The Shirt & Collar Factory
About half way down Broad Street on the right hand side there is a house called Collar Cottage. This is named because it is next door to the old shirt and collar factory – Welsh and Clark’s Collar Factory.
This factory was thriving during the 1900’s, when stiff collars and shirts were popular. After the First World War the factory struggled to stay afloat and ceased trading altogether in the early 1930’s. At its peak there were over 100 women employed on the site. The factory was owned by Quakers, who fined the workers tuppence if they spoke during working hours, except for an hour from 6pm when they were allowed to sing hymns.
The building is now two sets of flats. This is a classic reminder of how Somerton, which once used to be home to many large industrial employers, has now been reduced to one of the smaller, less important towns in the county. However this has meant that some of the splendid historical features of the town have remained intact.