Tag Archives: Library

Yeovil in Print

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

We started last week at St James’ Church Christmas Fair, with our 2018 Yeovil Calendar. The Fair was well organised with a ‘Calendar’ place setting already waiting for us and very helpful church members. There was a good mix of stalls and refreshments on hand for visitors. This welcoming atmosphere helped us to achieve a good result with the calendars and explain about CHAC’s role in the community.

We were particularly thankful to meet several new Yeovil residents and share some photographs of the town in the 1960s.

Our next event will be “Stick, Stamp and Print!” at Yeovil Library on Saturday 9th December 2017 from 10.30am – 12.00pm.

We unable to attend in person, but will be creating a display board illustrating aspects of Yeovil’s newspaper and print industry heritage, including Snell’s Printers and The Western Gazette.

We also thought people would like to see this image of the Western Gazette composing room in the early 1960s….


And the Percy Winsor Display of Massey Ferguson tractors and combine harvester at the 1958 Yeovil Show, which is featured in the 2018 Yeovil Calendar. (c) (Commercial Camera Craft)

P2503 Percy Winsor 1958 Display746 1




Hoard of Interest

We wished to highlight an important event happening at Yeovil Library on Saturday 14th October 2017. South Somerset District Council, Community Heritage Access Centre staff are due to attend!

This is a unique opportunity to see some of the 3,335 silver coins from the Yeovil Roman Coin Hoard.

Hopefully the document below can opened!

Yeovil Hoard




Reference Remembrance

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

The highlight has to be our screening of the Battle of the Somme Film at Yeovil Library on Friday 1st July 2016, the 100th Anniversary of the start of the Battle. Copies of the film were made by the Imperial War Museum for institutions to show free of charge to the public. The Library had kindly provided the top ‘Music floor’ for our use and a lap top and projector in order to show the film. The technical side was particularly appreciated as we had arranged a back-up plan with spare lap top and projector – only to discover at 11am that our computer did not have a DVD player!

Fortunately, all worked out well and we took our prepared board display with panels also provided by the Imperial War Museum to the top floor. Librarian staff helped us set up and around 25 members of the public came to appreciate the introduction to the film and the film itself. We were also grateful to our ‘lap top’ helper who reminded staff not to let the screen lock, as we would need the librarian to keep entering their password to unlock the screen for us.

The film is around an hour-long and most people stayed for the whole screening. We also appreciated the quietness of the library; as even with the telephone ringing and general visitors, we had very few interruptions. We also hoped the afternoon was useful for the library in helping to bring in more visitors that would otherwise not have come in.

Fundamentally, we thanked Yeovil Library for helping to provide us with the means to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in Yeovil with local people.

We are now considering other projects that could help CHAC and the Library, particularly in terms of increasing visitors and ‘usage.

Other interest was created by a visit from a gentleman and his wife to see the display of railway images we had previously shown in our Yeovil Library window display and a visit from a researcher interested in the Louisa Harris diaries – which we will report on next time.



Visitors enjoying our display panels provided by the Imperial War Museum at our screening of the Battle of the Somme film at Yeovil Library on Friday 1st July 2016.


Photos Framed PM

Another enlightening and varied week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

One of our most recent events was our Photo Afternoon on Thursday 9th July. We try and hold the Photo Afternoons every two months or so, and the idea is simply to get out a few of our photographs for people to look through and chat over in our Research Room.

The idea started as a simple way to encourage more visitors to visit CHAC and therefore shape the perception of the Centre and increase our profile in the local community. Yeovil Library kindly allow us to have a display every two months in the front library window and we use this to display a ‘Yeovil and South Somerset theme’ and forthcoming events. This helps us and the library often receives an increased number of visitors asking about our window display. We state specifically that “booking is essential,” as we can only accommodate around 8-15 people in our front room and as we have a shared car park, parking can be tricky. However, this is why we decided upon a 2pm start time, as there are more spaces available, with many of our colleagues going home at this time. We also thought about numbers, as the event is free at the moment, with donations gratefully accepted but we also wanted to keep the event manageable and not create extra work.

There are also environmental considerations. The main issue is having four or five boxes of photographs stored in environmental conditions suddenly taken out into a warm room for a period of two hours. We try to let each box acclimatize in a separate quarantine area ‘before use.’

There is also a ‘time’ issue. We could make specific selections on ‘photographic themes’ and select 40 or so images from the boxes. In this way, we would know exactly how many photographs are out and could also advertise these themes. However, we then have to place all the photographs back in the correct boxes. This takes time in itself, without having other projects on the go as well.

On 9th July, we enjoyed our busiest Photo Afternoon yet, with 6 people in total. Three visitors were ‘regulars’ that we can contact as they provided their contact details and three came as result of seeing our display – one of which told us of her brother in the photograph on display. One of the highlights is hearing the nature of the discussions; particularly between someone who has lived in Yeovil all their lives and can remember walking down the streets at the time the photographs were taken with someone who has only lived in Yeovil for 10 years; or even just moved to the town. Interestingly, we also have people who lived in Yeovil in the 1960s, moved away for work and then returned in the 1990s or 2000s and wish to see what went on in the intervening years!

On 9th July, the  Photographic Collection was even increased as one visitor brought in two photographs for us to copy; one of the VE Day Victory Parade in the Borough, Yeovil in May 1945 and his school photograph from Buckler’s Mead School, 1972, which proved a little more tricky to photograph! Our regular visitor even took the time to name as many teachers and pupils in the photograph while he was present with us, which is so important in terms of documentation.

So, photos framed pm by memories, past, present and future and often by individual curiosity.

The success of the event is measured by the simple reply upon leaving of: “When is the next one?”

We will let people know when the next Photo Afternoon is due to be.

P.S. The Yeovil In The Past 2016 Calendar will available shortly!


Just getting going on our latest Photo Afternoon!

Yeovil Born and Read

South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre has just received an exciting donation from Yeovil Library. These are eight books by the renowned Somerset author, Walter Raymond.

Walter Raymond (1852-1931) was born in Vicarage Street, Yeovil and educated at Kingston School. He was the son of a glover, but chose a literary career that would produce twenty volumes of novels, essays and plays. As a regional novelist he is often compared with Thomas Hardy and it is known that the two did write to one another.

Walter Raymond loved the Somerset countryside, which he called ‘Ciderland’ and ‘although he was born in a town, his heart was always in the fields with the folk.’

Walter Raymond’s literary works make a significant addition to other items associated with the author already in the CHAC Collection. These include a portrait by the late W. Urwick  and a photograph of his Vicarage Street birth place.

Following his death a commemorative plaque was erected in the old Yeovil Library, which was transferred to the new premises. This can be viewed on the stairs on the way up to the Reference Section. (Gratitude to Ansell, Robin and Barnes, Marion “Around Yeovil” 1995)

WRaymond Copy of Portrait757 WRaymond Inside Page756

A copy of Walter Raymond’s portrait in the Community Heritage Access Centre Collection and an illustration from one of his books donated to the Centre by Yeovil Library.