Monday, 29 March 2010


Hello Jean
Sorry I didn't say which sweet shop. It was the one opposite the secondary modern school in Ditton Street. I don't recall ever using the one next to Tony White's on the High Street; perhaps it had closed by 1954.
Yes, I too loved chocolate ├ęclairs and liquorice allsorts. I had forgotten them. Another one I've just remembered were the lemon sherbets, but I never really rated them.
Something very special were the walnut whips. Mike Smith introduced me to these. I think they were quite expensive, but were very, very tasty.Can you still buy them?
Best Wishes
Peter Westmacott
P.S. I liked your photo of the old coal lorry. I think it closely resembled the one in Summervale.  Your sketch of the Summervale coal bin was spot on. Well done

Post War Sweeties

Hello Jean
Before I moved to Summervale in 1954, I lived in a children's home in Bucks with my brothers David and Paul. At that time we had a shilling (1/-) a week pocket money, half of which went on sweets and half had to be saved. Sweets were rationed then and we had to use coupons to buy our restricted amount of sweets. Then, when we moved to Summervale in 1954 sweet rationing was abolished. This meant more sweets and a greater variety of them - when we could afford it.
There were some marvellous sweets around then.One of my favourites was Fry's Five Boys chocolate bar, with pictures of a boy with various expressions on his face, ranging from despair to ecstasy; presumably despair when he didn't have the chocolate to
delight when he could. I remember studying the pictures closely and thinking how odd they were.
I also liked Rowntree's fruit gums, especially the blackcurrant ones which were much fruitier than the others. Palm toffee was really delicious, tough and sticky, but I can't remember who made it. Sometimes we would ask our mother to make toffee on a tray. That too was delicious but usually very hard. We had to take a hammer to it sometimes!
We also had lots of penny chews, blackjacks (lovely!), Spangles (Derek Drayton seemed to like these), and aniseed balls. Rolos were very tasty but never seemed to last long, unlike pear drops and barley sugars which could be in your mouth for ages. Was that why they made your mouth sore?  Gobstoppers and humbugs were tasty too and usually came unwrapped if I remember.
Does anyone remember eating the Horlicks tablets? We got ours in small, metal tins, with each sweet individually wrapped. Does anyone know if you can still buy them?
I remember Clive Williams introduced me to Barratt's sweet cigarettes. These were white, shaped like a cigarette with a red end. They were a bit sickly so I never bought them very much.
We would also have dolly mixtures, raspberry drops (gave me a sore mouth!), sherbet dabs, with a liquorice straw to suck out the sherbet, Fry's chocolate cream (sickly!) and occasionally we'd have some Turkish Delight. As an occasional treat our mother would get us a wagon wheel - large and scrumptious. Years later I remember being disappointed when I saw that they had become much smaller.
We bought a lot of our sweets from the shop opposite the school.

 ( Which school – Ditton Street , boy’s Grammar ?)

I can't remember the name of it. Any ideas anyone?
These are some of the sweets I can remember. There must have been many more. What were your favourites in the 1950s?

I remember chocolate ├ęclairs that had real chocolate inside and I liked liquorice allsorts.

I was very fussy with chocolate – hated anything other than Cadbury’s or Terry’s plain. I still prefer plain to milk but rarely eat any as I find it too sickly nowadays.

We used to use the sweet shop  on the main road opposite Brewery Lane. I assume it must have been Whites. The shop shown here on the right. The other was a grocery store.Off to STC party Best Wishes
Peter Westmacott.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Thank you Jeannie,

Happy Easter to you also. It would be nice to celebrate it with a few Hot Cross Buns from Tolleys, do you remember their Bakery?

It would be nice to add a Cadbury's Easter Egg also. All of their products we can get here, they are made at their Hershey's plant but you can taste a slight difference from the ones made at Bournville in the UK, you really have to read the labels.

John, on one of his visits, went to Maynards in Taunton and bought their entire stock of Walnut Whirles. Now you can buy most things on line but you can't replace the memories.

The picture of both you outside the fish and chip shop was a good one, they sold the best and biggest Kippers also. We also liked the one opposite the library in Ditton St.

Dyers is always remembered because my mother worked there for so many years.

