Photo: Illustrative image for the 'JACK SIMMONS' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'JACK SIMMONS' page

Boat Train / Fenchurch Driver

By Peter Simmons

Here is a cutting from the Evening Star dated Wednesday January 17th. 1945.

The picture is of my father Jack (Bogey) Simmons and as the text says; "Jack Simmons of Newhaven who drove the last boat train from Paris in 1940 and brought to London the first boat train to arrive since then."

The second picture is the original by the Star photographer showing somewhat more of the Atlantic class engine as well as the fireman, to whom I cannot put a name, but I guess someone will recognise. In latter years Jack drove the Fenchurch and her cousins over the bridge to the sheet loft and down to the breakwater. After a back injury he worked in the stores/office at the old engine sheds and retired in 1961.

This page was added by Peter Simmons on 03/09/2010.
Comments about this page

Peter. Would Jack be the brother of Winifred, Rose, and other sisters, and husband of Annie? Val Lidster (nee Vinall)

By Val Lidster
On 04/09/2010

I think the fireman in picture two could be John Nash who went on to become a driver. He was in fact my driver for a while. I believe he moved to another depot in the London area around 1962-1962

By William Still
On 04/09/2010

The fireman looks very much like George Hilton.

By R. Stone
On 04/09/2010

You could well be right there Roger. I had forgotten about george.

By William Still
On 11/09/2010

Hi Val - Indeed it would - sisters (in order) Lucy Margaret, Alice, Winifred (Win) and Annie May (May) and Rose. Brothers : Charles Henry, Edgar and Harold Robert. I also remember visiting your folks in Western Road with my parents.


By Peter Simmons
On 11/09/2010

I started work in the loco shed on leaving school at Newhaven in 1949 have many fond memories of Jack Simmons known as Bogy( but not to his face ) mainly because he was permaneent driver on the Fenchurch (Terriers) which was a great turn. Booked on at 6.45am, over the bridge down the breakwater in all weathers then back in shed about 12.30pm. Put the engine to bed and home in doors by 1.30. The fireman in the picture is not any of the names mentioned (as I knew them well), but a chap whose name I think was Hooper or Hooker. He married a daughter of a driver who came down from London to Newhaven but at the moment I can't remember his name. Jack had a lovely chuckle and I think he went back on the main line for a bit. I left the Railway in 1956. 

By Dave Brady
On 13/04/2012

The fireman in picture 2 is Reg Hooker who married Mary King in 1947, daughter of Ernie King. Ernie was based at the Newhaven shed and drove special hospital trains during WWII in between routine express boat trains. Reg qualified as a steam driver, and later drove electric trains being based variously at Three Bridges and Littlehampton, until his untimely death in 1987. Ernie was my husbands godfather, and Mary is his brothers godmother.

By Gill Bone
On 20/07/2012

Haven't met my cousin Peter for about 40 years. I am now 84 be interesting to make contact.

By John Oakley
On 27/10/2017

My grandfather Thomas Moody drove the first boat train out of London after W.W.2. We have a picture of him shaking hands with the a director before leaving. He is in the Atlantic 2038 Portland Bill.

Is there any chance you could share it with us Tony? By uploading to this website please.  John -- Editor

By Tony Tomlin
On 25/08/2020

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