Tribute: Reginald Simmons
15 October 1932 – 28 October 2020
Reg Simmons was born in York Cottages on Old Tring Road, the fifth of nine children. Not surprisingly, he attended Wendover School, by the Clock Tower, and became the centre of many friendship groups. In later life, that love of a good story led him to take up “residence” sitting on his favourite Manor Waste bench where he was famously a great raconteur, his secret being that he was also a great listener.
His father, Percy, was a plasterer so when Reg left school he was apprenticed to his father and they worked together for many years. Reg then went on to work for Wrights of Great Missenden until he retired in 1997.
Reg’s great love throughout his life was sport. He played football for the Wendover first team as a winger. His nickname “Swifty” demonstrates that he was nimble on his feet. He was also a member of Wendover Cricket Club, where he was renowned as a fast bowler. In the late 1960s he and his brother Brian joined Halton Golf Club (now Chiltern Forest) and spent 40 happy years playing.
He pursued individual as well as organised sport. As a youngster he would go sea fishing with his brother Dave. Sometimes they caught a conger eel, brought it home and put it in the bath to be salted and cooked for the whole family to eat. He also enjoyed coarse fishing in the many local reservoirs which allow it.
In his prime, Reg was seen on his bicycle all over Wendover but he used to go on long distance rides with his friend Dennis Hearn. Deep into retirement his mobility declined so that he needed his bike to support him eventually, in his walk from home to central Wendover. It was a cruel blow to him when someone stole his bike and thereby stole his ability to meet his friends independently in the great outdoors. He loved market day and delighted in the company of Nigel, the market manager, and Vic Lay who also died recently, see page 11.
In retirement, Vic and Reg had great days out using their free bus passes to take day trips to local towns such as Watford, Hemel Hempstead and High Wycombe. While there, they took to visiting a Wetherspoons or similar for lunch and a pint. Reg was also well known in local hostelries. In younger days, his favourite was The George as it was called then, near the Clock Tower. On a visit to the King and Queen he met a lady from Pitsone and they became companions for many years. More recently he became fond of The Shoulder of Mutton.
After his mother, Elsie, died in 1986, Reg moved to Vinetrees where he became a full member of that community.
Reg was very sociable so he will be sorely missed by many in Wendover, not least his four siblings, Norman, Ruth, Velda and Brian, who survive him. Reg’s funeral took place on Monday 16 November. Donations can be made via reginaldsimmons.muchloved.com to Prostate Cancer.