Redoak, reference the above. I have a Tolley 2" and Skimmin & Wood bought their name sometime before the gun was made. The barrels of mine are marked 'JA' too so he probably did work for them. Most English guns are a product of a group of outworkers. 10 to 1 your guns mentioned were Skimmin & Wood's. Henry Monk's are still in business in Chester as far as I know and may be able to shed some light upon the origins of your gun. Lagopus.....
It is more likely that the odds are 1000 to 1 that Skimmin & Woods did not build Red Oaks guns, but that Arthur Howell did from his premises at 28 Weaman St. Birmingham.
In 2002 while living in the UK I spent a great deal of time in Birmingham and the area researching the Howell family of Gunmakers in Birmingham. The results of which I documented in an article that was published in the Winter 2005 issue of the "DOUBLE GUN JOURNAL". My research including visiting and interviewing descendants of Arthur Howell as well as his brother William descendants. I even spoke with the current owner of Arthur Howell's old home to see if any gun records were in the attic of the house.
Arthur Howell opened his business early 1900's and continued in business until his death in 1957 (age 77 from a stroke) during which time he made thousands of guns for the trade(maybe as many as 8,000 considering his serial numbers), with the last gun he made being a 16 gauge BLE for Arthur Hill co. He was a well known member of the gun trade as well as member in good standing with the "The Gunmakers Association" of the UK. You can view the 1929 Gunmakers Association members photo and see that he is member number 86 in
that photo (view the photo on page 208 the 2nd edition of Donald Dallas "Boss Gunmakers" book.
He made an amount of 2 inch guns as well as they were the "in" gun for the walk up shooters for the between the wars years. (as to the Hellis 2 inch gun I do not see any marks of "AH co" on the barrels but you can see in the article that I wrote in the DGJ a photo of an order from Charles Hellis to Arthur Howell and co. January 20, 1938 for 20 BLE and 20 BLNE 12 gauge guns to be serial numbered BLE 4230-4249 and BLNE 4262 -4281.
Arthur Howell's shop on Weaman street was damaged severely during the blitz. He continued to work in the shop during the war and his daughter told me that she remembered that when the bombing was really bad that Arthur could not get home at night and he would sleep under his work bench at 28 Weaman street hoping not to be a victim.
Arthur Howell was just one of the number of Birmingham gunmakers that built thousands guns for the trade and only a few with his name on the action and barrels. His action filing of his guns is well known as to the standing breech and very precisely executed and Red Oak and others can spot a Arthur Howell filed action from across the room. Unlike most gunmakers of his time he was keen shooter and his daughter remembers him going to Scotland many times to shoot with his customers as well as Salmon fishing theere. She also discussed with me the trips she made with him to Europe to purchase gunstock wood and shotgun barrels in Belgium.