Tag Archives: community

Scraping Home

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

So far this week, we are fulfilling the ‘Community’ part of our name. We have helped Ham Hill Visitor Centre with a selection of handling objects for a new display on Romans and Quarrying; we have met with a representative from Yeovil District Hospital interested in our loans box service for schools and how this can be used for reminiscence sessions with patients and we agreed a date for our next group of Yeovil College Degree Level Students to start in November 2016 to see how we can help with their English and History Courses.

We also held our autumn 2016 Archaeological Finds Afternoon with the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer (FLO).

The Somerset FLO is based in Taunton but has a number of ‘finders’ across Somerset. A busy timetable means it is difficult seeing everyone, particularly those in Yeovil. The idea is to see three or four ‘finders’ in one location in 30-minute slots. This helps local people to access this service and also to speed up the process of identifying archaeological material and returning items to people.

On this occasion, two particularly notable flint scraper blades from the South Somerset area were identified and returned. Flint scrapers were fashioned to scrape animal skin or for processing plant material and were not cutting edges. The earlier scraper dated from the Neolithic period, with the second scraper, more likely from the Bronze Age. Intriguingly, the Finds Liaison Officer informed us that as flint scrapers progressed they actually got cruder in design, which is one way to tell the difference in age.

The Celebrating Yeovil 2017 Calendar is featured in the October 2016 Conduit Magazine.

The scraper blades found in South Somerset which were a fascinating part of our autumn 2016 Archaeological Finds Afternoon, held at CHAC.





Hand in Glove

Another busy, energetic and exciting week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Our new exhibition on the ‘Early Years of Westland’ is now in place in The Town House, Union Street, Yeovil and we have just received an exciting donation of gloves.

If there is one area of our collection we are always keen to receive, this would be gloves and gloving. Many people living in Yeovil today or the casual visitor will associate the town with Agusta Westland and the production of helicopters. However, Yeovil was responsible for around half of England’s glove production up to the 1950s and the donation which recently came in reflects this time.

Clothier Giles Ltd Glove Manufacturers were based in Addlewell Lane, Yeovil and were a leading glove producer at the time. The 12 pairs of gloves were made by Clothier Giles, which is something in itself and sufficient in terms of our collecting policy, but the donor was able to supply more superb detail and provenance.

Like the clock from Preston Road Methodist Church we looked at in a previous blog, the existing detail is significant, but this was heightened by the knowledge that these gloves were samples taken around by salesman to try to establish sales with shops and businesses. In addition, the donor’s wife also worked in the office of Clothier Giles as a secretary. This level of detail provides an extra degree of insight and social history, which places the already eye-catching designs, in a wider, intriguing context and provides another source of information when visitors enjoy a research visit to CHAC.

Not wishing to forget, of course, that there are a number of different designs of glove, in the 12 pairs donated, literally showing the variety of materials, techniques and stitches involved in glove production at the time. From fancy cuffs, to fine leather pointing and warm mittens, the gloves reflect the time, when the phrase ‘fit like a glove’ meant what it said and reflects our collecting policy and context go ‘hand in hand.’ (Or hand in glove!) We are also grateful (as ever) for donations with a Yeovil and South Somerset Connection and especially in this case, where the donation was ‘handed in!’

Upcoming events include our Storytelling for the Summer Reading Challenge at Yeovil Library on Thursday 20th August 2015 at 10am on a local history and helicopter theme! Hope to see you there.

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Gloves made by Clothier Giles of Yeovil.


Our new ‘product line’ of Greetings Cards and our ‘Remember First World War Booklets’

CHAC Commemorates WWI Centenary

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.

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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.

Lecture 7.8.2014


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.

We hope to see you there!