Tag Archives: gloves

A Notable Address

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

One of the main themes so far is the number of visitors attending with local history enquiries.

The first gentleman left a message on our answer phone requesting information on the Summer House, on the top of Summer House Hill. Staff welcomed the enquirer on the same day and together found an aerial image taken in 1961, looking down on the Summer House, which we had not seen before.

The following day, Yeovil Tourist Information Centre telephoned staff as a visitor was travelling back from Cornwall to Ireland and was interested to see the selection of Petter stationary engines cared for at CHAC. The enquirer owned a Petter M-Type stationary engine. The gentleman was dropped off by his daughter and in thirty minutes had not only viewed the stationary engines, but also the Nautilus Grate; Horseless Carriage engine and the Petometer adding machine.

On Wednesday, we shared one of our Volunteer’s birthdays with a visitor from Gloucester, whose Father had a long career in the local gloving industry, especially with Clothier Giles. The lady donated a plaque from the National Union of Glovers Registered Offices (1898); a photograph of Clothier Giles 1938 Carnival Tableau and two photographs of Clothier Giles Premises in 1976, shortly before closure.

Staff knew this visitor was of some renown. This was confirmed when the enquirer said they would write their ‘work address’ in our Visitor Book. After their departure, staff looked and found “House of Lords.”

P2421-3960 1

One of our recently scanned images – does anyone remember these photographs being taken – or know any one of the ‘practising bricklayers?’



Meeting of Memories

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

So far, we have welcomed two District Council Colleagues on tours of the Centre. This was especially useful for staff as one tour highlighted the treadle sewing machines, which brought to mind a relative’s role as an outworker in the local gloving industry. The second tour revealed an interest in aerial photographs, so the 1948 black and white aerial image of Huish Football Ground and the colour image of Reckleford were of particular interest. Intriguingly, the Reckleford image showed a completed Yeovil Hospital, so was after 1973, but still showed the Huish Football Ground, so was therefore taken before 1992.

One of the key elements Centre staff expressed was the Collecting Policy and how this has become much more stringent over the years! We also explained the constant reminder that objects are from the public, for the benefit of the whole community.

We also met our prospective Work Experience Student for two days in July this year. Like the two staff tours, they were also surprised by the range of objects cared for at the centre.

All three tours raised what may seem simple questions, but are important to follow-up. These included: “What type of handle is that on the Denner and Stiby Knife”; “Is William Wyndham, the provider of Yeovil’s first Museum related to the Wyndham in ‘Wyndham Hill’ and “Can you loan dresses out to a film company for extra income?”

The last question is covered by our Accreditation standards and the original agreement signed by the donor of the item. Other ethical issues raised by the question need more consideration, to be ready for future tours.

We also enjoyed a co-incidental meeting of memories recently, when two separate enquiries shared a connection to the Ship Café in Earl Street, Yeovil. One enquirer’s relatives owned or worked in the Café and the second enquirer remembers going in for refreshments. We hope to unite the two enquirers today at 3pm. We aim to report back on progress next time!

We also completed the W.H. Slade, Glenville Road Glove Company Enquiry this week, by scanning two planning documents; one from 1920 and a second from 1952 – aspects of which are reproduced below.

Directory 1910 Slade578

In the 1910 Kelly’s Directory, Henry Slade are listed in Reckleford, Yeovil.

1920 Block Plan Glenville Road617

This is the proposed new Factory Site in Glenville Road, Yeovil. The plan is dated 31st January 1920.

Mapping Progress

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

Monday started with two local student researchers. The first is helping staff with a planned collaborative window display for Yeovil Library on the fascinating history of registrars in Yeovil. This will also provide a practical project assessment for the student’s coursework module.

Soon after, the second student arrived and staff helped to answer the enquiry on the development of the St. Michael’s Avenue area of Yeovil and a more specific focus on W.H. Slade Glove Factory in Glenville Road, Yeovil, owned by a relative, for which we could provide evidence from local directories, photographs of the factory and plans of factory developments.

Tuesday saw staff travel to the Literature Exchange at Haynes International Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset, which was organised by the Economic Development section of South Somerset District Council. This was an opportunity to tell around 50 local businesses and heritage organisations about CHAC. We also discovered some inspiration from the Haynes displays to help interpret some of the transport themed collections at CHAC.

