A former Wakering resident

James (Jim) Hodges

By Len Bickford

Jim was born in Alexandra Rd, Wakering in 1934 and grew up in Shoeburyness where he spent a lot of time on East Beach. He used to go down to the beach before school each morning to collect any driftwood for his mum's copper so she could do her laundry.

On leaving school Jim liked to go fishing for a hobby.

He started work on the railways at the age of just 16yrs working as a porter based at Southend Victoria Station. When he reached an age where he could transfer over he started as a fireman on the steam trains running from Shoeburyness to Fenchurch St. He really loved the job and he worked as a team with his regular driver called 'Timber'.

He moved to Barrow Hall Lane, Wakering where he lived for a number of years.

Jim was called up for National Service and went into the army where he was posted to Germany. By the time he was demobbed, the steam trains had come to the end of their working life and had been replaced by electric trains. He decided that this was not for him as the interest was no longer there. So he went to work for a local farm owner, Biff Rayner where he drove lorries delivering fruit and vegetables to local shops which he did for a number of years. He later worked for the Star Lane brickworks delivering bricks to the building industry.

Jim was well known locally for his dart playing ability where he won many awards for his skilful playing.

There is a minature model of the actual steam train engine that he worked on displayed in the Mayor's Parlour, Porters Grange, Southend.

Jim was my step father in law and unfortunately passed away Sept 2010.

This page was added by Len Bickford on 20/04/2014.
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