Solly Sunflower

Posted on 20/08/2022 By

Sunflower head - wearing sunglassses!

Solly Sunflower grew up in the Cotswolds. She came to live in Surrey and had many friends in the beautiful village of Brockham. Times changed and she moved away. Eventually meeting and marrying Bobby Ballcock. “Solly” was consigned to history and she became “Diddley” in a wonderful new life.

Her friendships in Brockham remain to this day and, of course, they still know her as Solly.

By amazing coincidence, we learned that one of Solly’s old friends lives at West Horsley Place, in a cottage in the grounds. “Come to see me and the Sunflowers.” said Basch. And we did. On a glorious summer’s day, we reminisced about those Brockham days. How Solly brought colour into everybody’s lives and now colourful memories of a life well lived.

We walked through the Sunflowers. Some had sunglasses on. Something that personified Solly, who maintained they made her look twenty years younger. Suddenly, she became Solly Sunflower and the rest her grandchildren.

The introduction to West Horsley Place was by Bobby’s nephew, Robin. For now, it was for the Sunflowers. A village initiative to brighten the world and raise money for various charities.

West Horsley Place Logo

Bertie at the start of the Sunflower trail.

Bertie in the field of Sunflowers.

Basch. “Keeper of the Sunflowers”.

A sea of Sunflowers.

Sunflower head - wearing sunglassses!

Jasmine Sunflower

Rear view of the Sunflowers.

Sunflowers follow the sun.

Sunflower head - wearing orange sunglassses!

Layla Sunflower.

Bees on a Sunflower head.

Bees love them.

Sunflower head - wearing blue sunglassses!

Sonny Sunflower.

Sunflower head with a Bee on it.

Sunflower head - wearing orangey brown sunglassses!

Amy Sunflower.

Field of Sunflowers.
Field of Sunflowers.

Sunflower head - wearing brown sunglassses!

Giselle Sunflower.

Field of Sunflowers.

Sunflower head with Bees on.

Sunflower head - wearing tortoise-shell sunglassses!

Daisy Sunflower.

Field of Sunflowers, some with Bees on them.

Sunflower head - wearing orange sunglassses!

Kyla Sunflower.

Bertie sat alongside a Sunflower.

Bertie Sunflower.

Basch, Bertieand Sunflowers.

Thanks Basch.

A sea of Sunflowers.

A sea of Sunflowers.

Bertie sat on a wooden bench, with a scorched field behind.

Cor this seat is hot.

Bertie sat in the shade on a yellow bike, with a Fortnum & Mason hamper on the back.

Shady here. Nice bike.

Later we are invited to explore the wonders of historic West Horsley Place and share them with you in Mindfully Bertie.

But for now, Sunflowers symbolise happiness, optimism, loyalty and devotion, strength and resilience. They are the National Flower of Ukraine. The country’s flag representing sunflowers beneath a blue sky.

The blue and yellow national flag of Ukraine.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley (Solly Sunflower) and Bobby

It was her birthday on August 19, and we were planning to take her, in spirit, to see My Fair Lady.

Tim: “I had almost finished preparing this blog when I heard the news that Bob had passed away unexpectedly. He had told me the candle photograph would be taken on Friday. Reading his original line above, I felt I knew exactly where that photo would have been taken. St Martin-in-the-Fields.

So, on Friday, I set off to light a candle for both of them. I arrived at the church before its advertised closure time – only to discover it was already closed! What would Bobby have done in this situation? That was easy.

I set off on the short walk and took them to the London Coliseum.

A candle lit for Bobby and Diddley at the London Coliseum Theatre, where Bobby would have taken Diddley in spirit on her birthday.



Diddley (Solly Sunflower).

Love you Solly Sunflower.


GardensTrees and NatureWildlife

  1. Bernadette Josiah says:

    The sunflowers have added sunshine to my Sunday

  2. Felicity Drewett says:

    Thank you Bobby for everything. Lots of love to your family xxxx

  3. Katherine says:

    Thanks Tim for finishing Bob’s blog, love the picture of them in front of My Fair Lady poster. Thanks for creating such wonderful frames for Bob’s words and photos. You were a great team.
    Love Kate Green

  4. Phil Barnett says:

    Thank you Tim, that is a delightful fitting tribute to the memory of both Bob and Diddley. You did a great job over the year’s to bring the blogs to life. Bob’s passing was so sudden and unexpected, and we will all miss him terribly.

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