Tag Archives: learning

The Twine of Our Lives

IMG_1686 1Staff and Volunteers enjoyed a memorable visit to Dawe’s Twine Works and the Coker Rope and Sail Trust at West Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset on Wednesday 20th June 2018.

Ross Aitken and his helpers provided a warm welcome and insightful guided tour.

This was the first time most volunteers had visited the site, which featured on the BBC’s Restoration Village series of programmes.

We were shown the workings of the Twine Works and learnt of its wider significance to the local, national and international community. The 1927 Shanks Oil engine was just one of the highlights.

Visitors are welcome on the fourth Saturday of every month – 10am – 4pm and at other times by appointment.

West end of West Coker BA22 9AU

The Heritage Lottery Fund is funding completion of Dawe’s restoration.

 

 

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Community Costume

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
  • Dolls
  • 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. heritage.services@southsomerset.gov.uk     www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk

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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.

What A Relief

We have enjoyed a busy month at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre near Yeovil.

At the end of February, we hosted the Mid-Somerset Curators and Archivists Meeting with 16 members in attendance.

During the afternoon tours, one of the delegates’ favourite objects was the Relief Map of the south west of England. This was a gift from William Wyndham Esq, the founder of Yeovil’s first official museum in 1928. The relief map stretches from Hinton Charterhouse near Bath down to the Exe Estuary near Exmouth, Devon and across to Dorchester, Dorset. Of particular interest are the sites of historical interest marked on the map including Muchelney Abbey and the height of the major ranges of hills; The Quantocks; Mendips; Blackdowns and the Brendons.

We understand the large relief map was formerly in Hollands House, now part of Yeovil College, when Leonard Hayward was History Master. We would be grateful for any further information or memories related to this fascinating object in the CHAC Collection.

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Our Area – a close-up of the Relief Map showing the area around Yeovil. The Map was manufactured by George Philip & Son Ltd London – the scale is Horizontal – 1 inch to 1 mile and Vertical 1 inch to 800ft.

We are also holding a memory gathering morning related to the NHS and the hospital in Yeovil on Saturday 21st April 10.30am – 12.30pm. This is part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.

Please contact (01935) 462886 for more details.

 

Fabric of the Community

DSCN5380 1We have enjoyed a busy and eventful week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC), near Yeovil.

Highlights have included a talk on the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) from a District Council Colleague for our CHAC Volunteers. We mainly handle names and addresses, but it was good to learn of the implications of the new policies on a personal and institutional level as well as in our own, daily lives.

On Thursday, we welcomed three people on our February Photograph Afternoon, where our theme was ‘School.’ We illustrated the theme with a selection of photographs including an album of Yeovil School, Mudford Road dated 1959, showing various school lessons and activities, like ‘Practical Chemistry’ and ‘The Head Prefect Addressing Assembly.’

We also shared a 1961 colour photograph album of the construction of the swimming pool in Felix Place as one visitor remembered competing in galas there. This also led to clarification of Yeovil’s first ‘swimming baths’ – which we confirmed was a smaller building to the side of the 1963 pool. One visitor recalled his father going to ‘The Baths’ for a morning bath with his bar of soap! – in the time before functioning bathrooms.

Our volunteer also continues to re-pack the costume collection. This involves looking at each costume box in turn; photographing each item within; making a note of any condition issues and re-packing with fresh acid-free tissue.

Staff and Volunteers aim to be at the Museum in Somerset Meeting at the Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury on Monday and are hosting the Mid-Somerset Archivists and Curators Group on Thursday – we aim to report back on how we get on!

Some further items from the CHAC Costume Collection.

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The Banner of Life

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One of the great aspects about being the co-ordinator at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre is the variety of sources we have available to assist the public with enquiries.

These include objects, documents and photographs but as staff are learning through the help of our volunteers,  another valuable source is the wonderful selection of costume. This features a notable array of banners and samplers, which are currently being checked for condition and re-packed.

The two examples are from a set of four school house banners from Grass Royal Secondary School in the period 1939-1971 and we understand were made by school teacher and archery champion,  Marion Felix.

In another request for information, can anyone tell us what happened to the canon or Howitzer gun that used to be in Bides Gardens. We have at least one photograph that shows the canon at the Princes Street entrance to Bides Gardens, possibly in the 1950s – therefore suggesting it was not melted down for the ‘War Effort.’

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A Game of Two Halves

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

With the prospect of Yeovil Town Football Club playing Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA-Cup, this highlighted a few items from the CHAC Collection.

Interestingly, our volunteers selected ‘Football’ as one of the first themes for our new display case and this prompted staff to find a programme when Yeovil Town previously played Manchester United in the 2014/15 Season.

The FA Cup tie also revealed a 1948 aerial image of the famous sloping pitch at Huish and photographs of Yeovil Town Supporters “Up frum Zummerset” when Yeovil Town played Manchester United in the 1948 Season. Yeovil Town had previously beaten Sunderland.

One of our recent donations was also a great connection. This is a photograph of Robbins Gloving Factory Ladies Football Team, we believe around the mid-1930s. ‘Tink’ Robbins Gloving Factory was in Alexandra Road, Yeovil and Tink Robbins is in the back row of the image. We are grateful for this donation, particularly as it contrasts markedly with the Robbins Gloving Factory workers group photograph.

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The Robbins Gloving Factory Workers, believed to be outside the Factory in Alexandra Road, Yeovil.

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The Robbins Gloving Factory Ladies Football Team Group Photograph – note the attention to detail with the ‘Robin.’ Kelly’s Directory lists the spelling of the Company as “Robbin.”

The Ties that Bind

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

During our costume conservation, our volunteer helped us to photograph several notable gentlemen’s ties. These included a selection related to Westland helicopters (Now Leonardo), including WG30 and EH101.

This is an intriguing element of social history that with each new helicopter, an item of costume, namely, the tie was produced.

The ties are also an exciting addition to the story of Petter and Westland that we can show researchers when they visit the Centre, alongside the equally fascinating Nautilus Grate; Petter engine catalogues and small number of helicopter models.

We would be grateful to hear any further memories related to these objects.

Two of the ‘Westland’ Ties in the collection of the Community Heritage Access Centre

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