Yeovil deserves a proper town centre museum

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Yeovil has a vast collection of artefacts relating to its history. Unfortunately, since 2011 these have been kept in little more than a storage facility on a trading estate at the edge of town (the Community Heritage Access Centre, or CHAC). Even the Somerset Museums' website describes it as "a museum store".

There is very limited parking in the area and restricted public transport. It is not within walking distance of the town. A telephone booking is required to visit and, as a consequence, very few Yeovilians and even fewer visitors to Yeovil, ever visit the collection. Even CHAC's own website describes itself as "near Yeovil".

At the same time, there are a large number of empty buildings, shops, etc. in the town centre - ranging in size from individual shops (suitable perhaps for a pop-up museum) to large premises such as Foundry House in Stars Lane or the old Denner's / Beale's shop premises in High Street. These larger premises would not only be suitable for a permanent museum, but could also offer space for facilities such as a coffee shop, space for local artists to display their work, a learning area for children, a lecture room for talks, workshops or classes, and so on.

Surely the council could find funds for a proper Yeovil museum in the town centre? Permanent staffing costs could be kept to an absolute minimum by the use of a volunteer force "Friends of Yeovil Museum".

The fact that Yeovil does not already have an adequate museum facility for Yeovilians and visitors alike to enjoy and explore our town's heritage, is an absolute disgrace. Your support for a new Yeovil Museum is desperately needed, so please sign the petition and ask all your friends to sign it. Thank you.

This petition is supported by the A-to-Z of Yeovil's History website (, the Bygone Yeovil Facebook group (, the Yeovil & District at War Facebook group ( and the Yeovil Press community newspaper.

NOTE: The photograph above is of a 15th-century panel that was once an exhibit in Yeovil's first museum in the kitchen of the Angel Inn, Yeovil. It is now hidden away in storage.