Monday, 30 August 2010

Derek Drayton AKA “sweetie”

Hi Jean thanks for doing a good blog on Mick Jolly and Mick Smith love the added touches of The Lone Ranger and Tonto and the classic car, couldn't make out the model but it looked to me like a Riley and looked brilliant.

Yet another little story for the blog!! regarding another Summervale friend - Derek Drayton – nicknamed by us as " sweetie" not meant in the sense that you were "sweet" Derek, but that you were always fortunate to have a packet of sweets on the way to school, and cadging one off you could be an almost impossible task, the movement from pocket to mouth by yourself was very rarely seen but we all noticed that you were always chewing your secret goodies!! Sweets in those days were a luxury and enjoyed more so.

(Derek, please email me a photo of you as I can’t remember what you looked like although I do remember the name……… JJ)

I remember I think, you may have worked at Stan Kearney's small glass shop in Ilminster, along with myself for extra pocket money, is that so?


We worked part time I think, it was some Saturday's or evenings after school. At the shop we learnt how to cut glass, make test tubes and make insemination tubes for what I thought was for cattle breeding centres, am I right? The first shop was on the main street on the hill behind the church can't think of the names of the streets (Silver street ?)  but then we moved to another shop near to Scrivens TV shop on that parade and went down into a basement to work, I believe your father and Stan Kearney were at that time partners. When I moved to Paignton to live I worked for about a year in the labs at STC, Stan Kearney was my foreman there and we learnt more lathe glasswork, I believe you stayed  on living in Ilminster, is that so?

Being older than myself I think you were more my elder brother's age, that's Peter and may have more memories with him than myself, the school class age difference made this so. I remember you lived in the prefab near the bottom from us above the pathway that cut through to Brewery Lane, your father I remember well but didn't really know your younger brother, who has been mentioned on one of the previous jeanjeannie blogs hope you read this and get in contact to have a chat about old times!!

that's all for now, Jean!! 

Best wishes DW.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Here are yet more memories of Summervale friends --- Mick Smith -- Mick son of Reg and Dorothy  Smith, was certainly one of our families closest friends with his father being the personnel manager at STC and having quite a great deal of contact with us we were all growing up and starting
work. In Summervale Michael would come to our house many times for tea and his parents would make us always very welcome at his house for watching TV for the very first time Mick's house had the very first TV we had ever seen, programmes such as The Lone Ranger and Tonto,

Cup final football and many more  it was all very exciting in those days and new I remember us all sat in the house along with many other friends who may still remember this. We would all be sat glued to it, and it took some time to get  us out when the shows were  over!! I remember Mick as a good sensible lad and good company, his mum Dot  would quite often lend me her push bike to ride around The Green it was the first larger bike I had   ever ridden, One day I came off it when learning how to ride and I still have the scar on my  right knee to prove it!!

I last saw Mick when we had all moved to Paignton and lived on the Foxhole  estate we were both interested in cars Mick in the garage next to mine, was rebuilding a vintage  MG. and I had started to do work on a car I had bought, a 1947 Austin 12 saloon (a very large car  by today's standards) it cost me the meagre sum of seven pounds and ten
shillings probably a full weeks  wages in those days for a man. Michael was very clever with his hands
and had the MG stripped down to  the chassis to rebuild and make the wooden frame structure before
mounting the outer body panels, he  completed the job himself and I can still remember him driving around the estate with the top down,  looking very pleased with himself having a sports car back in the late 50's and early 60's was something rare to the younger set. Be nice to be able to talk over old times
with Mick again.
More episodes of good friends and Summervale days to follow!!
Best wishes DW.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

More From David Westmacott keeping things ticking along.

Hello again Jean, I think I have the Summervale blog bug !!!!

These are just a few of the many friends I would like to contact   which would bring back memories of childhood days in Summervale Ilminster in Somerset: Mick Jolley and Valerie, Mike Smith, Derrick Drayton, Clive and Mary Williams, Alan Dixon and Gloria, John Rogers, Mick Sibley not a Summervalian but lived on the top road and (Steve Crossland) already contacted) and any others not mentioned, who remember me I  would be pleased to here from you.


One of my closest friends was Mick Jolley, nicknamed MICK ROUSALL. Named this because he could rouse up the neighbourhood in seconds, either has Davey Crockatt with his mottley fur hat with tail attatched or The Lone Ranger minus the horse. This was depending on what we had just seen on the TV or the Pictures.

I can still see the two of us with big doorsteps of bread and jam in our grubby mitts, after coming home

from school running around the estate sometimes causing mayhem or wandering down Brewery Lane to see what we could get up to in the Willows area. In the field adjoining the Willows, we became" blood brothers" another thing we saw on cowboys and Indian films, we cut our fingers and let the blood mingle and vowed we would be friends for life - what happened ?. Mick was a great friend always fun to be with and good company, activities we got up to were going fishing in the river behind the Horlicks factory on the outskirts of Ilminster, going scrumping if lucky in Mr. Britton's fields or going to Herne Hill and exploring all the surrounding countryside, whilst whittling wood or making catapults most of us in our childhood days, carried the common scouts knife mainly used it for this purpose and then it was classed as perfectly safe, it had all the different useful attachments which came in handy when camping or going youth hostelling.
We did a lot of wandering and enjoyed every moment of it, all the time in Ilminster we never seemed to ever

stay in the house always glad to get out and leave the old folks indoors. When most families went onto Paignton, Mick and most of my other friends seemed to drift away, work and responsibilities took over. I saw Mick afew times in Paignton, but can't remember what we did, would love to here from you again Mick if you should see this on the famous Jeanjeannie blog.

