Tag Archives: art

Victorian Insight

10.78 Painting of train 1

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



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






The problem of the Nankeen trousers

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

We started out early on Monday as staff from the Somerset Archives arrived to collect 153 Local Council Ledgers for deposit in the Somerset Heritage Centre (SHC).

We had envisaged them needing most of the day to go through the ledgers as the SHC is closed on Mondays, allowing the staff to travel over to us. However, after only an hour all the ledgers were loaded up into their van and the paperwork was completed. The ledgers would then be checked back at the SHC. The Archivist was grateful to everyone for the considerable preparation work put in by CHAC staff and volunteers; particularly one volunteer which noted the details of each ledger on pink paper slips, placing these inside each front cover.

Volunteer help has also proven essential in the preparation of a Jane Austen-themed display as part of National Libraries Week. One of our costume volunteers suggested having images of costume in the CHAC Collection from the Jane Austen period (1775-1817) alongside quotes from the author, which mention these items of costume. This was a particularly enjoyable display to create because of the collaborative nature. Our volunteer wrote up the quotes and highlighted corresponding items from the collection. Staff then typed up these quotes into captions and scanned the relevant images of the costume.

The Nankeen trousers were particularly difficult to photograph as they are rather ‘bright’ white and made of a stout, cotton material. We initially tried to photograph them on a background of acid-free tissue. However, the camera did not seem to be able to focus on the monotone backing. Staff then suggested a black, plastizote sheet backdrop. This really proved effective as it provided a superb contrast to the white material.

We hope to have this display in Yeovil Library from Wednesday 11th October 2017.

Detail on the Nankeen Trousers

Nankeen trousers (1790-1820) Nankeen (Nankin) was a stout cotton, usually of brownish-yellow colour named after Nanking, its place of origin. It was sometimes used for footwear as well.

The Watsons, p.345 – Lord Osborne tells Emma Watson…”You should wear half-boots…Nothing sets off a neat ankle more than a half-boot; nankin galoshed with black looks very well..”






More Strength to the Weeks.

This is a note from the South Somerset District Council Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil with a thought on Somerset Art Weeks.

The Festival runs from 23rd September 2017 to 8th October 2017. From Bath to Minehead and near Cullompton to Templecombe, there are well over 100 sites to visit.

If anyone is travelling around South Somerset, particularly numbers 94 to 99 around Merriott, Martock, Stoke Sub Hamdon and Yeovil, (A3088; A303; A37; A30 and A359)make your journey even more special with a visit to the Community Heritage Access Centre, in Artillery Road, Lufton BA22 8RP, around 3 miles from Yeovil Town Centre and only half a mile from Yeovil Town Football Club – Home of the Glovers.

We care for around 60 art works ranging from the Angel Inn Panel to a 1990s ‘Pop Art’ Yeovil Artist. In between, we have architectural paintings of Montacute House; Portraits of the ‘leading lights’ of Yeovil Industry including glove making; plus fabric samplers; maps; air raid shelter diagrams and costumes – some of which are works of art in themselves!

We are usually open Monday to Friday 9-5pm. Please telephone to make an appointment on: (01935) 462886 or email: heritage.services@southsomerset.gov.uk

Or visit the website: www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk


A glimpse of the CHAC painting collection!









Propelled to Preston

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

One of the highlights was a visit from an enquirer interested in having some glass items identified. These fragments of bottle and window glass were unearthed in their garden in Preston Plucknett. Staff suggested bringing these in to be photographed. The photographs could then be emailed to the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) near Taunton, so they can provide an initial assessment. Sending ‘preparatory images’ is very useful for the FLO as they can gain some insight, instead of simply seeing the items ‘cold’ for the very first time. This also speeds up the identification process, which is essential when four finders are waiting to be seen.

CHAC staff also accept archaeological material for identification when the Somerset FLO is not actually present to send on to Taunton for identification. However, in this case, the FLO is due to be in Yeovil shortly and the enquirer aims to meet them in person on this occasion.

During the conversation, staff discovered that the enquirer was related to the owner of the propeller-driven car and even had some additional photographs of the car in action and interestingly, not so active!

The 2018 Celebrating Yeovil Calendar is now available at £6.00 each from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, Petters Way; The Emporium, Princes Street and ourselves at the Community Heritage Access Centre, (01935) 462886.



The original of this postcard is labelled “Preston Plucknett around 1925″ but can anyone tell us which direction the photographer was facing?


Yeovil Born and Read

South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre has just received an exciting donation from Yeovil Library. These are eight books by the renowned Somerset author, Walter Raymond.

Walter Raymond (1852-1931) was born in Vicarage Street, Yeovil and educated at Kingston School. He was the son of a glover, but chose a literary career that would produce twenty volumes of novels, essays and plays. As a regional novelist he is often compared with Thomas Hardy and it is known that the two did write to one another.

Walter Raymond loved the Somerset countryside, which he called ‘Ciderland’ and ‘although he was born in a town, his heart was always in the fields with the folk.’

Walter Raymond’s literary works make a significant addition to other items associated with the author already in the CHAC Collection. These include a portrait by the late W. Urwick  and a photograph of his Vicarage Street birth place.

Following his death a commemorative plaque was erected in the old Yeovil Library, which was transferred to the new premises. This can be viewed on the stairs on the way up to the Reference Section. (Gratitude to Ansell, Robin and Barnes, Marion “Around Yeovil” 1995)

WRaymond Copy of Portrait757 WRaymond Inside Page756

A copy of Walter Raymond’s portrait in the Community Heritage Access Centre Collection and an illustration from one of his books donated to the Centre by Yeovil Library.

Bucking the Trend…..

Just for fun we’ve decided to blog on a Tuesday this week! This is because we had a very busy cake filled day on Friday that we can’t wait to blog about!

If you’ve been following us on Twitter (and if you haven’t – you should!) you might have seen that last week we participated in the Art Funds Edible Masterpieces day! The idea of the event was to raise money and awareness for the Art Fund and their work by reproducing famous works of art through the medium of cakes, biscuits and all things edible.

We are super pleased to report that the event was a huge success and in total we managed to raise over £60 to support museums and galleries across the country!


To steal the Edible Masterpieces tag line : “fundraising for art : its a piece of cake!”



Our very own “Alan Measles” 


Maderia cake and cup cakes inspired by Monet’s “Waterlilies” 


Pollock rocky road anyone? (and that’s the artist not the fish!)


Our selection of “Edible Masterpieces” ready to sell – including stained glass fruit tarts and some sinister looking Damien Hirst inspired jellies!!