Vic Hall, 66, who has been helping passengers in Watford for more than 50 years, had a train named in his honour on his last day of work for London Northwestern Railway.
Having started work at Watford Junction on 4 August 1969 as a 16-year-old boy, Vic, who comes from Harrow, has worked at the station since the days of British Rail. He was on duty right through the dramatic remodelling of the station in the 1980s and has helped many VIPs through the station, with comic Norman Wisdom and Coronation Street actor William Roache among those to have visited.
On his last day at work (4 August 2019), Vic despatched his final train before receiving presents and best wishes for the future from London Northwestern Railway (LNR) colleagues. These included a signed ‘Watford Junction’ platform sign and a model of his favourite locomotive – a now-scrapped Class 50 named “Implacable”.
But most surprising was having a current London Northwestern Railway train – a Class 350 (350375) – renamed as “Vic Hall” at a special ceremony hosted by LNR managing director Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde.
Vic Hall said: “I was just so keen on trains I think I just turned up and they let me help. I was doing anything and everything, from cleaning the windows to looking after the platforms.
“Coming to work has always been a pleasure for me because I love the trains. I have been fortunate to work with a fantastic set of colleagues over the years and I will certainly be back regularly to visit.”
At the renaming ceremony, LNR managing director Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde said: “To have worked on the railway for 50 years is a remarkable achievement but to have worked in the same location for that long is incredibly special.
“Vic is a much-loved feature of life at Watford Junction, who is respected by his customers and colleagues alike. He will be sorely missed but we wish him a very long and happy retirement.”
A bachelor, Vic says he is looking forward to spending his retirement globetrotting to travel on trains in different countries – with Germany his next stop.
He said: “It is what I love to do most of all. I have given all my working life to the railway so I don’t see why I would stop in retirement.”