Thursday, 22 July 2010
Memories of Summervale Hello Jean, you will remember me from those
wonderful summervale Ilminster days, in the years from
1954 to 1958 which is a year longer than Peter my elder brother who left in
1957 to go and work in Paignton and as you know
Peter has made contact with yourself on the famous JeanJeannie blogg.
After reading the summervale 1944 blogspot.which I have found very
interesting I have put pen to paper to compile my
memories of summervale.
which will follow along in due course.
Consisting of: Friends I would like to contact
Memories and experiences
School friends and teachers
First School Magazine from Ditton Street Secondary Modern in
Outside Hobbies and Activities
Love to here from you Jean
Best wishes David Westmacott
Saturday, 3 July 2010
some newly awakened summervale memories....
your comments about that "small glassblowing business in west street" reminded me that my dad Jack (cricket team captain for STC - Iilminster!!), and Mr . Kearney, i think he was called Reg,
(No, Stan was the name)
but always known as "shag") also had a small glassblowing business, only theirs was in Ditton street, in a tiny rented shop, and they called themselves "Kearney and Satchell".
They made all sorts of stuff, can't remember if anything was subcontracted out from STC(where "shag!!" was the glass shop foreman and dad was the small valve assembly foreman), but they did make dreadfully complicated contraptions that were used at the Horlicks plant for the early artificial insemination experiments on cows, and also lots of little coloured glass ornaments which I'm sure some of you must remember decorating the mantle shelves in the "bungalows".
(Someone, probably your Dad John, made me a 21st. glass key but that was in Paignton.)JJ
I got into stained glass design as a hobby a while back, so maybe this glass thing runs in the family!!
i well remember working for three months with David in the glass shop at STC Paignton (also run by "shag"), when i was passing through there as a student apprentice. David was really good fun to work with, and made a generally miserable time at STC for me a bit of a laugh for a while!!!
Can't think of any link to that other Ilminster glass business, except that maybe "Kearney and Satchell" sold out to them before we all left Ilminster, 'cos fishing, stamp collecting and wood turning took over dad's life when we got to the coast!!
of course we Satchells used the same formula for home-made sun tan lotion, how could we not when our Mums were first cousins and best friends??
we probably didn't use olive oil in ours though - that would have been too expensive (remember you had to buy it in very small bottles from the chemists?) for mum to afford way back then - we probably did use chip oil!!! it didn't work though - I just had a run in with a surgeon to remove a skin cancer that she reckoned started with sun exposure when I I was a kid!!! mum is always remembering stuff that she and Rose did when they were girls, she really misses her a lot. Did you know that your Mum and Dad were their best man and matron of honour, my godparents, and that your Mum assisted at my brother Tony's birth at home in Summervale??? You can't get any close than that! They had grown up together in London, gone to school together and right to the end were always friends. Even now just passing your old house in Paignton makes mum very sad.
I do appreciate all the hard work you put in on this blog, i used to edit a website myself and know how hard it is to keep coming up with fresh ideas, but you DO just that, and for that I'm sure we are all very grateful!
Take care - John
Seeing some comics in a newsagent's shop recently made me think about the comics we used to devour in Summervale in the 1950s. My brothers and I used to read a lot of comics, though I knew that in some adult circles there was opposition to them ('rot your brain' and all that stuff). Actually, I think they helped us to improve our literacy. In the early 50s there weren't too many TVs about, so listening to the radio and reading comics all helped raise our awareness of language. As I was a newspaper delivery boy I also read a lot of newspapers too. My relatives were always laughing at me because I had my head in a newspaper!
I probably saw most of the comics of the time because I delivered them. There always seemed to be plenty of comics to read. Some of my favourites were Eagle, Beano, Dandy and Tiger.
In the Eagle my favourite character was the front page hero, Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future. Sci-fi was very popular then (remember "Journey into Space" on the radio?) and we loved it when Dan triumphed in his clashes with The Mekon. Riders of the Range was also good and I liked PC 49 too. Tommy Walls was super-human too, always coming to the rescue as he sprang into action with his famous W sign with his fingers and thumbs! (Was he a plug for Walls ice-cream?)
The Beano was widely loved and we would talk about it on the way to school, and in school. Dennis the Menace, with his red and black jumper and spiky hair was a favourite character, and the Bash Street Kids were unbelievable. Could they really play up teachers like that? Firing paper pellets at teachers; buckets of water suspended over the door, etc. None of this happened at school in Ditton Street, at least not to my knowledge! We also liked Lord Snooty and Roger the Dodger - if he could get out of something, he would!
We also read The Dandy, a similar comic to Beano. Desperate Dan, with his great strength, performed unimaginable feats of strength ,once he had eaten his favourite cow-pie. And who remembers Keyhole Kate, Hungry Horace and Korky the Cat? All much-loved characters.
Tiger was a big favourite of mine. To a football mad young teenager the adventures of Roy of the Rovers of Melchester Rovers were out of this world. Roy always seemed to be coming to the rescue of his team. He might arrive at half-time when his side was 0-4 down; then, of course, thanks to the super-heroics of Roy, they would win 5-4 to take the cup. Or something like that!
Does anyone remember reading The Boy's Own Paper? We often got this one; I think it was a monthly. It was full of adventure stories about the RAF, colonial explorers, scraps with the Germans, sport, the American West and so on. There were also lots of helpful hints about scouts, bikes, crystal sets, etc. I particularly liked the puzzles and games.
We used to swap a lot of comics or get given them. I think it was Mike Smith who used to give us Hotspur and Wizard comics. These were full of adventure stories, all aimed at boys. Two other comics I recall were The Topper and Beezer. These were so different because they were larger than the rest. I think they were broadsheet size, like many of the newspapers I delivered. But at the moment I can't remember anything about the contents of these two comics! Can anyone?
Many of these comics I've mentioned were aimed at boys. Apart from Beano and Dandy, perhaps. So what were the girls reading then? I know they had their own comics because I remember delivering Girl, which I think was something like Eagle.
(I only remember “Girl” and recognise the logo above. I used to get the annual at Christmas but have no recollection of any stories.
Comics, I think , were a “boy” thing.)JJ
I think I brought a copy home from my newsagent boss one day! Actually, that was another way we got comics. If copies were a few weeks out of date Mr. Bradburn, the newsagent, would give them to me, free, to take home.
To this day I can still recall some lines from one of the cowboy stories I read. There was a scene at the bottom of the page ,where the hero is hanging from a branch above a cliff edge. He says: "Hand slipping .... loose bark.....can't hold on...." And then you have to buy the comic next week to see what happened!".How do I remember this? My brothers and I thought this was so funny that over the years we kept repeating it to each other. So that's how it stuck!
Well, let's hear about your comic favourites and stories, Summervaleans!
Peter Westmacott in Suffolk