Wednesday saw a busy volunteering day, which included checking and re-packing one seemingly endless box of costume; documenting the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Brochures (Yeovil Branch) and the newly donated Guide uniform. Of particular interest to our volunteer with cartographic experience was completing a detailed study of two maps for the Know Your Place Project. These were of Hinton (Mudford) and Marston Magna, near Yeovil, dating from 1763 and 1764 respectively. These used to be stored behind a Perspex frame, but following digitization at the Somerset Heritage Centre, are now stored in much more manageable inert plastic sleeves. The line drawing of the churches in each map is particularly detailed, as is the compass rose and the north pointer is indicated by a ‘fleur de lis.’ Both maps have a connection to landowner, John Old Goodford, Esq, a well-documented figure, but the actual cartographer of the map the ‘made and taken by’ Samuel Donne of Melbury Osmond (near Yeovil) in the County of Dorset needs further research, to discover more about what seems a fascinating figure based on their work.

The specific details taken by our volunteer is a great asset, which can be placed in the object history file for each map, for use by further researchers and added to our database records for each map.

Thursday saw our next Photo Afternoon, which was attended by two new people, one of which found out about the event through our library display.

While the Photo Afternoon was in progress, our contact from the Dementia Care Unit at Yeovil Hospital brought back our Glove Loan Box 1, which they were trialling. Suggestions for improvement were broadly based around more contextual information and photographs of the gloving process and this also provided useful additional income.


A photograph of W.H. Slade & Co. Ltd, Gloving Factory, Glenville Road, Yeovil.

Friendly Relations

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

On Tuesday, staff attended a training course at M Shed Bristol provided by the South West Museum Development Programme on the theme of strengthening links between Museums and Higher Education. This was a useful and effective day with talks on ‘setting the scene’ ; case studies, which included firstly, “Sharing the fun with University Volunteers,” led by Joseph Williams, PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath to talk about the Young BRSLI Programme and secondly, “The Pathways Programme” led by Sam Jackman, Early Career Development Co-ordinator at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, (RAMM) Exeter and Plymouth City Museum. The Pathways Programme is a paid internship scheme led by the MPM partnership of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and RAMM with the University of Exeter. The programme will run in June 2017 and is designed to encourage more students to consider careers in the creative and cultural sectors.

This was an eventful time, especially after the freight train derailment between Castle Cary and Frome on Monday night saw us take an enjoyable, scenic coach trip from Castle Cary Station to Westbury, before proceeding back on the train to Bristol Temple Meads Station and our destination for the day.

Donations this week have included a late-Victorian vapouriser in the original box. This came via a telephone message left on our answer phone. The vapouriser looks like an oil lamp with a circular metal plate on the top and is useful in the treatment of (and to quote): “Catarrh; Spasmodic Croup; Asthma and Whooping Cough.” There is not a direct Yeovil link, so this will be useful in our handling collection.

On Wednesday, we were delighted to receive the Horsington Friendly Society banner as a donation into the CHAC Collection, following agreement with all parties concerned. We were grateful to the depositors for transporting the banner to us.

Information provided by the depositors explains: “The banner is a rare and significant relic of the social life of Horsington at a time when the village was still a traditional and largely agricultural community with much of its population employed on the land or in trades associated with farming by one of the few landowners like the squire. A Horsington club is known to have existed in 1850 and may have originated earlier. The modern development of the club was finally dissolved in 1982.

Clubs like Horsington existed in most local villages to encourage thrift and to provide insurance through savings schemes against sickness, unemployment and death. They were funded by monthly subscription from members for their common benefit. On or around May Day, the Horsington banner was paraded through the village and brought to a celebratory service in St. John’s Church. The date of the Horsington banner is unknown. The motif depicts a handshake between worker and master. The Union Jack was not part of the original design.”

This was a great example of staff and volunteers working together effectively to complete a range of tasks. While staff helped the visitors on a tour of the store, volunteers were documenting new donations; checking costume and where necessary lending a helping hand (literally!) for a photograph of the banner.

The Horsington Banner is an important donation in its own right, but also enhances the friendly society collections at CHAC, including another banner from East Chinnock Friendly Society and the village pole heads, among the earliest donations to the original Museum Collection.


The Horsington Friendly Society banner donated to the Community Heritage Access Centre.