If I remember correctly, didn't Tony Dyer win the "Brain of Britain" title once or twice?

We were Married on Easter Monday April 6th, 57 years ago, still wondering where the time has gone .

Thanks for all your efforts you put in this site,
best wishes, Marie

Hello Jean
Yes, I certainly remember Dyer's in Silver Street. It was a wonderfully old-fashioned shop, even in the 1950s. Our mother used to take us in there to  buy our shoes and sandals. We always hated the experience of choosing the shoes; it seemed an endless procedure. The shoes/sandals always had to be Clarkes. Mother would never buy anything else. I suppose in those days they were made up the road in Street, so it was her way of supporting the local economy!
I remember Carbin's fish and chip shop too. A visit there on a Saturday evening was a regular habit. Fish and chips for 4d (I thin k) plus a bottle of Vimto to wash it down. I believe the shop still exists. Was your photo of you standing outside it a recent one?
Yes 2000 with John Satchell.
Looking at the Ilminster shops website, I can't say that I recognise many of the shops now. Don't think any of them were in existence in the 1950s, except the chemists, Dyer's and Carbin's.
The whizz-bang cash register you mentioned in Dyer's had, I seem to recall, its counterpart at Rossiters department store in Paignton. I think it was still in use in the 1960s when I last went in there.
Some time ago I wrote about tradesmen  in Summervale. A couple more I thought about recently. The coalmen used to call to deliver heavy sacks of coal (hundredweight?) to my grandparents at number 26. I always remember my grandmother carefully counting in all the sacks that she had ordered, to make sure she wasn't undersold. She was very suspicious of the coalmen! I think that on an earlier occasion she had been cheated out of a sack!
Above is how I remember the coal lorry.
And remember the Coal Bins by the back door? Made a great noise if you jumped on them! Here is my interpretation -

Does anyone remember the Corona pop delivery van? Occasionally we would get cherryade, lemonade, dandelion and burdock, and Tizer from it. You always made sure you returned your bottles because you got money  back if you did so. Can anyone remember how much? It must have been quite an inducement to young children, because I can remember some of us going out looking for bottles to hand in for the money!
Remember these bottle tops ?

Best Wishes
Peter Westmacott

Saturday, 20 March 2010



You must remember Dyers next to the Plaza. It was a clothing and haberdashery store – what a wonderful description !


Inside it was decked out with dark wooden counters with glass fronted display units and around the walls were row upon row of neatly stacked shelves.

No credit cards in those days, cash along with the bill was put in a little cup which whizzed it’s way across the ceiling to the cashiers office.

A photo of a cash railway in a machine 1

The bill was checked, receipted and put back in the cup with the change to be whizzed back to the counter.


in Ditton Street also had this system. I can still smell the bacon, being sliced on the bacon machine to whichever thickness you wanted, and the big round golden cheeses, some possibly from the Horlicks factory down the road.

The rows of jars and bottles on the shelves behind the counter and, in particular, the Heinz 57 logo.



As you can see, I liked my fish & chips!

This was the chemists in Silver Street where I bought my first lipstick and where June Wakeham worked.

Have a look at this website – how many shops can you indentify?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

From Peter Westmacott

Do you recognize these three young boys from Summervale in 1950?  Peter is the strong one, David is in the middle and Paul at the top. We were on holiday at our grandparents (Reg & Ethel Durham) at number 26 in the summer. We would have played  with you, the Chambers boys and others at this time.


After I played with it -   image

This was a few years before we moved to Summervale permanently in February 1954. A favourite activity amongst us all then was riding our bikes around the green. I think the three of us learned to ride on our grandmother's "high-stepper". Don't those socks look awful!!
I'm now in contact with Clive Williams, thanks to you Jean. Well done!!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

More From Marie

Some things I remember, the girl in the picture with the horse is Mary Britten, she and I were very good friends.

(Actually it was me!  I was allowed to ride him occasionally around the orchard)

The horse was usually kept in the field at the bottom of Summervale. She asked me if I had ever ridden a horse and when I said I hadn't she talked me into climbing onto it's back. When I did she smacked it's rear end and it took off with me hanging on to it's mane for dear life, a ride I will never forget.

