Category Archives: Fish Fridays

CHAC ‘a’ Clooney

Ever wondered about the link between the Community Heritage Access Centre near Yeovil, Somerset and the marriage of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin? To be honest, neither had we! However, we recently received a few (few thousand!) receipts related to Thorpes’ Chip Shop in Yeovil; one of which shows the purchase of a Bridal Gown & Veil, Bridesmaid Frock and Head Dress to order from Frederick Taylors The House of Quality on June 11, 1928 for £10.10.0.

Topical wedding link this week with Frederick Taylor's Store on the corner of King George Street and High Street

Topical wedding link this week with Frederick Taylor’s Store on the corner of King George Street and High Street

This is particularly interesting as the majority of receipts are for potatoes, fish, meat and oil. A few of the receipts provide another insight into the lives of the shop owners themselves.



Strawberries and Cream (and fish…)

Hello and Happy Friday from the research room at CHAC!


This week our Friday blog is swapping out the fish for a bowl of strawberries and cream as it’s that exciting time of year again….WIMBLEDON! (yay!)


However, not to fear fish fans, we have still managed to find a suitably tennis themed item from our Fish and Chip shop archive to share with you all this week as it would appear there just isn’t anything our Mr Thorpe didn’t get up to! Alongside running his hugely successful shop in Yeovil it seems that Mr Thorpe liked to indulge in a spot of tennis on his days off. Whilst it’s unlikely he was Yeovil’s answer to Andy Murray, he may have taken after Russia’s Marat Safin, as we have in the collection a receipt for the repair of one racket in 1930. Perhaps it was an accident but who knows for sure…

Thorpe Racket for Blog654

 Fun Friday Fact:  Safin claims to have broken 1055 rackets throughout his career!!

Small World...

Hello Hello Hello and Happy Friday from CHAC!

We hope that you all have had a brilliant half term week (if you are lucky enough to have one!) and have been getting out and about and visiting all the different events that have been put on by museums all over!

This week at CHAC saw our new volunteers starting! 6 enthusiastic people of all ages, some completely new to CHAC and others that we have known for a long time. We are very excited to have them working with us! and together with the staff they have been uncovering and recording some fabulous donations – like this poster here for Somerton Brewery dating 1897!! It is in such wonderful condition for an object that is over 100 years old!

….and on chatting to one of a new volunteers we made a spooky discovery, that it turns out one of our volunteers is actually a distant relative of our very own Mr Thorpe from our Fish Fridays Fish and Chip shop donation!

Dress Down Friday….

Hi all!

Hope that you all had a wonderful Easter break! It’s that time of the week again and this Friday we are blogging about a mixture of what’s been happening at CHAC during the week and also a new Fish Friday post! (Finally!)


This week at CHAC were been thinking a lot about our costume collection – perhaps its because we ate too much chocolate last weekend and our own clothes aren’t fitting so well anymore. Our main aim for the week was to repackage our lace collection after some expert advice from the lovely ladies at Honiton All Hallows Museum (see previous post for details!). What started off as a quick hour or two job turned into nearly a whole day of wrapping, rolling and folding. Image

The lace all laid out as found before the re-packing began


Two lace butterflies – examples of Venetian Needle-Point hand made lace – The highlight of CHACs lace collection.


The lace all packed up and ready to be stored in acid free tissue and calico in a conservation standard box – lovely!


But of course it wouldn’t be a Friday without a Fish Friday post – so on the theme of costume we have selected a receipt from Mr Clive Alexander’s Ladies Outfitters in Middle Street in Yeovil for one Coat – paid £3.10s. What really made us interested in this item however is the date, dated 25th of April 1932 – 82 years old today!

Mr Alexander’s shop is mentioned in The Kelly’s Directory of Businesses in Somerset and was based at 38b Middle Street, Yeovil which is now the site of the Nationwide Building Society – Kelly’s Directory shows that by 1939 Mr Alexander’s shop was also occupying the premise next door – 38a,  so he must have been popular! It’s just a shame we don’t have any photographs of the 1930s shop!


If you remember Mr Alexander’s Ladies Outfitters, bought any items there or have any photos we’d love to hear from you! 


Raiders of the Lost Archive....

It’s been a busy week at CHAC so this “Fish Friday” is our only blog post for this week.

As we are a small team based on the outskirts of Yeovil we are always looking for new ways to market our service and bring Heritage out of the stores and to the people of South Somerset.

In the archive we found that Mr Thorpe was also trying to get the people of Yeovil talking about his Fish and Chip shop. So much so that in 1929 he produced a short film to be shown during the advert breaks at the Central Cinema on Church Street in Yeovil for 4 weeks advertising his business. A true entrepreneur!

Perhaps it’s time CHAC gave Cineworld a call!

Fish, Chips and Charity at 28 Sherborne Road

Is it really time for another Fish Friday again already!? This week at CHAC due to the popularity of the #nomakeup “selfies” that have been going around for Cancer Research this week and all of the great efforts for Sports Relief, we’ve been thinking about charitable giving. It would seem that Mr Thorpe, our fish and chip shop owner, was too a charitable man. This week we are showcasing a decorative certificate awarded to Mr Thorpe from Dr Barnardos Homes dated New Years Eve 1931 for a donation of £1 to the charities “food fund”.

We think that’s quite generous considering £1 works out to roughly £30 pounds! We’re feeling quite inspired by Mr Thorpe!

Fish Fridays!

Here at CHAC we love love love our fish and chips – so in keeping with the tradition every Friday we will be serving up a different item from the Sandy’s Fish and Chip shop collection.

The collection came to CHAC at the end of 2013 and was donated by the brother in law of the previous shop owner, Sandy Mitchell who ran Sandy’s Fish and Chips untill 1978. The collection comprises of a large number of documents (over 1000!) all relation to the Thorpe family who lived at number 28 Sherborne Road, Yeovil. It is believed they were the previous owners of the shop.

We hold everything from invoices for cooking oil from Bristol, Pea-Steamers from Manchester and potatoes from Norton-Sub-Hamdon to receipts for tailored suits and evening dresses from South Kensington.

Today we bring you a Demand Note dated April 1931 from the Borough of Yeovil to Mr F Thorpe Esq. for the payment of the general rate and water charges for the shop at 28 Sherborne Road. The bill was payable the “Yeovil Corporation” at the Municipal Offices on King George Street and the costs are a total of £8 4s 5d for half a financial year of “general rates” i.e. council tax and for two quarters of water!

Although that roughly equates to £270 in today’s money, it is funny to think that now a days £8.00 is probably the average price of a fish supper!