Tag Archives: photographs

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.’

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.”

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

 

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.

 

 

Measure of the Past

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

Enjoyable visits have included researching the construction of the Yeovil Royal Observer Corps Headquarters  and finding the required photographs of Denners Department Store and particularly the ‘Choir Boy’ Christmas display of 1961.

One of the fascinating recent donations was a diary from 1941 kept by a lady with a connection to Yeovil Glove Company. However, the primary focus of the diary is recording the lady’s role as a ‘home measurer and fitter of corsets for women.’ This is fascinating to read, especially where there are repeat visits from the same lady or ‘three corsets arrived this week.’  This also makes a striking contrast with the ‘air raid today’ entries.

Our next Finds Afternoon is due to be Thursday 20th July 2017 from 2-4pm. Booking essential please (01935) 462886.

Denners for Dodge930

 

A Creative Find

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

One of the highlights this week was helping to ‘ethically transfer’ a selection of archaeological material to Ham Hill Country Park.

The assortment of scrapers and Samian ware was originally brought in together with some plans of Hendford Manor and staff were informed that if the items were not wanted they could be disposed of.

‘Disposal’ can be quite a broad term and does not simply mean ‘throw away’ or ‘recycle’ although due to condition, this can be the case. Staff initially thought educational use for community talks or activities. However, upon closer inspection, many of the finds were in envelopes marked in pen with “Ham Hill” or “Chiselborough.”

Therefore, the considered option was to return the 10 envelopes to Ham Hill straight away.

Before this was completed, the finds were shown to the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer (FLO). They had asked to see them, just in case any were worth recording on the national finds database, as part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This is important, as the finds could have been transferred straight to Ham Hill, where indeed (according to the envelopes) many of them came from in the first place. The items would then have a key role in educational activities and community engagement projects. However, any significant details about the items; what they are made of; where they are from and perhaps most importantly, how old they are, could become lost if the items were not checked over first. Certainly, CHAC and Ham Hill Staff would only have some knowledge of the items, whereas the FLO could provide much more detailed information.

Therefore, together with the named locations on the envelopes, where possible, the Somerset FLO recorded the key items. Often this could not be completed as ‘Barrow’ was too vague, but ‘Northern Spur Ham Hill’ could be connected to an Ordnance Survey Map grid reference.

At the end of this process, items like a flint scraper, were recorded, photographed and recognised for the key items they are and the information made available to be viewed on a worldwide basis via digital sources. The Finds Officers also aim to have printed reports on the key, recorded items made available and these would be ideal for educational purposes at Ham Hill; especially to help staff keep track of these items with the aid of the photographs, but also to highlight the key features of each item.

Staff from CHAC visited Ham Hill this Thursday with the archaeological items and because of the FLO reports, had a much greater awareness of what was being transferred. Ham Hill Staff were pleased to receive these items and are already planning a visual display with the finds in plastic ID bags provided by CHAC.

Items from the CHAC Handling Collection with a Roman or quarrying theme were also loaned for a display.

 

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One of our recently scanned images, showing Yeovil Town Station, believed to be mid 1960s.

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