Monday, 31 August 2009


Dianne, Michaels sister,  is trying to find out when he died and where he is buried.

My best guess was 1954/55 but I wonder whether anyone else can recall more clearly those days long ago.


This photo shows Michael at presumably his birthday party with Bobby Chambers, Barry Symons , Clifford Hargest and ? Not sure who that is on the left – Do you know?

Can anyone help Dianne with this? Email me if you can.



Saturday, 29 August 2009


The quality of Ron Dixon’s photos is incredible bearing in mind that many are over 60 years old.

The group shot of us kids is rather small, limited by the blog layout , so I thought I would cut it up into four so that we can see everyone more clearly.

Where are you?

coronation kids A 


coronation kidsB

coronation kidsC


coronation kidsD

Saturday, 22 August 2009


The Boyce's 1953


Do you remember our dog Joe? A real character who was either loved or loathed by our friends and neighbours.

Where did he come from? Perhaps he just moved in one day when Mum wasn’t looking  and decided that he was happy to live under the kitchen table.

However he came to be at number 27 he soon made his presence felt and no one dared to put their hand under the table.

Apart from that he was a pretty amiable dog so long as he was patted and made a fuss of.

Here is dressed up in a pair of navy blue knickers, a tie and an eyeshade. WHY I hear you ask?


That is little Janice Symons with blonde curly hair but I don’t know who the other girl is – do you?

Love the shorts!!


He loved to fetch anything  everything and Tony used to take him over the Rec to retrieve his golf balls I remember. Didn’t do the balls a lot of  good though.

He also joined in our games – here he is being a fielder in the road along with Barry Symons, Bobby Chambers me & my Dad. That’s an “action” shot of me catching the ball and Gloria hitting it.


Anyone for cricket 1

I can’t quite see who the other fielder is let’s look at another photo.

Anyone for cricket 2

Umm, still not sure – could be Clive Williams or Kenny Laughton but the wicket keeper is Wally Chambers I think.

Joe was a full blooded ( randy) male and quite often disappeared fro a few days returning home to eat and sleep and recharge his batteries.

Mum & I were in the kitchen one day when we saw this policeman walking purposefully towards our bungalow. “ Is your dog here” he asked – yes says Mum pointing to under the table. “ Well, I have to tell you that last night he broke out of jail. Mrs Crochety- Patch up on Silver Street complained that he was worrying her bitch so we locked him up for the night. When we checked up on him this morning he had jumped through the window. We will be sending a bill in due course!”

Although Joe officially lived at number 27 he actually belonged to Summervale and many neighbours fed him and encouraged him into their homes. This proved quite a headache when we moved to Paignton as it didn’t take him long to suss out where all his favourites lived – the Hewitts being top of the list.

Again he disappeared for a day, no one had seen him and we did start to worry. Then dad got a phone call at work - “have you got a dog called Joe?” Yes, said Dad. “Well, he is here on Taunton Station and would someone come & collect him. Taunton? Sixty odd miles away. How on earth did he get there.

Apparently, he followed someone from Spencer Road down to Paignton Station, got on the train and was dragged off at Taunton by a guard. He could have ended up at Paddington.


One final story for today was when he followed me down town when I went to meet a boyfriend! I tried very hard to ignore him but he just kept trotting behind us. We walked round the harbour and suddenly he disappeared – AGAIN. Then I heard him barking, I looked over the railing & there he was on the rocks  with the tide coming in at a hell of a pace. He will swim off the rocks in a moment I thought but no, he just kept barking. What could I do?

I took off my shoes and hitched up my skirt and waded into the water; As soon as I was within reach, he jumped into the water, soaking me in the process, and swam to shore.

And I went on to have more dogs – Yes mad I know.


Thursday, 20 August 2009


Here is my best guess at WHO lived WHERE. I’m sure I’m not correct so please fill in the gaps.



Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I received an email from Marion this morning giving me loads more names and correcting others. I have updated the list which must be virtually complete now – shouldn’t it?

Marion still lives locally as does Irene and ………………… her Dad George is still in Spencer Road!

I can only find this photo of George taken of the Dads at the Coronation Party.

I have enlarged George along with Mr. brown







Carol lives in Somerset and Joan in Ireland -

Here is a lovely photo taken by Ron Dixon of the four girls, plus Gloria, waiting to go on the annual Methodist coach trip to the seaside.

