In the Yeovil Corporation's Official Guide Yeovil With its Surroundings, published in 1906, Chapter II entitled 'Describes Yeovil in the Past' begins: 'It has been said, and that, in Yeovil itself, that Yeovil has history, and in a sense, past i.e. worth recording.' Jack Sweet, as a Yeovilian by birth and ancestry, can still feel a touch of anger when reading these words 104 years later but Mr Frank R. Heath, the author of the Guide, makes amends and continues; 'It is the deliberate purpose of this chapter to contradict that erroneous statement.' Yeovil's Years is Jack's deliberate aim to contradict in a small way the 'erroneous statement' at the beginning of the said Chapter II. The book covers a wide range of stories from two drownings in the River Yeo in 1844, the tragedies of the Edgar family, which almost certainly led to the Yeovil we kw today, the rejoicings of VE and VJ Days in 1945, the sorrow at the death of King George VI in 1952, to the fun of the St Peter's Youth Club's show DINAH MITE at the old Summerleaze Park School in May 1953 - such were Yeovil's Years.
Jack Sweet has lived all his life in Yeovil, where he was born. After leaving the RAF in 1958 he worked for thirty four years' with Yeovil Borough Council and later the South Somerset District Council before taking early retirement. His passion for history has inspired this prolific author to write numerous articles for local publications as well as many books including Shocking Somerset Murders of the Nineteenth Century and Shocking and Surprising Somerset Stories. Although retired Jack undertakes voluntary work for the Museum of South Somerset. He is also a keen photographer and has travelled extensively.