Tag Archives: history

Timely Mystery Road

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Image (c) South Somerset District Council Heritage Team (01935) 462886 – Please do not reproduce without permission.

For our BLOG this week, from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, we feature a photograph from the 2018 Yeovil Calendar – this has caused some interest as quite a bit has changed!

Can any one guess the name of the road in Yeovil from the early to mid 1970s? There are a few visual clues!

As always, please let us know any memories evoked by the photograph.

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar is now available at £6.00 each from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, SSDC Brympton Way Reception and The Emporium, Princes Street, Yeovil

and the Community Heritage Access Centre!

 

 

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Propelled to Preston

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

One of the highlights was a visit from an enquirer interested in having some glass items identified. These fragments of bottle and window glass were unearthed in their garden in Preston Plucknett. Staff suggested bringing these in to be photographed. The photographs could then be emailed to the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) near Taunton, so they can provide an initial assessment. Sending ‘preparatory images’ is very useful for the FLO as they can gain some insight, instead of simply seeing the items ‘cold’ for the very first time. This also speeds up the identification process, which is essential when four finders are waiting to be seen.

CHAC staff also accept archaeological material for identification when the Somerset FLO is not actually present to send on to Taunton for identification. However, in this case, the FLO is due to be in Yeovil shortly and the enquirer aims to meet them in person on this occasion.

During the conversation, staff discovered that the enquirer was related to the owner of the propeller-driven car and even had some additional photographs of the car in action and interestingly, not so active!

The 2018 Celebrating Yeovil Calendar is now available at £6.00 each from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, Petters Way; The Emporium, Princes Street and ourselves at the Community Heritage Access Centre, (01935) 462886.

 

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The original of this postcard is labelled “Preston Plucknett around 1925″ but can anyone tell us which direction the photographer was facing?

 

Propelling the Commemoration

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

The week started with a call from a Western Gazette photographer requesting to photograph objects related to the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1642; as 7th September 2017 was the 375th Anniversary of this local ‘minor skirmish’ of the English Civil War.

We were able to illustrate the story with a Cromwellian sword dating from the time of the battle and a notable photograph taken by local historian, Leslie Brooke. This was a photograph of a painting, which was lost in the Town Hall Fire of 1935, which shows Parliamentarian Forces assembling at St. John’s Church.

On Thursday, following on from the photographer’s visit, we arranged to meet a colleague of the photographer, from the Somerset Live Group, in a lay by on Babylon Hill. The lay by in question has a memorial made of Ham Stone with an inscription commemorating the 350th Anniversary of the Battle of Babylon Hill in 1992. We then completed a live to social media interview using a mobile phone mounted on a ‘selfie-stick’ – a first for CHAC!

The questions around commemoration of the Battle were very interesting, particularly as staff had copied a colour poster produced for the re-enactment of the Battle for the 350th Anniversary in 1992. One of the questions asked was “what do we think would happen for the 400th Anniversary.” This is interesting when compared with how many people know about the existence of the Commemorative Stone in the lay by and what is taught in local schools. Clearly, commemorations are important and ways to remember events, but also may only happen at significant anniversaries and therefore only every 10-25 years, when something could be mentioned every year.

We were also grateful for the response to last week’s BLOG, when we asked the question if anyone knew about the “Propeller-driven car” in Yeovil. We were delighted to receive a response highlighting a video clip taken by Pathe News reel (no less!) explaining “Mr Robins driving his propeller-driven car.” Our enquirer was ‘over the moon’ to receive this confirmation as he had told many people but had never met anyone with details to substantiate this story.

Staff also enjoyed a tour of Brympton d’Evercy House, courtesy of the Yeovil Archaeological and Local History Society (YALHS) and more of this next week!

We also have a link to an interesting project involving local artists and local museums:

https:// musemakers.wordpress.com

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar will soon be available – all enquiries to (01935) 462886

One of our other recently checked items from the CHAC Costume Collection.

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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