Tag Archives: tours

What A Relief

We have enjoyed a busy month at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre near Yeovil.

At the end of February, we hosted the Mid-Somerset Curators and Archivists Meeting with 16 members in attendance.

During the afternoon tours, one of the delegates’ favourite objects was the Relief Map of the south west of England. This was a gift from William Wyndham Esq, the founder of Yeovil’s first official museum in 1928. The relief map stretches from Hinton Charterhouse near Bath down to the Exe Estuary near Exmouth, Devon and across to Dorchester, Dorset. Of particular interest are the sites of historical interest marked on the map including Muchelney Abbey and the height of the major ranges of hills; The Quantocks; Mendips; Blackdowns and the Brendons.

We understand the large relief map was formerly in Hollands House, now part of Yeovil College, when Leonard Hayward was History Master. We would be grateful for any further information or memories related to this fascinating object in the CHAC Collection.


Our Area – a close-up of the Relief Map showing the area around Yeovil. The Map was manufactured by George Philip & Son Ltd London – the scale is Horizontal – 1 inch to 1 mile and Vertical 1 inch to 800ft.

We are also holding a memory gathering morning related to the NHS and the hospital in Yeovil on Saturday 21st April 10.30am – 12.30pm. This is part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.

Please contact (01935) 462886 for more details.



The Mudford Insight

South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC) near Yeovil recently provided a tour for ten members of the Friends of St. Mary’s Church, Mudford.

This was a new group to visit with an interest in local history and artefacts. Staff provided an insight into the type of objects and documents in the collection and how we look after them. The collecting policy and accurate documentation were also explained, which were two of the key aspects of fulfilling and maintaining the Accreditation Standard.

One of the fun elements staff created came in the introduction to the collections and specifically on Mudford. Three Kelly’s Somerset A-Z Directories dating from 1910; 1923 and 1939 just happened to be open at the pages for Mudford! This was a very simple idea, but reflected how Mudford had changed over a 29 year period; particularly the type of traders in the village; the population and specific details of St. Mary’s Church itself.

Staff also showed a ‘book end’ type of two photographs related to Mudford’s history. The first was an image of St. Mary’s Church taken by Henry Stiby around 1890, which the group had not seen before and which led to some debate as to exactly where Henry Stiby was standing when he took the photograph. The second image was a colour photograph of “GT Motorcycles Yeovil” in 2001 not far from the Half Moon Inn courtesy of the Peall & Co Estate Agent Collection. This was another simple idea but was a great start to the tour and served as a useful ‘icebreaker.’

The tour of the stores once again highlighted parts of the collections we are less familiar with and where we need to increase our knowledge; blue and white tea cups and saucers being one example!

P3652 Mudford Church 1880154

The image of St.Mary’s Church, Mudford, taken by Henry Stiby around 1890 © South Somerset District Council, Community Heritage Access Centre. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Meeting of Memories

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

So far, we have welcomed two District Council Colleagues on tours of the Centre. This was especially useful for staff as one tour highlighted the treadle sewing machines, which brought to mind a relative’s role as an outworker in the local gloving industry. The second tour revealed an interest in aerial photographs, so the 1948 black and white aerial image of Huish Football Ground and the colour image of Reckleford were of particular interest. Intriguingly, the Reckleford image showed a completed Yeovil Hospital, so was after 1973, but still showed the Huish Football Ground, so was therefore taken before 1992.

One of the key elements Centre staff expressed was the Collecting Policy and how this has become much more stringent over the years! We also explained the constant reminder that objects are from the public, for the benefit of the whole community.

We also met our prospective Work Experience Student for two days in July this year. Like the two staff tours, they were also surprised by the range of objects cared for at the centre.

All three tours raised what may seem simple questions, but are important to follow-up. These included: “What type of handle is that on the Denner and Stiby Knife”; “Is William Wyndham, the provider of Yeovil’s first Museum related to the Wyndham in ‘Wyndham Hill’ and “Can you loan dresses out to a film company for extra income?”

The last question is covered by our Accreditation standards and the original agreement signed by the donor of the item. Other ethical issues raised by the question need more consideration, to be ready for future tours.

We also enjoyed a co-incidental meeting of memories recently, when two separate enquiries shared a connection to the Ship Café in Earl Street, Yeovil. One enquirer’s relatives owned or worked in the Café and the second enquirer remembers going in for refreshments. We hope to unite the two enquirers today at 3pm. We aim to report back on progress next time!

We also completed the W.H. Slade, Glenville Road Glove Company Enquiry this week, by scanning two planning documents; one from 1920 and a second from 1952 – aspects of which are reproduced below.

Directory 1910 Slade578

In the 1910 Kelly’s Directory, Henry Slade are listed in Reckleford, Yeovil.

1920 Block Plan Glenville Road617

This is the proposed new Factory Site in Glenville Road, Yeovil. The plan is dated 31st January 1920.

Explore Your Archive

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

The Celebrating Yeovil Calendar 2017 continues to do well thanks to our helpers, including The Courtyard Cafe, Market Street and The Emporium, Princes Street.

The main focus of our BLOG this week is to highlight the tours we have planned as part of Explore Your Archive Week. Details of which are below!

Explore Your Archive Week

As part of Explore Your Archive Week

The Community Heritage Access Centre, Artillery Road, Yeovil, BA22 8RP

will be holding two Afternoon Tours on

Friday 25th November 2016

2.00pm – 3.00pm

3.00pm – 4.00pm

Maximum of 20 people per tour

Booking is essential

Please contact (01935) 462886

Or email: heritage.services@southsomerset.gov.uk

Refreshments available : £2.50


One of our recently scanned photographs.

Very Well Preserved

Another busy, varied and intriguing week since our last post from South Somerset District Council’s  Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Following our Finds Afternoon, we held our Photo Afternoon, where members of the public book a place to view photographs from the collection. This has proven to be very successful, especially where a variety of people with different backgrounds attend. One of the most notable elements are the discussions between visitors who have lived in Yeovil all their lives and relatively new people to the area. We are fascinated in the way the former can fill in detail for the latter, especially as they actually lived through and experienced the streets and shops shown in the images.

On Friday, we hosted an evening tour for the Yeovil Archaeology and Local History Society (YALHS) with 12 members attending. This was a great opportunity for staff to show and share the many and varied collections in the environmentally controlled stores and to highlight the parameters which govern the collecting policy. One particular example was accurate documentation and location of objects within the store and how we find them for enquiries. Staff likened this to the scene from Carry On Loving, where the dating agency typed the required characteristics of a person in one side of the dating computer and the resulting matches came out the other side!        We also had interest in our Yeovil Calendar and First World War Booklet.

Monday night saw staff attend the South Somerset Agricultural Preservation Club (SSAPC) Presentation Evening, where trophies were awarded from the annual Yesterday’s Farming Event, organised by the Club. We took along a display related to The First World War in South Somerset; Transport around Yeovil and images from the 2015 Yesterday’s Farming Event – plus a few small toy cars, buses and lorries!

All in all – very well-preserved.

Part of our display from the SSAPC Presentation Evening