Saturday, 30 June 2012

Email from Mike Smith

Hi Jean,

Just 3 of the many photo’s taken you should receive soon hopefully at the Shrub yesterday for you to collate.

Photo 1


I don’t recognise anyone in this group but understand they all went to Ditton Street School but did not necessarily live in Summervale. There is one person I should know – Mary Williams hiding at the back and Derek Drayton in front of her in the white shirt..


Photo 2


I certainly recognised this gentleman – sat right in the middle is George Brown who doesn’t look any different but I am told he is 94! I think that is Gloria Dixon on the right wearing a blue cardigan.





Left to Right

Allen Dixon

Mike Smith

Peter Westmacott

Mick Jolly

Bob Chambers ( hiding)

Clive Williams

David Westmacott.

Funny how I still think of them all in short trousers.



With apologies to all especially Mike Smith As I struggled to find a photo of him.

Peter is going to do a formal report of the day to make it one for history. Being a formal teacher on the subject, it should be a good one !!!!.

Take care,

Mike Smith

PS, the guy on the right in the third photo is Peter’s brother David. He was one of our stars of the show !!!!!!!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

How Was It For You ?

The Reunion has come and gone and all the hard work by Peter in coordinating the event is over.

Did you go?

Did you enjoy it?

Who did you chat to?

Who were you most surprised to see?

Who had changed the least?

Come on Guys and Gals, I want to hear from you. Shall we have another, perhaps in Torbay next year so that those who find travelling difficult could attend. What about numbers? Did you think that 80+ was about right or too many?

I have heard from Joan Wakeham and “little” Bobby Chambers with promises of photos to follow but I would like to hear from you too so get in touch.

They both told me of reminiscences they shared  which I would like to record on here.

  • For one, I bet most of you remember coming down the hill on your skates and  ”accidently” falling in Mrs.  Cornforth’s hedge. Poor woman.
  • Climbing out of your bedroom window and going scrumping after dark.
  • Playing Kiss chase in the mowing grass.
  • Ringing Britten’s door bell and running down the lane.

Summervalians Unite.

coro day


Monday, 25 June 2012





Gordon Acourt                          Anna Parker

Jean Boyce  (sadly no)             Doris Powell  

Mary Brister + John                  Doreen Powell  

George Brown                           Mary Ralph

Carol Brown + Dennis              Carol Richards

Irene Brown + Mike                   Marjorie Richards

Joan Brown + Norman              Wenda Richards + Brad

Marion Brown + Fred                Jean Swift

Les Brunt                                   Brenda Simpson

Bob Chambers                          Eileen Simpson

Jon & Estelle Coles                  Norma Simpson

Ruth Davis                                 Beryl Slade

Allen Dixon                                Mike & Maggie Smith

Gloria Dixon                              Tony Tolman

Derek Drayton                           Valerie Vaux

Edith Drayton                            Joan Wakeham + Rob

Malcolm & Janet Driver            June Wakeham + Peter

Roger Everson                          Barry Wellman

Christine Farwell                       Peter Westmacott

Irene Forbes                              Glenys Westmacott

Peter & Jeanette Greer             David Westmacott

Maxwell & Angela Swain          Beryl Westmacott

Mike Jolly                                   Verena White

Beryl Kearney                            David & Anne Wills

Stan & Anne Kearney                Clive & Pam Williams

Alan & Lesley Knight                Mary Williams + Mike

Ruth Light                                  Gwen Woodland

Pauline Loveless

Margaret Mason + Peter

Ivan Margetts

Dianne Mothersele + Eric

Sylvia North

Bill Noy             




To all those who make it  - have a wonderful time and let me have lots of photos to put on the blog.

Love to you all,


Friday, 15 June 2012

Reply from Barry Vane

Hi Jean, Just seen my dads old photos and the compilation you put together,I hope others get enjoyment from them.   Well done again.       Best Regards.   Barry

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Yes, the Queen has had her Diamond Jubilee and soon it will be our turn to  wander back through time and reminisce about that hot June day in 1953 when we had probably the best street party EVER!