More to follow Best wishes DW.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Summer Holiday Time

Well, it is very quiet here so I’m wondering if you are all away enjoying the sun.

We recently came back from Spain and it was O so nice to feel the sun on your body.

It also reminded me of long summer holidays when we were kids; I don’t ever remember staying indoors because it was raining but I suppose it must have from time to time.

Remember the long grass in the field by the willows?

We used to run through it, and play kiss chase and cowboys and indians.

Then it used to be cut and left in long neat rows which were just too perfect and just asking to be rearranged a bit. The smell was lovely.







This was then left to dry out and collected on a big hay wagon.

Then there were the days spent on Herne Hill. Leaving home with a few sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper and a bottle of pop if you were lucky.

Bracken, Beacon Hill

Making a den out of the ferns and branches. Searching for butterflies and climbing the trees so quickly and coming down much more slowly. Cycling around the many lanes or playing tennis in the grammar school courts. My life long love of tennis started there. I played with Pam Noad and Irene Forbes even though they were much older than me. I also played with Tony’s racket –


it was a heavy old wooden one which I had to put back in it’s press when I had finished with it – or else!

Cricket was played in the Rec – Clive Williams bowled a googly and the ball hit my shin and really hurt! I still have a dent to prove it.

The old grandstand!

I remember having to climb up each level so I must have been really small. It was like climbing Everest.


Then there were the haystacks in the farmyard.

Under a corrugated roof to keep the hay dry but very high ,20 – 25 foot high?

I loved the feel and the smell of the hay and had no trouble climbing up but …………..

different story when I had to come down!image

I’m still the same – no, not with haystacks but ladders or stairs. My little knees just tremble when I look down.image

Sunday, 1 August 2010

David Westmacott Reminisces

Hello once again jean from DW -

This is more of an introduction to

Summervale on moving their in 1954 and what has been

happening in my life in the last 50 years or so.

Our family moved to summervale in 1954 a year after the coronation, from

Princess Risborough in Bucks and settled into No:10 on the estate of prefabs numbering some 50, which were 25 semis. We enjoyed the stay which seemed like at least 10 years but was only 4. The temporary estate which was constructed,was made after the war only to be used for a certain number of
years,summervale existed longer than most expected. The prefabs were very basic but cosy and very efficient with the fire and back boiler/cooker which kept us very warm in the winter. Mum (Joan)
Peter and Paul my brothers were the family.

We are now all living in different counties, Mum and Paul Maidenhead, Berkshire, Peter in Beccles, Suffolk and myself in Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

We moved to Paignton, S.Devon along with most of the Summervalian's to go to  work at STC, which I worked at for just over a year in the laborotory glass shop. My foreman at STC was Stan Kearney who

is on the blog,I gained experience of glass work from him in Ilminster at his two glass shops,doing work after school and at weekends (more about that later).

In Paignton some people stayed at White Rock estate near the factory others like ourselves lived at Foxhole estate,the community spirit disappeared somewhat in Paignton compared to the smaller

town of Ilminster. Tht circular green and the willows and fields and Herne Hill still bring back many memories and do so right up to this day. I found the STC factory life not for me and being more mechanically minded at school in metal work and tech drawing and after buiding things with my hands such as push bikes at the age of 12, I moved on and turned to cars  at 16 from then till I was 21 worked at various garages in Paignton.

Leaving Paignton in 1965 I moved to Leeds, West Yorkshire and after gaining more experience started my own garage business in the early 1970's and semi retired in 2008.

I still live in Headingley with my partner of 39 years, Beryl. We have no children, Beryl has had her own fashion shop for 25 years, we both seemed to have has very little time for a family.

I have been back to Ilminster on several occasions to see Summervale and the town. Something seems to draw me back there just to see it all again, I don't know if the same goes for the other old

summervalian's I grew up with. It would be nice to hear from some of them again. The last time I went back it had GONE!!  in  2006, previous to this I watched over period's of time the demolition of the estate it went in stages - sad!!, but they can't take away the memories. Now Summervale has a different top entrance further along the road and has a different NAME - the cheek of it! taking away our Summervale! and renaming it Summerdale or something like that, the new mews type housing  did not appeal to me and at the bottom, I preferred Britton's fields, the housing near the rec did not look much better, one good thing Herne Hill is still there, but it looks much smaller, never mind that's change for you Jean.
Bye the way Mum (Joan) is 88 now we spoke to her recently and have been to see her, the last time on a visit your name came up along with other Summervalian's and people fromPaignton.  
The cricket photo on the blogg looks good I well remember you and your family and the house behind the cricket scene must be yours,which was the semi next to Nan and grandad's. I can't remember playing much on that corner, because I found them to be very strict like most were in them days, couldn't get up
to much mischief watched by their beedy eyes !

All the best to you and your family - more to follow, regards DW..

Thanks David. Who will be next to contribute?
Here is my interpretation of The Willows at the bottom of the Durham's garden.