Umm, perhaps not, bit overdressed for a visit to the seaside - we had a summer in those days. So, where were they off to I wonder.

The Browns

I must include a photo of Lil Brown – such a lovely lady who spent a great deal of her time helping others via the RED CROSS.image

Just coincidence that My Mum is on the left  & Elsie Chambers on the right in the foreground.

If my map is numbered correctly, the Browns lived at number - 38. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I just had a visit from John Satchell & his Mum and they have given me loads more names to add to the list.

For those who remember Jessie she looks absolutely amazing and although I know her age she would kill me if I told you. However, John is 65, the same as me, so you can guess she is running out of eights!

She still has her platinum blonde hair, beautifully coiffured, and full makeup with pretty pink nails. Here she is with her grand daughter Dani ( Tony's daughter).

Here she is doing her bit for Dig For Britain

jessie garden

She also appears to have total recall and remembered many people I had forgotten. John has obviously inherited this streak as he came up with several names too. I will add them all in a moment.

John now lives in London with his lovely wife Sue and Tony lives in New Zealand.

stan and mum

Here are Jessie, John & Tony with Stan Kearney, his daughter Maureen (on the right)June & Joan Wakeham on the left..

And Jack Satchell with his boys circa 1950

The Satchell family have a special place in my heart as I travelled down to Paignton with them on 27th March 1957 in Jack Satchell’s car. Going up Telegraph Hill was a real challenge. Fifty two years have just passed in a flash.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Just to keep you informed I have today sent a copy of a newsletter to various “refugees” from Summervale as I don’t have email addresses for them.


If you have addresses to share please let me know or, print it off and save me the postage!


Summervale Origins.

Due to the heavy bombing of London during WW2, the Government decided to implement a plan for the dispersal of factories and their laboratories to safer regions, in order that production could be continued.
Standard Telephones & Cables was one of those to receive a direction order towards the end of nineteen forty.

STC comprised several specialist divisions and each was to move to a different region.
The Thermionic Valve Division, based at North Woolwich, comprised specialists in the design & manufacture of transmitting and receiving communication valves; as well as wide range of vacuum devices such as Xray tubes, as used in hospitals. (Some of the more powerful transmitting stations that transmitted news and propaganda to the Middle east and beyond, used STC valves and equipment.)
Prior to WW2, with foresight, the company had started to strengthen it's Research & development (R& D) unit and set up Development Laboratories in two private houses in Eltham, London.
Specialist were pulled in from every source in the company and other hi-tech establishments, to meet a strategy laid down for high frequency communication techniques. What became known as Radar was one very important aspect.

Another unit, also at Woolwich, the Crystal Division, with skills that provided the much needed control over radio inter-communication; between aircraft and their bases in particular.

The Valve ( often called Tube) and Crystal divisions were directed to Ilminster by the Ministry Of Aircraft Production (MAP). Crystal manufacturing and Valve Laboratories were to use an unfinished new school in Ditton Street. Valve manufacturing to be established in Dowlish Ford Mills; once used as a rope making factory.

Skipping the complex operation of site preparation and transfer of equipment, key staff reported in groups at London's stations and were met, for example, at Chard Junction. From the collection point they were bussed & distributed around the area as arranged by the billeting office. Only a few men with wives and family were able find accommodation immediately; the rest being billeted within the area. (A very difficult and stressful stage in a rural community with so little extra housing space. It generated many a human story, and a few laughs as well.) The major part of the transfer was completed about November nineteen forty.
The housing situation was made even more acute when labour from other regions was directed, by the government, to Ilminster. A considerable labour force having been recruited from the surrounding area.

Strong pressure was applied to the MAP in response to the difficult conditions and it was decided to supply twenty-five two unit huts to accommodate fifty families; in order of priority. The MAP acquired the site from a local farmer on the grounds that he would have first offer to purchase when it was no longer required.
The site was established early in nineteen forty two.

As for the name of the site, many farms had a summer meadow for their cattle and, as it was in a small valley, what better than Summervale!

