This article came from the Chronicle published November 1986. Pages 93-94.


Editorial and Secretary’s Letter

Authors: Brian Gittos and John Moon



This edition of Chronicle introduces the most dramatic change in its production since it first appeared in September 1978. The previous issue was duplicated by the Preston Centre and this one has been printed there. I use the term ‘printed’ advisedly because with the exception of the photocopied illustrations (and one edition which was photocopied in its entirety) all previous issues have been duplicated from stencils. Production at the Preston Centre is by Offset Lithe printing. This change to printing greatly increases the flexibility of format and means that in future it will be possible to include many more illustrations than a single photocopied sheet and most important of all, black and white photographs. Contributors to Chronicle can, therefore, submit illustrations as appropriate and providing that they are sufficiently clear they can be included.

With regard to the extent of this Chronicle it is again the regular scribes who have contributed most of the material. With the increasing membership, it is to be hoped that new names will come forward to make their marks. Fill your long winter evenings by writing for Chronicle! The first report on a rescue archaeological investigation in Yeovil, to appear in Chronicle, is included in this edition. Perhaps it will help to stimulate a new archaeological awareness before it is too late to recover the remaining tangible evidence of the town’s long history, many aspects of which do not appear to be covered by documentary sources.


These words are written at the end of what to me has been rather a disappointing summer from the point of view of the weather and of the Society, though perhaps the three summer events that were poorly supported weigh more heavily with me than the four that attracted a lot of our members. This of course led to the questionnaire that we sent round in August and thanks are due to those, about half the recipients, who took the trouble to reply and particularly those who added suggestions over and above the answers to the questions that were asked. As a general conclusion from the replies that were received (and from the support that past events have received) it is clear that country houses, and village and town walkabouts are favourites and next year’s summer programme is being reshaped to reflect these preferences. Unfortunately the information was received rather too late to get some of the arrangements finalised, so that the dates and venues included in the printed summer programme for next year are more provisional than usual and are very liable to be altered in April.

The replies dealing with transport were not so numerous but with more prepared to give than receive the balance was the right way round, though the distribution was a little patchy with not too-many from the east side of the town coming with cars. A list of those offering lifts has now been sent round to all those who asked for help in getting to meetings and it is hoped that they will take advantage of it.

Members may be interested in some ways in which the Society, perhaps not before time, has been keeping, an eye on developments in the Yeovil area. With the County Archaeology Department’s approval, Brian and Moira Gittos approached the contractors for the new Public Library, who were most co–operative in allowing them on the site and in fact assisting them in a watching brief during the excavations for the foundations. As a result a lot more is now know about what was on the site before alterations to George Court. Three wells were found and these yielded pottery and other artifacts. Brian and Moira Gittos will be telling the Society more about their discoveries on Members’ Night on 9th January, meanwhile our congratulations are due to them for an excellent piece of work carried out in difficult conditions and with limited time.

We have written on behalf of the Society to the South Somerset District Council regarding an application for planning permission for the demolition, retaining the existing facades of the Baptist Church and Newnam Hall in South Street without there being any indication of what it was proposed to build on the site. We thought that this was wrong and said so. Plans for new buildings have now been submitted – some of us have seen them but have as yet not put our heads together to see whether there is any reason for further objection. We are also keeping a watchful eye on possible development in the Huish area. We understand that this might mean a new building for the Huish Primary School. The Education Department have advised us that if this is so the present building would become redundant. Another part of Yeovil’s history to be demolished?

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