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Cookham commuters wave off departing station master

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

Commuters from across the Cookhams have said their thanks yous and goodbyes to a long-serving station master.

Barry Haines, 71, of Pinkneys Green in Maidenhead, chose to retire last month after nearly 19 years working at Cookham Station in Lower Road.

Though hoping to continue for longer, he was told the ticket office was due to close for refurbishments for a long period of time and on Wednesday, June 14, he decided to call time on his career.

“It wasn’t planned at all,” Barry said.

“I am 71 but I probably would have carried on until I was 80.”

Though there were some parts to the job he isn’t sad to leave behind, such as his early starts or shovelling snow off the platform in winter, Barry said he will miss the customers he served tickets to.

They will clearly miss him, too, and villagers are due to throw him a leaving do at the Cookham Dean Cricket Club ground in Whyteladyes Lane this evening (Wednesday).

“The people at Cookham are such fantastic people. Absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“I have got nothing but praise for them. I never would have expected what they are doing on Wednesday.

“You get to know them as well, obviously. You have a bit of banter.”

His typical day would involve him getting up at 5.30am, opening up the station at about 6.40am and would close up at 11.30am.

For some customers, he would be able to remember which ticket they would want in the morning.

Barry began work at the station after leaving his previous job, as an insurance agent for Pearl Insurance.

Though he has 'not really got used' to retirement, the huge fan of Blackpool FC, who lives with his wife, Christine, 71, a retired school welfare officer, is looking forward to enjoying train travels and attending more football games.

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