Local History

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Street Meeting House, 1868

The Alfred Gillett Trust holds a wealth of information relating to the Clark family of Street, Somerset and to C & J Clark Ltd.

The archive, book and object collections combine to provide a fascinating overview of how Street has developed as a village within its immediate locality. With Street forming the natural place of focus for both family and firm, the Trust’s collections inevitably reveal much about the local history of the area, and about the Quaker roots and activities of the wider Clark family. Photograph and library collections also complement the archives.

The business archives demonstrate how the High Street site at Street has developed from the home of Cyrus Clark into the HQ of a global brand and sit alongside the family archives which show clearly the substantial impact that the Clark family has had on Street itself through its philanthropic activities and its engagement with social issues such as housing, education, women’s suffrage, temperance, the abolition of slavery and pacifism. Company archivist Laurence H Barber’s collection of research papers provide a wide range of his own historical notes on Street, as well as papers of members of the Clark family. And the collection also includes the papers of writer Laurence Housman, previously held at Street Library.

Local Government

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Parish of Street vestry book, 1794

Many members of the Clark family were active in local politics and welfare, serving on the Street Urban District Council, as well as on the local Board of Health, School Board and local parish vestry. Further details are available in an overview of the archive of the Street Urban District Council, which is partly held at the Trust.

Temperance and Religious Societies

The Trust holds records of local temperance and religious societies such as the Western Temperance League, Bristol Women’s Temperance Association, Ladies’ Society for the Suppression of Intemperance (Newcastle), British and Foreign Bible Society (Street branch), (Street branch), Street Teetotal Society, Friends’ Total Abstinence Society (Street branch), Street Total Abstinence Society, Morning Star Temperance Club (Street), Street Band of Hope, Rechabite Society (Independent Order of Rechabites) and Street United Teetotal Committee. Numerous papers relating to the family’s Quaker interests are scattered throughout the Trust’s archive collections (see Clothier).

Education

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Strode School, Street, 1912

The Clark family have had keen interests in education in Street since the early 19th century. As a result, the Trust holds records relating to early Friends schools, Street Technical Institute, Strode Technical School, the Day Continuation School, Strode School, the Somerset School of Cookery and Housewifery (The Grange, Street), and Hindhayes Infants School. The small archive contains records of Street Technical Institute and relating to evening classes in Street.

Maps and plans

The Trust holds a wide range of maps and plans relating to C & J Clark Ltd and to Street and its locality. These include the Street parish tithe map (1841) and a striking plan of a proposed tramway between Street and Glastonbury, c 1870. As well as the Map and Plan Collection, which includes local OS maps, cartographic items can be found throughout the family and business archives, particularly in the Clarks Property collection which contains many maps of civic buildings and houses in Street, for Clarks’ workers and the Clark family.

Strode Theatre

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Strode Theatre, 1965

The archive of Strode Theatre, founded in 1963, was transferred to the Trust in 2013. The collection contains programmes, posters, brochures, press-cuttings, directors’ papers and papers relating to art exhibitions and drama commissions. A collection overview is available giving more details.

Local Societies and Associations

The Trust holds records for several local societies and associations, including the Friends’ Relief Service, Street Co-operative Society, Glastonbury Festival, Street and Walton Lodge and Street Men’s Working Club.

A more detailed index of records relating to schools, local societies and associations is available.

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