A collection of glove samples made at Yeovil gloving company Clothier Giles and part of South Somerset’s industrial heritage have been donated to the District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre.
The twelve pairs of gloves, made of different materials and in various designs, were used by salesmen to show the quality and style of Clothier Giles products, to retailers across the country.
Some of the gloves still have the Clothier Giles labels and prices and the fact that these figures are in decimal is helpful in dating the gloves to the early 1970s. Decimalisation was introduced in 1971 and Clothier Giles closed in the mid-70s.
The donor’s wife worked as a secretary in the office at Clothier Giles and obtained the glove samples – which are in mint condition – through her work there. The factory was in Addlewell Lane in Yeovil and is now the site of a garage.
SSDC’s Heritage Team is delighted with the donation and the excellent provenance of the gloves. The Heritage Centre has a large collection of gloves but many do not have any provenance for where or when they were made, the result of previously receiving the collection of a private glove museum which had not kept proper records.
District Councillor Nick Weeks, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, said: “These beautifully made gloves were produced in the declining days of the gloving industry but speak to us of a time when the quality of locally produced leather and gloves was known around the world and most local families had members who were employed in glove-making.”
Photographs: A selection of the Clothier Giles gloves; the factory in Addlewell Lane
The Community Heritage Access Centre is at SSDC Lufton Depot, 7 Artillery Road, Lufton, Yeovil BA22 8RP. Visitors are welcome to see the collections but should telephone first to arrange – 01935 462886 Or visit http://www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk/