Commuters gathered round to give a Greater Anglia member of staff a proper send off into retirement at an Essex railway station last week.
Pat Dixon, who worked in Hatfield Peverel station’s ticket office, sold her last ticket on Friday 29 March after 21 years on the railway.
And to celebrate the occasion, commuters came together in the morning rush hour to present a bouquet of colourful flowers, a signed card and £285 that was raised through a JustGiving page online.
Kevin Dale, who organised the ceremony, said: “She has got a heart of gold, she cares about her community. Everyone will miss her.
“There’s a great feeling of goodwill here and there has been a long tradition of community value, it’s a friendly community. She gives us good advice, she’s very caring for the families and people going up to London.”
Commuter Allison Hinckley said: “She is just really helpful, she goes the extra mile. She has a real passion for customer service and looking after people.
“She will be a real loss when she goes, it won’t be the same.”
Pat, who has had to retire due to poor health, said: “I’m just gobsmacked – I wasn’t expecting the presentation at all. I love flowers, it was a lovely surprise.”
“I’m gutted about leaving. It’s lovely here, the customers are amazing and friendly.
“Friday is a bad day to retire because there are no customers and it’s dead. I would have liked to see more.”
Simi Tinubu, Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, said: “Pat is a wonderful woman with a great sense of humour and a passion for Hatfield Peverel.
“She always goes above and beyond for her passengers and her love for the community is genuine. She is a very much-loved member of the Chelmsford team and will be greatly missed by us all. We all wish Pat a great retirement.”
Pat started her railway career dispatching trains at Chelmsford station before adding other stations to her role, serving at Witham and Marks Tey.
She then moved into the ticket office at Hatfield Peverel, where she has been working for the past 10 years.