mystery objects; cub jumper link to the Barwick Follies and then coming to see me in order to start down stairs as we moved on upstairs. This level of autonomy was great and justified my guiding them through the trail a week before and on the morning of the event. This is something to feed back on at our volunteer meetings and to build on for the future and share with our Spark Volunteer representative.


Fundamentally, a great example of minimum effort; maximum gain, especially in terms of income generation, which South Somerset District Council have asked us to do and using other staff and volunteer help to achieve this.

We have our next Photograph Afternoon on Thursday 16th November 2017 from 14.45 – £2 per person on the theme: “Shops and Schools.” Places Limited!

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar in A4, spiral-bound format is now available at £6.00 each.