Jack Simmons pictured with some of his family

By John Oakley

The photograph at the top is my uncle Jack Simmons married to my aunt Annie Oakley. He was the engine driver for the boat train from Victoria. In later years he drove the Fenchurch between the oil tanks at sleepers hole, to over the bridge for ship refuelling.

In 1962 I was visiting my mother with my 2 youngest children ages 4 and 5. We walked over the bridge to the quay gates behind which were the engine sheds. We first met by the watchman, who sternly told us we could not go in there. I then told him Jack was my uncle! His attitude changed he called two engine drivers over and explain who we all were. We were all then invited to have a ride on the footplate of locomotive, which they were still preparing. All four of us boarded, the level crossing was closed and we were taken towards Lewes. Not sure what the loco was but it was one of the big ones used on the boat train. I wonder if this could happen today??

The second photo is almost certainly a charabanc trip to a local seaside resort, not sure which one but could be Brighton. The people in the photo taken summer 1932. as follows:-

Starting from the right:-  The man in the trilby is Uncle Jack Simmons, next to the left is my mother Maud Ada Oakley (nee Bennett) The face behind her right shoulder Aunt Annie Simmons(nee Oakley) who is next my father Robert Shead Oakley, on his right shoulder my cousin Gladys Simmons(eventually married Fred Geer and moved to Lewes)

Photo:Jack Simmons

Jack Simmons

Photo:Charabanc Trip

Charabanc Trip

This page was added by John Oakley on 20/08/2015.
Comments about this page

Thanks for this, John. I love the group photo as your Uncle Jack & Auntie Annie were my great Uncle and Aunt; Jack was my grandmother's brother (Win Simmons married Frank Vinall and one of their sons, Edgar, was my father). I only remember Annie as an elderly lady, how nice to see her when she was young!

By Val Lidster (Vinall)
On 21/08/2015

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