The Vital Lynx

Working in partnership and forging new relationships was this week’s exciting theme at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

The week began with confirming the date and time for a work experience student interview and arranging a visit for East Chinnock Gardening Club for May 2017. As 40 people wished to visit in one go, we decided on two visits of 20 people each to enable the group to see as much as possible.

Following schools training last Thursday in Dorchester, we aim to contact local primary and secondary schools to explain what type of collections we care for, to see how these can fit in with the curriculum.

The Know Your Place Digital Mapping Project have also contacted CHAC to request further information on four Yeovil maps from the collection which were scanned and digitized at the Somerset Heritage Centre for inclusion in the project. The 1806 ‘Watts’ Map of Yeovil is well-documented with at least one copy appearing as the end papers in L.C. Hayward’s “Portreeve to Mayor” book on Yeovil and a notable analysis in Duncan Black’s study of the History of Yeovil through Maps which appeared in Yeovil : A Hidden History by Brian and Moira Gittos in 2004. However, the three other maps dating from 1763 and 1764 may need more detective work. This will be a great exercise for one of our volunteers with cartography experience.

At 12.45pm today, staff also witnessed a fly past from four Lynx Mark 8 helicopters, together with a Merlin 101 helicopter. This was probably our only opportunity to see the Lynx helicopters during their farewell tour, after 41 years’ service, before production begins of the Wildcat, the replacement for the Lynx. The flypast covered southern England, visiting military sites associated with the helicopter.

Gratitude to the BBC Website for information.


Staff and Volunteers hosted a gloving themed activity as part of the “Back to the Future”  event at Yeovil Library on Wednesday 15th February 2017, where we were grateful for the loan of three sample pairs of gloves from Southcombe gloves of Stoke sub Hamdon, Somerset.      (Image Courtesy of Yeovil Library)

Never Fourchette the Past

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

We have recently received a selection of intriguing donations. These include a plan of the potential development of Hendford Manor dated 1950, drawn by the Area Planning Officer for Yeovil and today we have the prospect of Cub; Scout; Brownie and Guide uniforms from a local troop. We did a database check on this type of item and we did not have a complete set like this with such a clear provenance.

The main focus of this week was attending the Yeovil Library “Back to the Future” Event on Wednesday 15th February 2017 with our volunteer team on hand to assist us. This was an event designed to bring people into the library to learn about local heritage and local crafts. Exhibitors included the Montacute TV and Radio Museum, wood turners and a 3-D printer demonstration – and us from CHAC!

We had a ‘handling object’ themed display on two tables. We started with Yeovil Town Football Club known as “The Glovers” and used illustrations of the local gloving industry, to provide an idea of the former scale of glove production.

We also had four main activities; drawing around your hand on coloured paper to form ‘a glove’ and colouring in with inspiration from images of gloves in the collection; discovering your glove size with tape measures and hand charts; guess the ‘mystery gloving tool’ and match the glove description to the 9 different gloves on the table. During this process, we also outlined some of the different parts of glove production, including quirks and fourchettes and the present and future of glove production.

The present and future of local glove production was fulfilled by Southcombe Gloves of Stoke sub Hamdon with the courteous loan of three glove samples: ‘Public Order’ Glove; ‘Firemaster Mk 2’ Glove and Men’s deer skin leather glove.

We have to balance the 40 or so people we met to inform about CHAC with the Centre being closed for us to attend the event. Hopefully, many of these people will want to visit us in the future.


Some of the glove designs produced during our activity at Yeovil Library.



Hand in Glove

A busy and exciting week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

One of the highlights so far was our first glove loans box going out to be used by the Dementia Care Team at Yeovil Hospital on a trial period. This was particularly pleasing as staff and a student had taken care to make and design holders for all the handling objects inside. This was appreciated by the Hospital representative for ease of carrying and use.

The actual use of the glove finger stretchers, for example, as a form of therapy and historical learning was especially intriguing to see.

We are also looking forward to receiving feedback on how the loans boxes can be updated, including a glossary of glove-making terms and when individual gloves were made.

We will endeavour to report back on progress!

We also continue to do well on Celebrating Yeovil 2017 Calendars, thanks to our many outlets, including the Courtyard Cafe, 27 Market Street, The Emporium, Princes Street and Brimsmore Garden Centre.


Checking through the new glove loans boxes and Glove Box 1 was selected to be used at Yeovil District Hospital.