Community Highlights

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

Today we enjoyed the company of a lady organising a community history event at Queen Camel; a gentleman creating a photographic display for the Norton Sub Hamdon Festival in October 2017 and literally in the last few minutes, a farmer researching the Priory at Montacute.

The gentleman from ‘Norton’ was also a ‘Yeovilian’ and recounted a story of going to Vincent Street, Yeovil as a teenager to see a car powered by a propeller, which in his words, “was similar in principle to a hovercraft and designed he believed by a worker from Westland helicopters.”

We would be grateful if anyone can confirm this account please and even more significantly, actually provide documentary or photographic evidence!

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar will shortly be available.

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Another notable example from the costume collection!

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Costume Change

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

One of the highlights this week was an impromptu visit from a local Scout Leader looking to book an evening tour for the Scout Group. He also explained his Father was in the car. His Father currently lives in France, but used to run a printing company in Yeovil. They enjoyed a 20 minute tour of the collection, before our own printing contact arrived with the final proof of the 2018 Yeovil Calendar.

Our volunteers have also helped us this week to check on aspects of the costume collection. Star items have featured a selection of purses of different designs, which clearly reflect a different age and style.

Best wishes to all for the Bank Holiday weekend.

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Some of the recent highlights from the costume collection, repacked by our volunteers. Condition photographs were taken to monitor any problems and provide a reference point against which to measure any further deterioration.

 

Non-Conformist Norton

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

We completed our new “Student’s Choice” exhibition last week and will now inform our students involved with the possibility of taking a photograph with everyone involved to celebrate the great achievement.

Last weekend saw the 2017 Wessex Truck Show roll into the Yeovil Showground with around 600 trucks on site. CHAC staff were present with a display of photographs in the model marquee. The photographs dated from the 1950s to the 1980s and featured delivery trucks and construction sites to fit in with the show and serve as a channel for raising awareness of the collection and the work we do in the community. Around 25 people came to see us directly with visitors from Taunton, Radstock and ‘born and bred’ Yeovilians! Staff also had a collection of toy trucks to show small children and families the different types of trucks available from a tipper truck to a forklift truck.

One of our visitors this week came from Norton Sub Hamdon local history group requesting information on non-conformist religion in their village of ‘Norton.’ This was a great two-way sharing of information as the enquirer had two small booklets, with one complied by the local Women’s Institute that we had not seen before.

Our trusty Kelly’s Directories from 1910; 1923; 1935 and 1939 also proved useful once again, particularly to confirm and enhance the enquirer’s existing information. One example was the change over these times in the people and trades in the village and in a specific case the occupier of a home living next door to one of the chapels.

The Somerset County History Volume III with the chapter on Stoke Sub Hamdon by R.W. Dunning was also a valuable source of information, especially with the one part entitled “Nonconformity.”

Our next project will be a 30th Anniversary of Yeovil Library Display and 3 talks over the next 3 months – plus work on our Small Grant Big Improvement display cases and the 2018 Yeovil Calendar!

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 One of the newly discovered images used in our Wessex Truck Show Display during the building of the Quedam Shopping Centre in 1984.

 

Order of the Garter

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

Staff have completed arranging our new annual exhibition at Yeovil Town Council Building in Union Street. This is entitled “Student’s Choice” and comprises the objects chosen by our group of Yeovil College University Centre students. These include a leather bag used to collect rent by a member of the Harris family and a small Vesta case with a tiny photograph advertising a local bicycle agent.

Staff and volunteers are also in the process of finalising the Yeovil 2018 Calendar with a few tweaks here and there and discussions over the front cover!

Staff will also be present at this weekend’s Wessex Truck Show with a historical photographic display of trucks around Yeovil from the 1950s to the 1980s. The aim is to use the truck theme as a channel to share and generate interest in local heritage and hopefully raise awareness of CHAC and the collections.

We also discovered a notable find during our volunteering day on Wednesday. Two volunteers help us to look after and monitor the costume collection. In one small box was a garter dating from the 18th century, which was in a rather poor state. We did not have a record of any previous condition on our database, so therefore completed a detailed analysis on this occasion.

