Thursday, 30 December 2010


Just popped in to wish all my Summervale  friends a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Here's to another year of memories and reminiscences of the past combined with perhaps our thoughts and wishes for the future.
See you in 2011

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Hello Jean
With Christmas coming up I have been thinking about making a contribution to the site. Then I realised I couldn't recall a huge amount about my Christmas experiences in Summervale from 54-57, that is until I read your piece on Christmas Is Coming.  So thanks for writing it; it stirred my slumbering memory!!
It was a great collection of photos you posted from the STC Christmas parties, although most of them were before my time. I think I went to three of the parties, the first being in 1954 and the last in 1956. After that I was probably too old! Of course, I recognized several of you from the 17/12/55 photo, and yes it was definitely Peter Symons in the fairisle jumper. Some of the unamed faces looked familiar but I couldn't name them now.
The thing I remember vividly from those parties was the blancmange we got. It always seemed to have a hard skin/crust on it, and I never really liked that. Ugh! The jelly we usually got might have been a bit like that too!  But they were very happy occasions, because in those days we didn't seem to go to many parties, unlike our grandchildren who seem to get invites all the time.  The presents we took home from STC were always very welcome too. Along with other items we always seemed to get an orange, chocs and some nuts!
In number 10 (our home) my abiding memory is the waking up at ridiculously early hours on Christmas morning to raid our stockings.  Yes,  we were still putting those out at 14 and 15 years old!  Well, if you didn't believe in Santa you might not get the pressies!  Our grandsons do just the same; they are also up well before 6, eager to see what's in the stockings.
In some ways things don't change much!
A very Happy Christmas to you Jean and all |Summervaleans, wherever you are.  Thanks, too, for another great year of fascinating reading on the Summervale site.  Well done!
Best Wishes
Peter Westmacott

Friday, 17 December 2010




1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's

First, we survived being born to mothers who drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer..

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle...

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Red Rooster.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubbies and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd films,
no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!


We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
Lawsuits from these accidents.


Only girls had pierced ears!


We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.


You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...


We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,


We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!


FOOTBALL and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on


Our teachers used to hit us with straps and sand shoes and bully'salways ruled the playground at school.



The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!


Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'


We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO


And YOU are one of them!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.



PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Remember the parties we used to have at STC. Great entertainment, food and rounded off by a present from Father Christmas.

STC certainly knew how to look after their employees and their


Here are some of Ron Dixon’s photos ………‘

Another STC party

I can see David Chambers and Mike Jolly  in the middle of  the front row aged about 8??

Not so sure it is a Christmas party. Could be the Coronation as the Union Jack is displayed.

Here is a closer look at half of the photo




Here is one of me singing for my supper


Here  we are waiting for the bus to take us to the factory


Me in the middle sucking my thumb which I did ALL the time. Mind you it never did drop off! I’m holding Shirley Hewitt’s hand.


This one is a Christmas party lets do a close up



Who do you recognise above?

Here are some of the X Factor contestants circa 1955


Joan Wakeham and me in the back row and Gloria Dixon and Christine Jolly in the middle row. Possibly Peter Symons in the fairisle jumper – front row.