The base for the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society was in Sherborne for nearly twenty years until the recent successful move to Yeovil. Many a visitor will have climbed up the stairs of our last home in Sherborne, to our Research Centre and meeting room, housed in the building at the bottom of Cheap Street, right next to the Conduit. There was much evidence of its former life, with old fireplaces, interesting windows and much else besides often partly hidden by the necessary bookcases, computer stations and more that were required to keep the Centre up to the mark for the many visitors it would receive over the years. If you live in, or are planning a visit to, Sherborne I urge you to have a peek inside the old building now that it has been taken over by Paula, Chris and Luis and renamed D’Urberville, where vintage finds are on sale together with a café (in our old meeting room). The entrance is now on the other side of the building, in Half Moon Street, and the most dramatic change inside has been the removal of the ceiling above the former research room revealing views up through the rafters. Paula has a real eye for display and the items on sale are beautifully set out and complement perfectly the metamorphosis they have worked on the building. We are pleased that our old home has taken on a new lease of life, and wish them every success with their new venture.
We have, however, left a reminder of our presence in the building with the ‘Greenwood Tree’ in the stained glass window which needed to be repaired during our tenure. The impetus gained by the transfer of the Society to a new building in Yeovil has continued apace with an increase in visitor numbers and extended opening hours, so, once you have checked out our former home in Sherborne, please do come and see us at our new home in Yeovil!
Barbara Elsmore May 2019