Tag Archives: CHAC

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.’

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.

 

 

Requests the Pleasure

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

The last seven days have seen a selection of fascinating donations, all of which come within our Collecting Policy of Yeovil and South Somerset. We started with two banners and one tapestry from the United Reformed Church, Yeovil, to be followed by items related to Yeovil School, including the donor’s 6th Form Tie and then a rather intriguing diary with several entries related to the donor’s Mother-in-Law, who ran a business from home, fitting ladies bodices.

We completed the week’s donations with 23 photographs of Yeovil taken in 1969. The photographs were taken specifically by a lady for a ‘Where Am I’ in Yeovil type Quiz. The lady not only took each photograph, but also developed the images in their own dark room and mounted them on individual cards. Each image provides a ‘snapshot’ in time, particularly the photographs of the Electricity Showrooms and the archway through to Frederick Place.

We also enjoyed the company of six people on our latest Photo Afternoon, where the theme was “Royal Observer Corps – ROC” and “Westland.” Two of the attendees were particularly keen to come along as they were former members of the “ROC” at Southwoods in Yeovil. Each person paid £2.00, which included refreshments.

One of the highlights in the recent variety of donations is a letter from the Head Girl of St Gildas Convent School requesting the attendance of boys from Yeovil School to a Dance in 1964:

“Dear Head Boy,

The Upper V requests the pleasure of the company of the boys of the V and VI forms at a Beat Dance to be held in aid of St. Gildas Building Fund on December 16th. As this dance is in aid of a fund, we regret that we shall have to ask you to pay a small entrance fee. Could you please inform us of the number of boys wishing to attend, and we will send the tickets as soon as possible. We would be grateful for your immediate reply.

Head Girl.”

High Ham Highlight

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

We have helped Crewkerne Museum with their forthcoming Travellers and Explorers exhibition by loaning them some items from the C.H.A.C handling collection, including a parasol and late Victorian style ladies boots.

We have also received donations related to Yeovil Glove Company; Yeovil Co-Operative Society and Yeovil High School.

One of this week’s highlights was a talk to High Ham Ladies Group (plus one gentleman!) at the High Ham Village Hall, not far from Langport.

Staff spoke on the recent history of High Ham using the 1910 and 1939 Kelly’s Directories and then explored some of the ‘Hidden Faces of South Somerset’ with links to Petter and Westland with the Horseless Carriage of 1895 and Ben Jacobs and the first aircraft to fly over Mount Everest in 1933 which was a Westland Aircraft. Staff emphasised the rather colourful character of Lady Houston, who provided the financial backing for the expedition.

The real surprise came when staff shared their personal connection with High Ham in the form of their Primary School Group Photograph as their class teacher was from High Ham. When Staff mentioned the teacher’s name, a hand went up at the back to confirm “Yes, I am here, that’s me!”

Our next CHAC Photo Afternoon is Thursday 15th June 2017 at 2pm – £2.00 per person – please book (8-10 places available!) Themes: Royal Observer Corps and Westland.

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One of our recently scanned images showing East Street, Crewkerne

“Our Local Surprise”

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

Staff attended the Yeovil College University Centre annual conference on Friday 19th May from 1pm to 6pm. This was an enjoyable combination of student talks and presentations based on their final course work assignments. CHAC had loaned a number of blue display boards and the colour co-ordination worked particularly well. The students also made reference to the work they had completed at CHAC in their displays, which was useful publicity in the wider community.

This Thursday, we also enjoyed the company of East Chinnock Gardening Group. 19 members of the group shared a tour of the stores, ably assisted by 4 volunteers. There were many memories prompted by the gloving tools; paintings and especially by the costume items selected and explained by one of our costume volunteers. We were also grateful for the £2 per person and contributions for calendars, books and postcards.

Staff and volunteers also helped to display possibly our key East Chinnock object – the East Chinnock Friendly Society Banner, which we got ready by placing inert foam and acid free tissue underneath and then acid free tissue on top. We completed the tour by viewing the Banner, which we introduced as “our Local Surprise.”

Making the effort to prepare the Banner for display was really worthwhile as the whole group got to see it and appreciate the size and quality of the design. This also helped staff and volunteers to check the overall condition. We noted the fringe was shedding and our conservation contact explained: “It looks as though the edging is a silk border which is shattering – breaking into small rectangular pieces as it ages and becomes more brittle. This is often associated with tin salts which were added to silks to make them stiffer.

The manufacturer has helpfully painted his name in the inscription. They are Edward Riley & Co. Ltd., Manufacturers of Flags and Banners, Ladies’ Skirts, Costumes and Robes, and Military Clothing, Providence Street Mills.”

One of the intriguing elements presented by the Banner is the hand in the middle with a heart shape in the palm.

We were also grateful to East Chinnock Gardening Group as several members wish to make repeat visits to see aspects of the collection in more detail. Many were keen on attending our next Photo Afternoon – just need to confirm the date!

East Chinnock Friendly Society banner

East Chinnock Friendly Society Banner cared for at the Community Heritage Access Centre

Room for Improvement

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

So far, we have loaned a set of display boards for the Yeovil College University Centre Students Forum and welcomed a representative from the Quedam Shopping Centre interested in a “Then and Now” Photographic Project.

One of our volunteers is also diligently checking through items of costume; photographing and re-packing each item and making suggestions for conservation cleaning.

We have also just received some exciting news, which will definitely make some ‘room for improvement’ and hopefully we can share next time!

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One of our recently digitised images showing Montacute, we believe around 1910.