A grandmother was given a special farewell at Stevenage station as she retired following a railway career spanning nearly 30 years.
There was cake, balloons and banners at Stevenage station on Monday (8 July) as colleagues gathered to say goodbye to Susan Shickle, who they fondly call “the mum of Great Northern”. Susan spent more than 20 years working on the railway between King’s Cross and Hitchin. She was a safety rep for Great Northern stations and a valued member in the RMT union. More recently Susan had settled at Stevenage as an Area Supervisor.
Stevenage Station Manager Marc Edwards said: "Susan had a big presence within the station team and will be greatly missed. She was a huge source of support for staff and they would regularly come to her for help and advice."
But Susan won't be missed for long, as she has promised to return to the station and look after the platform flower boxes that she helped plant. She said: “I've really made some fantastic friends and have enjoyed my job as a station supervisor. I am really going to miss all the people on the railway, but I intend to come back regularly to look after the new planters and to keep them watered.”
Susan, who lives in Stevenage, said she was looking forward to her retirement and spending more time with her grandchildren, as well as travelling.
Reflecting on her career, she said: "I originally started with the railway in 1983 as a station catering manager with British Rail. I left in 1989 as my husband was working on the Channel Tunnel and we had to move to Folkestone. I returned in 1997 and have worked at Stevenage ever since. I've seen many changes and the station is much busier than it was when I started, but the people - both staff and customers - are just as lovely as they have always been."
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria