Sunday, 31 July 2011

DEAR SUSAN–a message from Peter

Hello Jean
I was very interested in the recent entries you received from Susan Dooney (nee Loxham). I'm not sure if I knew Susan or whether she went to the secondary modern school in Ilminster. However, as she said she lived on a farm at Whitelackington I wondered if she knew a friend of mine from the village called Derek Johnson. He and I were at school together and I seem to recall going out to his place at Whitelackington in one of the long summer holidays.
I haven't heard anything about Derek since I moved from Ilminster to Paignton in 1956, although somewhere along the line I think I heard that Derek and his family had emigrated to Australia, sometime in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Susan - did you know Derek and, if so, have you heard anything about him since he emigrated?
Hope you might have some information for me.
Peter Westmacott

Friday, 29 July 2011

This is our mystery poster

Re my comment left on Tues July 26th.
Hi! My name is Susan Dooney (nee Loxham) and as I said previously Eddie and Alice Bradburn were my Grandparents from my mothers side (Brenda Loxham nee Bradburn). I now live in St Annes Lancashire but as a very young child my family and I lived in a cottage on a farm in Whitelackington. I seem to remember that we collected our milk from the farmer in churns while it was still warm. I went to school in Ilminster although I am unable to recall it's name. My mum would frequently walk me to school across the fields from Whitelackington. I also have a vivid memory of a farriers on the roadside in Whitelackington. Ilminster carnival time also sticks in my memory and if I remember rightly it was a big occasion.
I came across this blog quite by chance. I had been using google maps to see what the streets around Ilminster looked like now. I was unsure of the name of the street that my grandad's newsagents stood on. I typed newsagent's in Ilminster and couldn't quite believe it when reading Peter Westmacottt's entry.


Hi Susan,

  • Thanks for replying. Most of us are aged between 60 and 70 now  ( still kids at heart though)  so I don’t know if you might remember any of us. North Street school was the primary/ junior school just above your grandfather's shop. It was divided in two – Boys on the left and Girls on the right. Seems archaic now that sort of segregation doesn’t it?
  • Here is a photo of the school - eurodamilminster 075
  • Funny what you remember isn’t it! When I passed the 11+ my uncle took me to your grandfather’s shop and bought me a fountain pen – it was a turquoise colour and made by Onoto.
  • I have never heard of them since so I googled the name and they are still in production and make luxury pens so I guess I should Onoto Royal Ballet Aspirations Penshave taken better care of it!
  • We would love to hear your reminisces of Ilminster and your childhood  so if you feel like writing about them please do.

Thanks again Susan


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Please leave your name in your comments and sign the guest book

I have just received the following comment in reply to Peter Westmacott’s post on 31st January 2011.
Anonymous said...

How lovely to read your story about Bradburn's newsagents. That yorkshire man was actually my grandather. I wonder if you remember his shop assistant Miss Denman? I also have fond memories of visiting the butchers with my grandma but the name of the shop escapes me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It would be lovely to know who left this and if he/she had any other memories to share. Anyone remember Miss Denman – is there a story there I wonder?

P.S.The butchers shop my Mum used was Brittons – opposite the Dolphin pub.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

More from Peter – Summertime Memories

A few more to add to the previous list:
* Making peashooters from old cow parsley stems and using dried peas or hawthorn berries as ammo

* Lying in bed on hot summer nights with Vaseline plastered on my legs (eczema!)
* Drinking tepid milk - no fridge in our house then
* Rolling around in the hay with my brothers in the fields on the way to Herne Hill

* Collecting birds' eggs (naughty boy!)
* Helping my grandfather pick blackcurrants and gooseberries in his garden
* Caravan holidays at Weymouth
* Getting stung by stinging nettles and searching for the remedy - dock leaves
* Filling my socks with white powder to combat athlete's foot
* Noticing the peonies in my grandfather's garden and thinking "what a strange flower!"
In the previous set of memories I sent you Jean, you wondered who we had been playing doctors and nurses with in our tent.
The usual suspects - Mary Williams, Valerie Jolly, the Richards girls and I think Joan Wakeham was occasionally in there.
All perfectly innocent, of course!
Happy days
Peter Westmacott

Sunday, 10 July 2011

First there was me and you now Gordon Ramsey!

    THE Square 1 Brasserie in Ilminster is becoming something of a ‘hang-out’ for famous people.
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    It was only a couple of weeks ago that Prime Minister David Cameron and his family popped in for breakfast while on their way for a holiday in Cornwall.
    Then TV chef Gordon Ramsay was there for lunch on Saturday – and the News has been told he was perfectly polite and there wasn’t a swear word to be heard!
    He was happy to meet fans outside who were looking for autographs and photographs with the loudmouth chef.
    Among those who met him were sisters Holly and Martha Rogers, 16 and 12, of Ilminster.
    Their mum, Sarah, said: “Gordon was lovely, and when he came out of Square 1 the children swarmed round him.
    “He was really nice and didn’t swear!
    “The children followed him all the way back to Tesco car park where he’d parked.”
    A few months ago it was reported that Ramsay had bought a house in Ilminster in Station Road.
    Anyone know where – I can’t find anything on the Council planning lists. There was a large house which was a boys home ????

    Homeward Bound

    We arrived in Dover after our cruise yesterday and headed West via the M20, M25, M3  and then the good old 303. ( I still remember sitting  on the steps outside Mr White’s shop collecting car numbers. God, you would have to be so quick today!)

    Anyway, I digress yet again. Traffic was pretty good until we got on to Salisbury Plain when we crawled for miles and miles towards Amesbury. “Queues likely”  the signs said but not why. However, once past Stonehenge the traffic disappeared as if by magic and once again we were in top gear enjoying the scenery.

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    Rain clouds threatened the further west we went.

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    I love the scenery across the plain – such big skies and huge vistas.

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    As we approached the Ilminster bypass we saw a police car and an ambulance going very slowly-

    eurodamilminster 045eurodamilminster 050 and then we crawled to a halt. No traffic moving on either carriageway and more and more cars piling up behind us. Mike turned the car round and we headed back around the roundabout and took the Ilminster exit. We found out  later that the whole bypass had been closed due to a vehicle on fire and there were major delays.

    And that is why I’m posting today – a few photos of our home town on a summers day in July. A most welcome break from a tedious journey.

    Love Lane – happy memories of number 8.

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    The post office where I very nearly got run over as a child.

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    Barclays Bank – still there.

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    Nat West – still there.

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    And Lloyds – still there. Lots of money in this little town. Which reminds me – John Satchell told me that Gordon Ramsey has bought a house in Ilminster! So he does have some taste!

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    North Street school, boys on the left, girls on the right.

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    Houses now built in the old playground. Remember those toilets where the water ran under each one – Yuck.

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    Girls Grammar School

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    Back in the car, passing the Dolphin and onwards to Station Road and the 303. Umm, perhaps not, still queues at the roundabout so we turned tail, drove back across what was Brittens fields, past the Rec and into Ditton Street. A right turn took us to Chard and home that way.

    This made what could have been a painful journey into a very happy one for me. Not sure how Mike felt - bless!


    PS – a final photo for all those who went to Chard Convent -


    Looks more like Dracula’s castle to me – I hated it. But that,as they say, is another story.