Despite the fact that  looking back at the photos now the bungalows  look drab and poor us kids  were so lucky to have been brought up in such a tight community and made to feel loved and protected.

This photo of a prefab shows how it really was -

Anyone for cricket 1

note the well kept gardens and the simple pleasure of playing a game of cricket in the road.

The Green looks unkempt and no doubt there were smelly pig bins nearby but we were so content as kids. Of course I have no idea what our parents thought but I assume they were very happy to be away from London in the safety of the Somerset countryside and also to be living in three bedded accommodation with all mod cons including a proper bathroom. Yes, there WAS ice on the  INSIDE of the windows but that was the norm in days before central heating.

Pictured on the Green is dear Barry Symons who sadly is no longer with us. He is missed by his family and many friends.

I must just tell you this coincidence – I have a close friend who apparently used to work for STC back in the 70’s. She lived in Brixham and one day I mentioned Barry’s name in connection with Summervale and she told me he was once her boss! She too was very fond of him. What a nice way to be remembered.

Small world eh?


Friday, 8 June 2012

News of Mary Ralph.

  Hi Jean,   I came across you Summervale site & you ask where some people are now.   So my mum is Mary Ralph, (married name Leaman although my Dad deceased in 1999) now 72 and still living in Paignton.   Her sister Anne Ralph (married name Anne Michael) is deceased through lung cancer.   Her youngest sister Pat Ralph is still alive although in a wheelchair now & living in Kent.   I am working at what is left of Nortel as you can see from the logo below, 120 in a small unit at the bottom of Long Road behing the old factory.   I hope this is of some use and interest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jean says - I have replied and have mentioned the reunion. I then got another email saying that Anne Ralph, Mary's mum is still living in Spencer Road and is 97. So good to hear From people and know that the Old Blog is still awakening memories, lovely memories of the past. I have also had a long chat today with Joan Wakeham and I can see that once we all get chatting hen another meeting will have to follow. Jean.      

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A letter from Peter

Hello Jean   A few weeks ago I placed a news item about the reunion in the Chard and Ilminster News.  As a result of this I had some interesting responses by phone and letter.  The first came from a woman called Eileen Raphael (nee Apton), who told me that as a 14-year old girl she was evacuated from East Ham in 1942 and lived in Summervale for about two years. She thought she lived next door to the Hewitts, perhaps at no. 29 where the Chambers lived or no.32 where Leohs lived.  She wasn't quite sure.  She is now in her mid-80s.  After a couple of years in Summervale the family moved to Crewkerne. Later she married a local man and still lives in Ilminster today.  Does anyone remember her and her family?    I had a lengthy and informative letter from Jon (Johnnie Coles), also in his mid-80s.  He didn't live in Summervale but was often playing with friends there when he was a boy.  He was great friends with George Simpson, with whom he played a lot of sport, particularly football.  Jon went to the boys' grammar school and spent most of his life in Ilminster.  He has made quite a name for himself as a local historian.  I know Brenda Simpson remembers Jon well from her Summervale days.  Jon and his family lived at The Butts, along the High Street; nowadays he lives in Ladymeade, which we all knew as the hay field beyond the bottom of Brewery Lane, the field through the kissing gate.  Does anyone else remember Jon?   He is very keen to meet the "Torbay contingent" of Summervalians, so I have invited him along to the reunion.  His wife is a Paignton lady.  I hope they will come.   Just a few weeks to go to the big day!  I hope you are all preparing yourselves well!  Look out all those interesting old photos in the next few weeks and bring them along with you!   Best Wishes   Peter (the boy from no.10) I am afraid those names Mean nothing to me but I expect Jon would remember my brother, another keen sportsman and I'm sure that Tony played cricket with George Simpson. Eileen would have left Summervale before I was born but may well be rembered by the older generation kids. JJ Sent from my iPad.