Tuesday, 14 September 2010

More from our Special Correspondent

Dear Jean, Once again you have created for me another fantastic blog on Alan Dixon. The photos were great, couldn't  remember what Alan looked like but the pose on the bonfire made us wonder how he was balancing on the top, this was  very typical of Alan, doing the daring bit again. The other which had people we didn't know, where Alan was stood on  the end, in that "way out" overcoat, brought some of the memories back, and the mischievous look on his face said  it all!! Then how he looked came back to me.
By the way, Mike Smith rang me the other day and we had a 2 hour long  chat, it was brilliant about old times and things he had done up to now, at last we have made contact, so it does  work, and I will phone Mick Jolly next week. 
mike jolly
Mike Jolly standing in front of me waiting for our Coronation money 1953.
Now for the next on my list, this is John Rogers, my next door neighbour, alias "Slim Whitman". John lived  next door in the semi prefab to our family, with his sister Pat and mum and dad,
Above – Mrs. Rogers with Pat in her wheelchair. In front, do I recognise those ears Mike? And right in the front – Bobby Chambers ( Not a brilliant photo but cropped  from this larger one – )
I can't remember much about  his parents and can't say I saw much of them. Maybe just a passing glance at the back door of their house,  when I was scooting out to have fun on The Green. John you could say, introduced me to hearing some of the  more popular music of the day, he was a Slim Whitman fan and played and sang, if I can remember, most days  in his leisure time, I would imagine he would play the records on his parent's radiogram.
Slim Whitman.

Cannot find a photo of John Rogers – I only remember him as tall and thin.
I was a bit behind  with quality radiograms and was given a windup version from a neighbour, can't remember who, the first record  I ever played on it, was Cumberland Gap by Lonny Donnigan,

the gramophone was very old when I was given it  it had the trumpet for the sound and great big needles, from what I remember, it didn't last for very long  wish I had kept it, even in it's broken down state it might have been worth a bob or two now!!
I can remember me and my brothers laughing on many occasions to the Slim Whitman music John played at that  time in the 50's, as John would try singing like him.  John was a lot older than us being then 21 or so when  we were 11 to 13 years old, any time since those days, when I have heard Slim Whitman sing, it always  reminds me of John and his family back in the old Summervale prefab -
happy days!!  If you see this John  hope you can ring me, you may even give us a song, but it has got to be one of Slim's.
I was not a fan so googled his songs and you will see that he was obviously a very popular artist. Many familiar songs – made me think of Family Favourites on Sundays.

  • 1. 12th Of Never

  • 2. A Fool Such As I

  • 3. Bandera Waltz

  • 4.Birmingham Jail

  • 5. Born To Lose

  • 6. China Doll

  • 7. China Doll Ver. 2

  • 8. Ghost Riders In The Sky

  • 9. I Remember You

  • 10.Ill Take You Home Again Kathleen

  • 11. Indian Love Call

  • 12. Its A Small World

  • 13. Love Song Of The Waterfall

  • 14. Nobody`s Darling But Mine

  • 15. Now Is The Hour

  • 16. Paint A Rose On The Garden Wall

  • 17. Rose Marie

  • 18. Secret Love

  • 19. Silver Threads Among The Gold

  • 20. Stranger On The Shore

  • 21. The Cattle Call

  • 22. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

  • 23. Una Paloma Blanca

  • 24. You Belong To My Heart

  •        More later  --  Regard, DW.

    Sunday, 5 September 2010

    Alan Dixon – Dare Devil

    Hi Jean, Just two or three more friends stories to go !!! Continuing now with Alan and Gloria Dixon   Alan's nickname to us now as I remembered him, is "The Stunt Man" and Gloria was the more quieter,

    Gloria's 8 birthday 2 Gloria’s 8th birthday.

    a  girl that we didn't see much of, but we mixed in with various games and would see her often going out with Ron her father, in the car, which seemed to be the only vehicle on
    the estate in those days.  The Dixon family lived at the opposite side of the green from us on the corner.

    I can remember Ron having his photography business doing weddings and various other work, I cannot remember Mrs Dixon very well are they both still living?  - Sadly both have passed on – Vi several years ago but Ron fairly recently within the last 5 years or so I think.

    Alan was always about doing things where ever the lads were

    Alan as Guy Fawkes 1949


    A good example of his DARING DO!

    He may have been slightly older than myself but everyone joined in with the fun, the swimming sessions in the different rivers were  always sensational the locks above the waterfall behind the Horlick's Factory and further down river  going out of Ilminster over the top road leading to further locks and waterfalls, Alan would do things that us kids wouldn't attempt like diving into waterfalls and off the lock tops into the river below.

    Alan Dixon

    There were many more scary stunts in winter when it came to sledging he had the fastest and most well made sledge in Ilminster, that meant another exciting show of going down very steep inclines and through very narrow gaps in hedges, over humps and bumps where he would take off like
    Evil Kenival, luckily he managed to always stay on and never come to a sticky end!!!. It was fantastic
    to watch, but not for the faint hearted  like ourselves to even try there were so many more daring escapades, too many to mention, Alan stood out in my mind and to a lot of the more younger lads as a hero! Summervale boys 1950

    The last I saw of Alan was in Paignton where he had gone one step further and constructed a MONSTER MOTOR now he could drive, this special car which  looked like something out of the film Mad Max, very way out for those days, had been made out of various   models, it had a 6 cylinder engine, was a two seater, they called them hotrods in those days. He asked me  on several occasions if I would like a ride in it, but can't remember if I was brave enough, can only  remember going out in his more conventional car, a Standard Vanguard,

    with friends, it had a bench seat  in the front and Alan was never short of a girl sat by his side in it, amazing what attraction bravery is!!
    He was as they would say today, "so cool" but then " way out".
    Alan, if you're still living, after what I remember of your daring past, get in touch and let us know
    how you have been getting along. By the way, did you go to Ditton Street school like Peter and myself
    or did you go to the Grammar  School in Ilminster?

    That's all for now folks  best wishes DW.

    My memories of Alan are -

    1. He built a canoe in the passage of his house.
    2. We all went to the river Isle and learned to role the canoe over.
    3. Once when we went, there were loads of dead fish on the surface. Were we bovvered? Nah!
    4. One day on the canal he shouted out there was a snake, I ran, got bogged down in the mud, lost a shoe and got a good hiding when I got home!
    5. His Mum used to give him and Gloria Malt extract which I loved.
    6. Pretty sure he went to the Grammar school.