Norwich station manager Alan Boagey departs the ‘railway family’ after 40 years service
- Credit: Archant
From cleaner to station manager, a Sutton man, who started his career on the railways 40 years ago, looks back on his journey to the top as he bids farewell and retires.
Alan Boagey, 57, began working as a cleaner at Norwich station aged 18 on April 24, 1977 after being laid off from seasonal work painting boats in Potter Heigham in east Norfolk.
He had struggled to find permanent work, after moving from Maidenhead in Berkshire with his parents a few months before.
Mr Boagey said: 'I took the advice of a gentleman in the village who worked for British rail, and said there were vacancies for the old Red Star in Norwich.
'It turned out there weren't any positions available, but they had cleaning jobs.
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'So I went to Grosvenor House and had an interview, and the rest is history.'
From that moment on, Mr Boagey was on track for great things on the railways.
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After working as a cleaner for a short period of time, he then became a freight guard for a few years, followed by a conductor on the main line at Norwich station.
Then it was all steam ahead to the top, when he was asked to apply for Ipswich Station supervisor in 1993.
After six years in Suffolk he returned to Norwich as an area manager in 1999 where he looked after Yarmouth, Norwich, Lowestoft, Thetford, Ely, Bury St Edmunds and March.
This was followed by another eight years in Ipswich, with his final stop as station manager in Norwich where he has worked for the past five years.
His colourful career has been filled with memorable moments, but the best bit is getting to help people from all walks of life.
Mr Boagey added: 'I had the head of the RNLI association have a heart attack at the front of station and I did CPR and mouth-to-mouth, but sadly when the ambulance got there he passed away. I have a lovely letter saying thanks, and that I did everything I could have done.
'In other cases where people lost passports I managed to find it for them so they could continue their journey to their flights.
'It's those sort of little things that make a difference.'
In celebration of his 40 years of service, a board with pictures and messages was placed at the centre of the concourse on Friday, and the screens displayed a message saying 'happy retirement Mr Boagey from everyone at Norwich station! We will miss you!'
But the Boagey legacy hasn't disappeared from Norwich station just yet, as his sons Ryan and James currently work as a station supervisor and ticket officer supervisor, respectively.
'The experience of the railways is like a family. You're very close and you support everyone.
'It's giving me the opportunity to achieve everything in my life I want to achieve and more,' Mr Boagey continued.
His plans for retirement include decorating the bathroom and a trip to Australia next year.