Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enhanced Display

We have just taken delivery of our new display cabinet for the Welcome Room at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil – more next week!

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Yeovil in Print

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

We started last week at St James’ Church Christmas Fair, with our 2018 Yeovil Calendar. The Fair was well organised with a ‘Calendar’ place setting already waiting for us and very helpful church members. There was a good mix of stalls and refreshments on hand for visitors. This welcoming atmosphere helped us to achieve a good result with the calendars and explain about CHAC’s role in the community.

We were particularly thankful to meet several new Yeovil residents and share some photographs of the town in the 1960s.

Our next event will be “Stick, Stamp and Print!” at Yeovil Library on Saturday 9th December 2017 from 10.30am – 12.00pm.

We unable to attend in person, but will be creating a display board illustrating aspects of Yeovil’s newspaper and print industry heritage, including Snell’s Printers and The Western Gazette.

We also thought people would like to see this image of the Western Gazette composing room in the early 1960s….

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And the Percy Winsor Display of Massey Ferguson tractors and combine harvester at the 1958 Yeovil Show, which is featured in the 2018 Yeovil Calendar. (c) (Commercial Camera Craft)

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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.

 

 

Dracula came from Keinton Mandeville

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

So far, we have loaned a set of display boards to our District Council planning colleagues, organised a Victorian-themed Half-Term Trail and enjoyed the company of a local Scout troop, earning their history badge – more on this in our next BLOG.

One of the recent highlights came in our talk with Keinton Mandeville Women’s Institute. Staff looked at two ‘self-made’ Keinton Mandeville men. The first was Oliver Chalker, a local quarry owner and known as the ‘Keinton Mandeville Strong Man’ – with some justification; as the photograph we have of Mr Chalker is believed to show him as a 91 year old possibly in the 1920s lifting a wooden wheel barrow laden with weights around 250kgs.

The second ‘self-made’ man was the more recognisable, Henry Irving; the great theatre actor, born in Keinton Mandeville in 1838. Henry’s father worked in the village for a drapery business. In 1842, the family moved to Bristol where there was more work available. Henry went on to become one of this country’s greatest stage actors at the Lyceum Theatre in London and appeared in many plays with the equally renowned Ellen Terry. However, the really striking element which came out of staff research for the talk was Irving’s connection to perhaps one of the greatest gothic novels of the late Victorian age.

Staff passed around Henry Irving’s portrait and then asked for reactions to the image. These included ‘brooding’ ‘mysterious’ and ‘like Oscar Wilde.’ Staff then explained that the connection was fitting, given the rather stormy, windswept night and the proximity to Halloween. One of the members then made the connection and said: “Dracula.”

Indeed this is the case as Henry Irving’s stage manager at the Lyceum Theatre was none other than Bram Stoker and it is said that Stoker based his now legendary character on Irving and so therefore (perhaps rather loosely!) we can say that Dracula came from Keinton Mandeville!

Staff also re-dressed the all-male balance by highlighting Lady Lucy Houston, the primary funder of the first ever flight over Mount Everest, achieved by two Westland Aircraft in April 1933, which was named (in her honour) as the Houston-Westland Expedition.

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar is now available from the Courtyard Café, Market Street, Yeovil – thank you!

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A set of Great Western Railway Buttons reflecting our Victorian-themed Half-Term Trail!

Victorian Insight

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A painting of an M7 Class Locomotive by H Ball; painted in 1971 and believed to be passing by Stoford.

Half Term Fun at your Heritage Centre!

Queen Victoria’s Hat!

Enjoy a guided Victorian-themed trail around the Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC)

Wednesday 25th October 2017

2.30-3.30pm

4.00-5.00pm

Places limited to 8-10 per session

£2.50 per group attending

(up to 2 adults and 3 children)

Please Contact us to

Confirm your Place:

Community Heritage Access Centre, Artillery Road, Yeovil, BA22 8RP

(01935) 462886

heritage.services@southsomerset.gov.uk

http://www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk