Tag Archives: Collections

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..”

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Primary Function

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

One of the highlights was an invitation from our District Council Colleagues to meet with a class from Huish Primary School at the SSDC Headquarters Brympton Way, Yeovil to explain about the different services within the council. Heritage Staff met with colleagues from Environmental Health; Planning; Finance and Elections to each provide a 10 minute presentation on what we do and how it helps the community.

Heritage Staff explained about CHAC and the objects and photographs in the collection and focussed on the gloving industry. Glove finger stretchers from the handling collection were used to explain the importance of checking the quality and strength of the stitches in the glove fingers and due to the handling nature of the objects, the children could test these out – rather than having their fingers stretched – as they initially imagined!

Staff also used the false teeth from what is now Penn Hill Dentist and the former Town Clerk’s wig. These caused a similar reaction to when last used in the Yeovil Library Horrible Histories event!

Staff completed the Heritage talk by showing a copy of a photograph of a Huish Primary School Class in 1924.

CHAC is also planning the next Photo Afternoon shortly!

 

 

CHAC ‘a’ Clooney

Ever wondered about the link between the Community Heritage Access Centre near Yeovil, Somerset and the marriage of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin? To be honest, neither had we! However, we recently received a few (few thousand!) receipts related to Thorpes’ Chip Shop in Yeovil; one of which shows the purchase of a Bridal Gown & Veil, Bridesmaid Frock and Head Dress to order from Frederick Taylors The House of Quality on June 11, 1928 for £10.10.0.

Topical wedding link this week with Frederick Taylor's Store on the corner of King George Street and High Street

Topical wedding link this week with Frederick Taylor’s Store on the corner of King George Street and High Street

This is particularly interesting as the majority of receipts are for potatoes, fish, meat and oil. A few of the receipts provide another insight into the lives of the shop owners themselves.

 

Fun with Food

The Heritage Team were invited to a Local Food Producers Event at the newly refurbished Haynes International Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset on Wednesday 17th September. One member of staff and a volunteer went along with a display reflecting historical food producers from Yeovil and linked to the First World War. Two workers from Aplin and Barrett from Newton Road and Major R.H. Brutton from Brutton Breweries all died in the First World War and their obituaries were published in the Western Gazette newspaper. These were printed and placed alongside images of Aplin and Barrett cheese making facilities, St. Ivel Advertisements and Brutton Breweries in Princes and Clarence Street, Yeovil. We also took along bottles and flagons from our handling collection to further illustrate these companies, including Trasks of Vicarage Street, Yeovil together with a copy of a photograph of Vicarage Street from 1939, before the Quedam Shopping Centre was built.

The Food Producers Event was also an opportunity to highlight the Heritage Team’s 2015 Yeovil in Living Memory Calendar, which people found an interesting contrast to today. 44 people visited our display between 10.30am and 1.30pm.

There was also an opportunity to peruse the locally produced food, which included bread, cheese, ale and beers; plus a filling flapjack from Bruton Bakery!

On the way back through – there may have been time for the AC Cobra; Ford Mustang and the dainty emerald green Austin Seven.

Heritage Open Days 13th September 2014

45 people visited the Community Heritage Access Centre for our Open Day as part of the Heritage Open Weekend. This was particularly good as we did not know what response we would receive or how many people would come. Four staff were kept constantly busy during our advertised times of 10am-3.30pm, with visitors arriving right on the point of 10’O’clock. Thanks to the Heritage Open Days Marketing Pack we had balloons and bunting on our Depot Gate, which attracted people in.

It's hard to make a depot look inviting - but I think we did a good job!

It’s hard to make a depot look inviting – but I think we did a good job!

Our theme was a simple ‘taster tour’ of our collections with the invitation to return if visitors wished to see more specific aspects of the collection. One lady had already telephoned in advance requesting to view items related to Slade Gloving Company. Fortunately, we had building planning applications in alphabetical order and located two plans straight away. With such a constant stream of visitors, we put up our First World War Banners for additional interest and explained about our new 2015 Yeovil in Living Memory Calendar.

We made our inside look inviting too!

We made our inside look inviting too!

The four staff that helped on the day were greatly impressed by the number of visitors and the support from the Heritage Open Days Website – where many people had seen our event advertised. Our comments book even revealed a visitor from Lyme Regis, in Dorset.

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