        Someone wrote that they thought by brother was eighteen when he fell into the canal, he was much younger, Tony joined the RAF and was stationed in Kenya by eighteen.

        Margaret Plumridge , that was really tragic, my sister Loretta was with her when she was killed. They were crossing the road together when Margaret suddenly stopped to fix her shoe, Loretta continued on across but turned to see what she was doing just as she jumped up and ran straight into a motorcycle that she didn't see coming. Needless to say it was bad for all concerned, Loretta was traumatized for years.

Loretta lives in Exmouth and is in very good health. Tony is living in Chard but has some health problems, he had an operation on his ankle that they had to do over, it has curtailed mobility to the point that he can't drive any more.

        I still have lots of photos to go through, my Grandson in Tennessee is getting interested in his heritage and he's keeping me busy. Bye for now.


I can imagine what an enormous impact that had on the whole of Summervale as it was such a close knit community. I, personally do not remember it as I was too young.

Here are some photos sent in by Marie -

Lyme Regis 1947

Lyme 47 closeup

Lyme Regis 1947 cropped

Lucky Dip 2


Carnival 1951 (1)

Friday, 12 March 2010

going to the movies

Hello Jean
Enjoyed the photos of the Ilton Halt - it all came back to me clearly!
Nice to see you had a message from Mary Williams. I have been trying to find out the whereabouts of Clive. Can you help? Do you have an e-mail, phone number or address for him? I would love to get in touch with him again.
Best Wishes
Peter Westmacott

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Query from Peter Westmacott

“Railways. Once, I remember some of us caught a train out to Ilton. (Was there an Ilton Halt on the Chard-Ilminster- Taunton line?)”


Thanks to Marie Macey, all the way across the pond in California – here is Ilton Station



From Mary Williams

HI Jean,I'm not back in Paignton,still living in sunny Spain and I haven't seen Peter Plumridge for years. About your blog Clive only told me about it last week and I think you have done a great job.Clive's hair was never red though, you must have been looking at him with rose tinted glasses.I very rarely go on this site now ,I'm hooked on facebook.

Take care,Love Mary

Great to hear from Mary, Perhaps he didn’t have red hair but he definitely had freckles!

I guess Peter Plumridge has got her mixed up with someone else but, at our age, what can you expect!!


Sunday, 7 March 2010


Having identified Marie Macey I came across this picture of my brother’s birthday party -

Tony's birthday

From left to right :

Trevor Stock, Amy Stone, Eileen Simpson, Tony, Marie Macey and John Cornforth


Friday, 5 March 2010

Email from Marie Macey

“    Hi Jean, Great to hear from you also, I really have missed the old Summervale site.

Tony did have a mishap when he tried to climb a tree over the old canal in front of the tunnel entrance. The branch that he was on broke and he fell into the water and mud and almost drowned. He got out after a lot of difficulty but some grass penetrated his ear and gave him trouble for a long time. I remember him coming home covered in mud.

    I remember the Italian baker that worked in Tolley's, he didn't want to return to Italy after the war and married an English girl I think.

    I am in the photo in front of John Cornforth, behind Trevor Stock with my hand on Shirley's shoulder.


Iris's birthday

    All the photos that I have are ones that you sent me awhile back.

My memory is not quite as good as I thought it might be but here we go

Back row

Peter mason,  ?  . Mr. Hewitt, Iris ,  John Cornforth,  Amy Stone,  ?, Mrs Hewitt,

  Next row,

        ?,  Me Marie. ? , Eileen Simpson  Tony Boyce, Joyce Stock, ? , ?,

    Front row

         Trevor Stock, Shirley Hewitt, George Simpson, Margaret Mason. Irene Forbes.

    By the way, from one Aries to another,


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Another Returns to the fold

Thu, Mar 4 2010, 19:57:13, GMT

Marie Macey Kilby

Hi Jean, Nice to see so many Summervale people still alive and keeping well. Those were the good old days. I miss your old website that you worked so hard on. Best wishes to you and all the survivors. Love to hear from them.

I know Marie lives in America, California, I think & I now have her e-mail address if anyone want  to contact her.

Are you in this photo Marie?

Iris's birthday_edited-1