Tag Archives: museums

Stitch in Time

DSCN5417 1Our volunteers continue to help us at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.

One of the key areas is checking of costume items for possible mould and then re-packing with new acid-free tissue. Somewhere in between, ‘condition’ photographs are taken as a reference point for future condition monitoring. The images are then placed on our Database alongside the individual record, which also helps with accurate documentation and public research visits.

An even simpler, but no less important task is adding missing, vital detail to an item. One recent example was a Yeovil school tie without the length or width on the record. Ten minutes later, we had both recorded, while staff were able to complete other assignments.

Some other recently ‘condition’ checked costume items from the CHAC Collection.

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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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Manchester in Mind

Yeovil Football Team Possibly771With the historic FA Cup Tie between Yeovil Town Football Club and Manchester United tomorrow on Friday 26th January 2018, we have recently received a timely donation from a Yeovil source.

The copy of a black and white image shows a group photograph of a football team. The evidence of the kit and the football itself suggest this is early; perhaps even pre-dating our current earliest image of a Yeovil Football Team – The Yeovil Casuals from around 1905.

We would be grateful for any information, particularly if anyone recognises the location in the background – or any relatives in the team.

Interestingly, the gentleman on the far left has a medal of some kind pinned to his jumper and is holding a small cup or trophy and the gentleman on the far right is also holding a cup.

Please also let us know of any copyright claims.

The 2018 Yeovil Calendar is still available – now at £3.00 each!





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.


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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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)

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