Last week we reported on the excavations at Lufton Roman Villa but forgot to include the link to the Blog page. To rectify this, the Blog link is below:

https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/luftonarchaeology/

 

A View of the Villa

We have enjoyed a rewarding and worthwhile week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

One of the highlights so far this week was the opportunity to view the latest excavation at the Lufton Roman Villa co-ordinated by Newcastle University; SSARG (South Somerset Archaeological Research Group) and Brympton Parish Council . On Tuesday 1st August there was an ‘open time’ for the public to come and see recent finds and discoveries, including a section of mosaic pavement.

The following day, staff loaned a model of the Lufton Roman Villa from the CHAC Collection for an illustrated talk on the latest archaeological excavation at the Villa, given by Dr James Gerrard – Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at Newcastle University at the Abbey Manor Community Centre, Yeovil.

The model provided a useful context to the new discoveries like pottery fragments and scallop shells.

CHAC also loaned two handling boxes of Roman-themed material and copies of newly donated photographs of the first excavation of the Lufton Villa by Leonard Hayward with the help of school pupils from Yeovil School in the late 1940s.

CHAC Staff were particularly intrigued to see the reaction of the 2017 students helping with the current Lufton dig to the 1940s students – particularly in terms of the difference in ‘dig dress.’

The 2017 excavation also provided further evidence to re-evaluate Leonard Hayward’s findings and present another ‘view of the Villa.’

A Notable Address

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

One of the main themes so far is the number of visitors attending with local history enquiries.

The first gentleman left a message on our answer phone requesting information on the Summer House, on the top of Summer House Hill. Staff welcomed the enquirer on the same day and together found an aerial image taken in 1961, looking down on the Summer House, which we had not seen before.

The following day, Yeovil Tourist Information Centre telephoned staff as a visitor was travelling back from Cornwall to Ireland and was interested to see the selection of Petter stationary engines cared for at CHAC. The enquirer owned a Petter M-Type stationary engine. The gentleman was dropped off by his daughter and in thirty minutes had not only viewed the stationary engines, but also the Nautilus Grate; Horseless Carriage engine and the Petometer adding machine.

On Wednesday, we shared one of our Volunteer’s birthdays with a visitor from Gloucester, whose Father had a long career in the local gloving industry, especially with Clothier Giles. The lady donated a plaque from the National Union of Glovers Registered Offices (1898); a photograph of Clothier Giles 1938 Carnival Tableau and two photographs of Clothier Giles Premises in 1976, shortly before closure.

Staff knew this visitor was of some renown. This was confirmed when the enquirer said they would write their ‘work address’ in our Visitor Book. After their departure, staff looked and found “House of Lords.”

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One of our recently scanned images – does anyone remember these photographs being taken – or know any one of the ‘practising bricklayers?’

 

Quite a Find

We have enjoyed a busy and rewarding week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre.

Monday saw the return of a loans box from Milford Junior School. The request to borrow the box of Victorian, First World War and Second World War material was received with 4 days’ notice. However, all the material was already available and ready to go from our Outreach Store and the small payment for the 1 day loan was gratefully received with a new contact made. We are also grateful to Yeovil Library as the initial contact with the school was made during our Horrible Histories event held on the ground floor of the library.

Wednesday held a tour for members of the United Reformed Church, Princes Street, Yeovil. One member enjoyed seeing the ‘self-assembly’ television with 10 inch (230mm) screen as his family purchased a similar ‘set’ for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953 for the princely sum of 96 Guineas or £101 in ‘old money.’

Today sees our next archaeological finds afternoon organised with the help of the Somerset Finds Officer from Taunton. We are particularly excited as this finds event from 2pm-4pm is part of National Archaeology Week (NAW) and is advertised on the NAW website. Therefore, we feel part of the nationwide celebration of archaeology from 15th to 30th July 2017. We even have a NAW poster outside our front door to ‘greet’ people!

We also aim to have our 2018 Yeovil Calendar available shortly.