Tag Archives: research

Young at Heart

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For our recent visit from Frome Society for Local History, we created some new displays in our Welcome Room display cabinet, which was funded by the Small Grant Big Improvement Scheme (South West Museum Development Programme and Arts Council England).

One of the shelves focused on former glove manufacturer, C. Young & Co Ltd of Seaton Road, Yeovil. We understand one of ‘Young’s’ well-known products were driving gloves – hence we created the display with Graham Hill and Jim Clark – giving their gloves the ‘thumbs up!’ alongside designs for ladies driving gloves (Valerie Wilson Trower Collection); a pair of driving gloves from the CHAC Collection and a model of Graham Hill’s ‘Shadow-Ford’ Formula One racing car from a staff member’s collection.

Staff enjoyed creating the display for a specific visit and aim to change the objects on a monthly basis.

A poignant interpretation of our BLOG title is the bottom shelf – which now has a reference to the men that left Kelways Nursery at Langport for the First World War.

 

 

 

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Frome On Track

On Thursday 23rd August 2018, we hosted 40 members of the Frome Society for Local Study, helped by our volunteer team.

One of our Frome connections was highlighted in one of our earliest photographs, with the following information on the back.

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“One of the first passenger engines employed at the Yeovil Town Station. Original photograph taken c1860-1.

On the foot plate are the driver, John Knight, who later became the licensee of the Half Moon Hotel.

Matthew Woods (centre figure) the loco foreman and William Greenaway, Fireman. William Dyer (not in the Picture) was the cleaner. He eventually became a driver and died in Yeovil in 1922.

This photograph is a rarity as the Driver had used the company’s coal, oil and engine on a Sunday in order for the photograph to be taken. When found out, he was taken up to Nine Elm’s Shed and severely reprimanded. He was then told to hand over all photographs and copies to be destroyed. This one, however, escaped, as did the original negative!”

Bridgwater Blake

 

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(Photo Courtesy of the Somerset Museum Development Officer, South West Heritage Trust)

Staff from the Community Heritage Access Centre, Yeovil enjoyed a research outing to the Blake Museum at Bridgwater, Somerset on Friday 13th July 2018.

The Blake Museum is a 16th century house located in the heart of Bridgwater, a historic market town and port, first mentioned as Brugie in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The Museum was first opened to the public in 1926 and it is said that Robert Blake, the town’s most famous citizen, was born in the house in 1598.

The son of a prosperous Bridgwater merchant, Robert Blake became a Member of Parliament for the town in 1640. Joining the Parliamentary party against King Charles I during the Civil War, he became Cromwell’s General-at-Sea. This fascinating story is available of someone cited as “the founder of the modern navy.”

Particular highlights included the detailed Battle of Sedgemoor diorama in The Battle Room.

Staff received an intriguing guided tour, looking behind the scenes at the archive of photographs and documents, followed by refreshments; discussion and explanation of the varied items for sale in the Museum shop. We were then able to bring our lunches back to meet together in the Museum garden.

Blake Museum is located at 5, Blake Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3NB – (01278) 456127

Free Entry – Donations Welcome Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm.

3rd April – 2nd November 2018.

Nearest car park – Dampiet Street (short stay)

 

 

Picture of the Week

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

We completed our last NHS 70th Anniversary workshop with the Arts Co-Ordinator for Yeovil Hospital and Hospital Placement Student at Yeovil District Hospital on Tuesday; our volunteers were photographed for Volunteers Week starting at the beginning of June 2018 and we enjoyed a tour with two visitors.

While researching images for our annual calendar, we found the following photograph of the former quarrying equipment at Ham Hill.

Visits and tours always welcome – (01935) 462886 for more details.

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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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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….

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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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Non-Conformist Norton

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

We completed our new “Student’s Choice” exhibition last week and will now inform our students involved with the possibility of taking a photograph with everyone involved to celebrate the great achievement.

Last weekend saw the 2017 Wessex Truck Show roll into the Yeovil Showground with around 600 trucks on site. CHAC staff were present with a display of photographs in the model marquee. The photographs dated from the 1950s to the 1980s and featured delivery trucks and construction sites to fit in with the show and serve as a channel for raising awareness of the collection and the work we do in the community. Around 25 people came to see us directly with visitors from Taunton, Radstock and ‘born and bred’ Yeovilians! Staff also had a collection of toy trucks to show small children and families the different types of trucks available from a tipper truck to a forklift truck.

One of our visitors this week came from Norton Sub Hamdon local history group requesting information on non-conformist religion in their village of ‘Norton.’ This was a great two-way sharing of information as the enquirer had two small booklets, with one complied by the local Women’s Institute that we had not seen before.

Our trusty Kelly’s Directories from 1910; 1923; 1935 and 1939 also proved useful once again, particularly to confirm and enhance the enquirer’s existing information. One example was the change over these times in the people and trades in the village and in a specific case the occupier of a home living next door to one of the chapels.

The Somerset County History Volume III with the chapter on Stoke Sub Hamdon by R.W. Dunning was also a valuable source of information, especially with the one part entitled “Nonconformity.”

Our next project will be a 30th Anniversary of Yeovil Library Display and 3 talks over the next 3 months – plus work on our Small Grant Big Improvement display cases and the 2018 Yeovil Calendar!

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 One of the newly discovered images used in our Wessex Truck Show Display during the building of the Quedam Shopping Centre in 1984.