South Somerset District Council Community Heritage Access Centre is an off-site store with Accredited Museum Status near Yeovil, open by appointment.
The collection comprises around 25,000 objects and 6,000 photographs. Objects range from a 4th Century mosaic pavement to one of the latest Yeovil Town Football Club programmes. Photographs span among the earliest stereoscopic views of Hendford, Yeovil from 1860 to a ‘Street by Street’ Survey completed in 1993.
The current Costume and Textile Collection has its origins in the collections belonging to the old Yeovil Museum and the Museum of South Somerset (1989-2011).
Some items were donated by (a) private collectors of costume (who often collected from outside the area (b) local individuals; families or organisations
After the introduction of a Collecting Policy in 1991, only items relating to Yeovil and South Somerset were to be accepted. This policy continues today.
The bulk of the collection consists of:
- Women’s day and evening wear; wedding dresses; some men’s wear (civilian services) and infant wear including christening gowns.
- Accessories such as hats; shoes; parasols; purses and gloves
- Underwear and foundation garments
- Lace items and samples
- Embroidered samplers.
There are significantly more women’s clothes than men’s; very few working clothes or children’s wear. The earliest items date back to the 18th Century.
The Gloving Collection. This forms an important part of the collection and consists not only of gloves, but also of equipment relating to the gloving industry and gloving design.
There are many examples of gloves manufactured in Yeovil and the surrounding area associated with such firms as Clothier and Giles; Ricketts and Southcombes of Stoke sub Hamdon.
There are long evening gloves of white kid; sheepskin mitts; golfing gloves to name but a few!
One of our eight volunteers is also helping us to conserve and document the costume collection. This involves going through the collection, box by box and removing each item from the old acid-free tissue; taking a condition photograph; noting any evident tears or stains and replacing the item in new acid free tissue.
For further information on the Community Heritage Access Centre, please contact us:South Somerset District Council, Community Heritage Access Centre, 7 Artillery Road, SSDC Lufton Depot, Lufton, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8RP. (01935) 462886. firstname.lastname@example.org www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk
Fabric style of dress 1820-1830. Not a toy – probably a piano doll (to stand on the top of a piano). Information provided by the West of England Costume Society.
We would be grateful for further information on this item.