‘It’s in my blood’ - Train driver to retire after 44 years on the railways
PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:34 12 January 2020
Nicholas Mattin always wanted to be a train driver and follow in his father’s, his grandfather’s and his great-grandfather’s footsteps before him.
He achieved his ambition in 1982 but now after 44 years on Norfolk's railways the 61-year-old is about to drive his last train.
Mr Mattin, from Thorpe End, was 16 when he left Sprowston High School to become a messenger boy at Norwich Station.
He said: "It's in my blood. I always wanted to work on the railways.
"After about six months [of being a messenger boy] I became a box boy, recording the trains coming in and out of Norwich in a big book."
After a brief period as a guard, a job as a driver's assistant came up, an opportunity Mr Mattin jumped at.
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He said: "I always wanted to be a driver like my father and his father and I just went for it... there were a lot of father and sons working [at the station] when I started - my Dad was quite proud at that point.
"Everybody got on with everybody on the railways, it was a friendly station and there was always someone to help you out."
By the early 1980s, Mr Mattin was picking up occasional shifts as a train driver, in 1984 he became a fully fledged driver and transferred to Ipswich for three years before returning to Norwich where he stayed.
Looking forward to his retirement, Mr Mattin said he wouldn't miss the early starts or late shift finishes but would miss the work itself.
He said he had seen a lot of changes over the years, from the electrification of the railways to more women working on the trains and even the smell of the station.
He said: "Years ago you could smell the diesel in the air and you knew you were at the station and that's changed - I miss that.
"When I first started there were no women but now there are women guards and drivers, that's equality for you, they can do the job just as well as I can. In the old days it was a man's world."
Mr Mattin will retire on January 16.
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