My Memory of Joe Overs

'cook-photographer -priest and judo coach'

I first met Joe at the War Memorial Hall in the Olympic Judo Club which held its sessions every Thursday night. Joe was a children’s coach (and a very good one). He assisted the late Cliff Baker- Brown 7th Dan to run this international standard judo club.

Joe at a later date sold his bungalow on Canvey and decided to take a job as a chef on board the vessels owned by Lord Rix; in fact he was a fine chef and there were no complaints from the crew. I can testify to this as I once visited him on board at a berth in Erith.

We were god friends and I invited him to come and stay at my parent’s small holding in Bulphan and when he did he mucked in relieving my overworked mother of many domestic chores. As I said earlier he was a great cook and his Yorkshire puddings were to die for.

After he left us he went to live in Littlehampton and that is where I caught up with him (he had retired).He was very happy here and I stayed with him for a little while. Some months later I went to visit and learnt that he had passed on much to my lament.

Joe was a kind gentle man who had many skills—cook—photographer –priest and judo coach. I still miss him today.  

Comments about this page

  • Hi Adrian, Thanks for your info about Joe’s life after Canvey, as you can tell from my page about him having known him as the’ Canvey Photographer’ from childhood and getting to know him better when he used to help out in the Bakery his disappearance was always a bit of a mystery to me. Thanks for putting his later life into perspective. I endorse your comments about him , he was a good-hearted soul.

    By Graham Stevens (18/06/2015)
  • thanks —how did you know Joe

    By adrian vidler (24/02/2022)
  • I can’t be specific as to when I first new Joe but like so many of our generation of Canvey kids he always seemed to be around taking photos for Jacksons . Quite probably it was at a social event at Whittier Hall. He was just part of the Canvey scene in the post-war days. Later on when he seemed to give up photography it could have his interest in cooking that got to wander into the bakery from time to time. We never got him on production but he was always willing to do other chores such as tin- greasing, cleaning or helping unload bread from the ovens. Graham.

    By Graham (25/02/2022)
  • I lived next door to “Holy Joe” on Canvey Island.
    He lived in the bungalow next to our house in Zider Pass (we were at 41). I always found him to be a pleasant and friendly man. He had a good sense of humour as I recall. Not at all pious or overly religious, just an ordinary nice bloke.

    By Danny Clarke (26/02/2023)

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