Yeovil is possibly best known for its football team, known as ‘The Glovers’ reflecting the town’s main industry for throughout the 19th and mid 20th centuries.
Next on the list would probably be helicopters and in the current form of AgustaWestland.
Westland celebrate 100 years in 2015 spanning the early Short seaplanes made under agreement to the latest Lynx ‘Hellcat’ Variant.
Another side to Westland employment are the many social clubs organised by the Company and by fellow employees. One of our volunteers is currently documenting a number of Yeovil badges and plaques, one of which is a Westland Motor Club. This serves as an intriguing contrast to the ‘high flying’ well-known side of the business and offers an insight into the continuing principles laid down by the founders of Westland, Ernest and Percival Petter; remembered in “Petter’s Way” just off South Street, Yeovil.
It’s been all quiet on the blogging front here at CHAC for a few weeks whilst we concentrate on our WWI Centenary Commemorations, however this does mean we have lots to blog about!
On the 4th of August, The Centenary of the outbreak of War, CHAC lead two sessions of children’s activities at two of the community halls in Yeovil. The activities included “poppy pom-pom” making, post-card decorating, emulating the sorts of postcards that may have been sent home from the trenches, and “trench art”. All three activities we very popular, especially the post cards and the trench art. We also asked the children what makes them happy, and what words of encouragement they would give to thier families if they were soldiers fighting away from home, which made for some very heartfelt messages. Here are just some examples of all the creative things that came out of the sessions.
Our “Trench Art” was inspired by the idea of soldiers in the trenches creating art works and mementos out of general rubbish they found in the trenches. Our trench art, however, was made from discarded cereal packets and loo roll tubes rather than shells and shrapnel!
On the Thursday of the same week, CHAC were back out again in the community with the first of our WWI community lectures. The first lecture was held at the South Street Day Centre in the heart of Yeovil and focused on different aspects of industry in South Somerset around the outbreak of war.
Its never easy to compete with a beautiful sunny day, but never-the-less the lecture sparked some very interesting conversations and we were able to find out more about the family history of one South Somerset resident, who’s great uncle emigrated to Canada in order to sign up after being turned away by the British Army!
Our next lecture is being held on the 4th of September at Milford Community Hall in Yeovil.