Tag Archives: truck show

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!

Leyland Tipper125 1

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



Up, Up and Away!

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

So far this week, we have shared the company of an our enquirer interested in Fivehead Friendly Society and received an intriguing donation, related to a Yeovil-based company, which we know quite a bit about – but which underlines the point how a local company can take on national significance.

The items in question relate to the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by hot air balloon. This was achieved by the Virgin Atlantic Flyer piloted by Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand. The route left Sugar Loaf Mountain, USA at 08.10am on 2nd July 1987 and landed at Limavady, Northern Ireland at 15.51 on 3rd July 1987; a time of 31 hours and 41 minutes and a distance of 3075 statute miles (4947 kilometres).

Where, might you ask, was Yeovil’s involvement in this fantastic flight and more specifically, NormalAir Garrett Ltd?

A letter from Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand explains:

“The testing facilities within your company are unique. To equate what we were able to do in your test chamber would have taken us months and months of test flying.”

The great thing about working in Museums is that one never knows what will be donated and we are always learning something new!


Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand after completing their successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – the first by hot air balloon.

Branson Balloon 774

The letter from Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand thanking NormalAir Garrett Ltd for the use of the company’s test facilities.


More ‘down to earth’ – part of our display for the annual Wessex Truck Show!