Emily and Tom

Tom and Emily are the parents of Leonard, Donald and Geoffrey. (And therefore the grandparents of Alec and great-grandparents of Yours Truly.) It’s clear from the photos that Leonard took after his mother and Donald his father, in particular, while Geoffrey was a satisfying blend of both.

This is Emily (Beacham) Atkins, the focus of ‘The Mother Problem’ as described in the correspondence between her sons. This photograph was taken at Christmas 1946.
Here’s her husband Tom (front row centre). On the back of the picture are these words: For Alec from Grandfie Atkins taken on his retirement from the post of stationmaster at Cross Keys Mon. Oct 27th 1928. Alec would have been three years and four months old at the time.
And this, clearly, is Cross Keys station from which Tom was retiring, although this was taken slightly earlier in 1922. According to Wikipedia Cross Keys – near Ebbw Vale – was open in its original form from 1851 to 1962, and was presumably then demolished and rebuilt (on a slightly different site) in 2008. Take that, Dr Beeching!

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