This article came from Chronicle published April 1987. Pages: 118-119


Editorial and Secretary’s Letter

Authors: Brian Gittos and John Moon



The pressure upon space in Chronicle has never been greater and this happy situation reflects the extremely healthy state of the Society with booming membership and increasing activity. An example of the latter is the recording exercise being carried out to catalogue all the planning documents recently acquired by the Society. During February a number of volunteers have commenced the large task of recording the contents of more than 6,000 envelopes. With regard to Chronicle itself, the experiment with a solitary photograph in the previous issue was not successful but the ability to use illustrations, other than photographs, has been employed more extensively in this issue. In that context, Leslie Brooke is to be congratulated upon his excellent drawings which have been used to illuminate several articles, not all by his pen. Special mention should be made of the contribution from new member Jack Sweet who is usually encouraging others to contribute to the District Council’s “News and Views”. Appearing for the first time in this issue is a new regular feature called “Museum Gallery”. It will be Chronicle’s contribution to highlighting the work of the Yeovil Museum, which is currently the subject of lively debate. On the same topic a leaflet is being distributed with this edition, inviting members of this Society to become Friends of the Museum and most remarkable of all of the Friends have been granted advertising space in Chronicle itself. I believe that this is the first time advertising has appeared in Chronicle but the cause is a worthy one, justifying this departure from normal practice.

For members who wish to refer to previous Chronicles, this edition contains the index for Volume 3 (compiled by Moira Gittos) and thanks are also due to Mrs.Muriel Gittos for typing the master. Finally an apology to members who received copies of the previous issue with pages missing, etc. This collation problem was not appreciated until after Chronicle had been distributed but if any members still have copies which are incomplete please contact the editor or any committee member and we will try to put matters right.


I seem to have had far more than my fair share of space in the last issue of ‘Chronicle‘ so I will try to make amends by being briefer this time.

The move of our meeting place from the Library where we had met for about nine years to the Preston Centre has not been without its problems but things now seem to have settled down and I hope will carry on smoothly. Certainly those who came to the first meeting there in October must have wondered what they were let in for as our arrival (and departure) co-incided with an extremely noisy and well-supported disco in the main hall.

Attendance at our meetings and membership of the Society have both increased substantially during this winter season, due no doubt to several reasons. Firstly the increased space which we now have in the Preston Room, as compared with the crowded conditions at some meetings in the Library, which must have deterred some from coming. We have had some excellent speakers with a wide appeal (reported elsewhere in this issue). We have also had very valuable publicity in the way of reports in local newspapers and have had a reporter from the ‘Western Gazette‘ at the two most recent meetings and hope that this will continue. We are greatly indebted to those of our members who have written the reports that have appeared in five local papers and the South Somerset District Council’s ‘News and Views’ (whose Editor, Mr.Jack Sweet, we are pleased to welcome amongst our new members).

This reporting of our activities I regard as most important and I would like to see it put on a more regular basis. Finally, we welcome the inclusion of our full programme for the year in the South Somerset District Council’s ‘What’s on in 1987’.

A few words about issues raised in the last copy of ‘Chronicle’. The wording of changes to our constitution to make us eligible for charitable status awaits clarification by the Charity Commissioners who are well known to be heavily overloaded and slow to reply. Maybe we should go ahead and seek approval on what seems the more acceptable wording.

The matter of the replacement Baptist Church in South Street and development of the site remains under discussion – a recent letter from the Planning Department says that they await an important communication from English Heritage and will advise us when it is received.

The proposal by the Town Council that the Huish Primary School building, if made redundant by development in the area, should be used as an extension for the Museum (though regarded by many as impracticable) at least indicates a wish to preserve one of our diminishing numbers of interesting buildings.

It was surprising, and disappointing, that hardly any of our members went to a Saturday afternoon lecture early in December in Sherborne by Katherine Barker on Sherborne and Yeovil and the Doomsday Book! It was very well attended and extremely interesting and certainly should not be missed if there is another opportunity to hear it. Katherine Barker and Michael Costen are to be tutors at a one day course at Yeovil College on the ‘Origins of Yeovil’ as this issue goes to press – maybe there will be space for a short report – but I hope that our members will be giving it the support that I am sure that it will deserve – it will have been their loss if they do not.

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