Tag Archives: Romans

A very telling photograph

A busy and exciting week since our last posting at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

We enjoyed the company of the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer from Taunton for our Archaeological Finds Afternoon and we have received donations related to Seavington St. Michael, near South Petherton and World War Two Instructions given to H.C.C. Batten, Yeovil Town Clerk.

We also experienced a strange occurence just before Easter, when we discovered a strange odour from a photograph in our collection. We are in the process of digitizing our photographic collection and during this process, the rather intriguing aroma occurred. The golden rule is never to sniff anything that is uncertain, as the effect can be hazardous. We did take a little close attention to determine the type of odour, which was closest to an adhesive aroma. Interestingly, this was the first time this had happened after around 500 photographs. Therefore this seemed to rule out, the actual scanning causing the problem, or the change in temperature from the store to the research room; which would suggest something in the photograph itself.

Therefore, we sought professional advice – and as we had scanned the photograph, we could email a copy of the ‘offending’ item across.

We isolated the image in a metal cabinet and this is some of the advice we received.

It wasn’t a camphor type odour? That’s an aromatic smell – think of camphor wood and old mothballs (not the naptha type).

If it was more of an animal-glue type smell, then it may well have been the remains of an adhesive you’re smelling, which might imply it’s a little damp. However, I don’t think anyone would have applied that to the surface of the image. It might be a varnish, which would have been used on a wet plate collodion image and would usually be shellac or a mix of natural resins including sandarac.

Is the image a negative or positive, and is it on glass, metal, paperor flexible clear film? Is there any discolouration or is it black and white (black and clear?)

I’ve copied this to our wonderful photo conservator to see what she thinks.

The photograph in question:623421

Lufton Roman Villa excavations, 1951

 

 

 

When in Rome (aka Council Calendar Coincidence)

A busy, varied and involving week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council ‘s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

We recently enjoyed a timely reminder, which linked a research enquiry and the historical Yeovil 2016 Calendar.

The Centre welcomes research visits linked to Yeovil and South Somerset history by appointment.

A local university student made an appointment to view Roman related artefacts and documents from the Centre’s Collection. Staff answered this enquiry with a wide variety of sources, ranging from a fragment of black burnished ware pottery to the 4th Century AD Westland Mosaic pavement and a model of the Lufton Roman Villa to a depiction of the Roman God ‘Mars’.

When the enquirer was leaving, staff discovered they grew up only two minutes from the present Yeovil hospital. This was one of the houses on the entrance to Higher Kingston, now blocked off to traffic and allowing only pedestrian access. However, around 1965, off the ‘Fiveways Roundabout’ cars and scooters of the time are shown emerging from this turning in the October image from the 2016 “Yeovil in the Past” Calendar.

In addition, another link was created with the December 2016 image. This shows the thatched cottage at Ninesprings, which is now part of Yeovil Country Park. The 2016 “Yeovil in the Past” Calendar is now also available from Ninesprings Café, Education and Information Centre at the entrance to Yeovil Country Park, opposite Goldenstones Leisure Centre.

Next time – an update on our Stateside Stitch Sewing Machine connection with Moffat’s of Yeovil!

Taken by Mr Cave around 1965 – The Fiveways Roundabout showing the then ‘open’ access to Higher Kingston as featured in the 2016 “Yeovil in the Past” Calendar and a link for further details on where the calendar can obtained.

P3500 Fiveways Cave 767 Denners Summer Sale Poster for YIC