Sunday, 27 June 2010


Hello Jean

Greetings from sunny Suffolk!

I enjoyed Janice's piece about her Mum's home-made sunblock. A mixture of olive oil and vinegar shaken around in an old Heinz salad cream bottle sounds ghastly! However, I don't recall our mother ever using this stuff. In fact, I don't think she ever applied anything to us to prevent sunburn. But she did smear us with calamine lotion after we had had too much sun. This was usually done on those rare occasions when we went to the beach at Weymouth or Lyme Regis. No, I think we just went out and played, and applying any sort of suncream never entered our minds.

One home-made concoction I do remember was that produced for us by our great-grandmother (Alice Tilley). Most summers she would come down from London for a holiday with our grandparents, Ethel and Reg Durham, at no.26. The 1950s were the heyday of the Brycream Boys, and one of our great heroes was the Brylcream Boy himself, Denis Compton the famous England cricketer and footballer. He appeared in lots of adverts at the time. We couldn't often afford a jar of Brylcream - we did get one occasionally - so our great-grandmother would make some for us.

She would collect rose petals from the garden, let them soak in water for a while, them mix them up with lard of all things! Then she would rub the "cream" into our hair. It did the job and it smelt alright. But our mother wasn't too pleased with what it did to our pillowcases!

Does anyone else remember using lard and rose petals for "Brylcream"? Or was our great-grandmother unique?

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Memories from Janice

Hope your Summer is going GREAT for you ... Have to ask ...This weekend I had all the kids over for Father's Day and the Girls asked if I had sun block for the kids. I did, and they sprayed them down, I could not stop laughing when they asked what my mum  used on us !!!! I told them Olive Oil mixed with vinegar, Mixed up in a washed out bottle of  Heinz salad cream... Olive Oil so we didn't dry up and vinegar to take the sting out of the sunburn, we smelled like a bag of chips ! Was my mum the only one who did this ? Oh and the sand stuck to us like salt on hot Fries, that was the sun block part I am guessing, still laughing now, and the Girls are still in shock !Have a Lovely Day Jean, Hello to Mike and Emma

Take care Love Jan


imageWell, here is the bottle, I don’t remember the olive oil but I remember the vinegar – yuck.







I can’t find a photo of Janice on the beach – she was a baby but here are me, Joan Brown and Gloria.

at the beach 


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Peter Westmacott has replied to Rob

Hello Jean

It's some time since I posted something on your wonderful blog. Reading Rob Drayton's comments today, I have to say that I didn't know Rob but certainly knew his brother Derek, who I would often walk through the Rec with on our way to school in Ditton Street. I also knew his Dad Dennis. I particularly remember my brother David working for Dennis in his little glass-blowing business in West Street. Dennis worked at STC like most Summervalians and I assume he worked as a glassblower. I was never quite sure why he had this little business in a cottage in West Street. Had he some knowledge that STC was leaving Ilminster and this was his way of keeping in employment after STC had left? I remember the Draytons stayed in Ilminster and didn't move to Paignton when many did once the factory set up there.

Perhaps Rob can enlighten us about his Dad's glass-blowing business and what happened to it. Incidentally, my brother David did glass-blowing when he first worked at STC in Paignton (1958), so Dennis' training must have helped him!

Best wishes

Peter Westmacott

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A message from Rob Drayton

Hi there Jean,

You won't know/remember me as I was a little younger than you, but I

am a Summervalian through and through! I was actually born there -

Robert Drayton (Rob), brother of Derek who has contacted you before

and who was eight years older than me, and there was middle brother

Michael. Our parents were Dennis and Edie - dad died five years ago,

mum is now 88 and lives about 150 yards away from the old Summervale

site, in Orchard Vale.

I was just dropping a short note to see if your Summervale blog is

stll being updated and in use - if so can you send me a new link


I can then add a few details, tell you about myself, about the housing

plan and ask you a few questions about the earliest times at


Will contact you again on the blog ...
best wishes for now
Sorry I have only just seen this Rob as I rarely use the email address.
I will email you direct.
Longing to hear from you