The following will be of interest:-
1. Ilminster's first Evening School started as a works school; It was formally setup to enable staff to complete the courses they had started prior to the move. It was quickly extended to cater for local needs and had tutors from within the company.
2. Ilminster's Entertainment Society was initiated by company staff and many fine shows were produced: St.Mary's hall became a centre of activity with tea and snacks when rations permitted.
3. A 'grounded grid triode', the heart of a special radar device, produced in the labs', enabled the German cruiser 'Scharnhorst' to be tracked by the RAF and ultimately destroyed.
4. A crystal was designed, at the request of the MAP, to enable the RAF to keep in contact with a base in England on the long journey to Italy; the objective was to deliver the first long range bomb load ... just to show them it could be done!
5. The first 'power transistor' in Europe was developed in Ilminster after WW2.

Thursday, 13 August 2009
















Not sure if I have numbered the bungalows correctly. Please let me know

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Terry Pell

So pleased to hear from Terry. He is my brother’s age so I don’t remember him from Summervale – we met on an Internet forum would you believe. Can’t quite remember how but it was something to do with prefabs. Anyway, here is his mail which is the first to be published here.

Exciting eh?

Quote - Although now aged 75 my heart like yours still very much remains drawn to Ilminster and Summervale in particular to which I have returned a few times over the years.

My family, Reg, Ethel, Ronny & Terry Pell who lived at no.44 ~( later occupied by the Satchell family) returned to London in 1946 on my 12th birthday so obviously, many of the names mentioned in the blog are unknown to me. The ones that I well remember are obviously you and your brother Tony, Shirley & Iris Hewitt, Barbara & Janet Hudson (our immediate neighbours), Maureen Kearney (her father Stan was my fathers best friend, both being Glassblowers) and not so much Peter but Billy Plumbridge his elder brother who was my best friend.


Iris's birthday

A name not on your list is Brian Mortlock.His mother Gladys used to pay me sixpence a week to take him to school each day and one day when I went to collect him, he was not ready and when I offered to clean his shoes, his mum turned down the offer because "I would use too much polish". On a similar theme and another missing name, as there was a good film showing at the Plaza I went to see if another friend of mine John Rounce would go with me but he had been playing in the garden and had grubby hands. His mum was busy cooking and didn't trust him to wash them properly so she said no, you can't go. I offered to wash them for her and she refused saying that I would use too much soap. She relented however, washed him herself and off we went to the pictures.

I have so many happy memories of those times, another one relating to the Plumbridges. Billy's mum put on a Birthday party for him attended by quite a few of us kids. During the party Mrs Plumbridge went round the table pouring out drinks for us. Shortly afterwards one of the kids asked her if she had any jelly and Mrs Plumbridge replied "you have just drunk it, it never set" Unquote

Who will be next?

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Sitting in the doctor's waiting room on Friday I heard the receptionist say -

" OK Mr. Jolly, take a seat". My ears pricked up and I saw this guy and knew immediately who it was.

Here he is standing in front of me waiting for our Coronation money. 1953!

Like all of us, 50 odd years later, older but still recognisable despite the beard.

I said hello, he looked up puzzled and then said "JEAN BOYCE well I never" and we hugged liked long lost cousins.

Strange how most of us still have that wonderful bond after all these years later. Some extended family eh?

We did not have long to chat but he did tell me he had recently bumped into Carol Richards and met her Mum too.

Carol and I were best friends for many years but have sadly drifted apart, life taking us in different directions but I still have my memories. Wonderful thing memories. Remembering back to Summervale days we are transported back, through the years and can once again relive our childhood.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Adrian has sent me a couple of photos to share with you all. One of him with his Dad on the beach at Seatown in Dorset.

Arthur-Adrian-Hooke -1947

The other of a commemorative photo  on Coronation Day I assume.

Adrian Hooke-1953

Where’s mine?? I do remember getting a mug but that was all.

Thanks Adrian – who will be next?



On 27th July I sent this e-mail to all the old Summervale kids that I had in my address book – about 15.
I've just started a blog about Summervale.
If you have any photos or memories you would like to share please send them to me.
In addition, if you are in contact with any other Summervalians please forward this.
It would be great if we could find as many people as possible as we are now the Oldies!
Scary eh?
Click here -
Jean Boyce
Bobby ChambersThe first to respond was Bobby Chambers
seen here collecting his Coronation money

The second was Janice Symons
seen here with big brother Peter.

 The Boyce's 1953
Me & my family, not forgetting Joe, circa 1953.
If you are reading this blog, even if you don’t want to participate, please contact me and let me know.
You can use this e-mail address –
Come on don’t be shy we have loads of memories to share.