End of the line for Derek

DEREK Fisher started as a messenger boy back in 1953 and went on to become one of the longest serving train drivers with Anglia Railways.Now after a career spanning nearly 50 years he is retiring and finally bidding farewell to Anglia Railways and the trains he has come to know and love.

DEREK Fisher started as a messenger boy back in 1953 and went on to become one of the longest serving train drivers with Anglia Railways.

Now after a career spanning nearly 50 years he is retiring and finally bidding farewell to Anglia Railways and the trains he has come to know and love.

It was a very different world when 15-year-old Derek came to work on Anglia Railways, for a start there were still steam trains and the road to becoming a driver could take as long as 20 years.

"I started as a messenger boy on August 4 1953 and then in early 1954 I went on to become an inspector's boy.


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"Then in 1953 I got on the plates and it was a very different world to today. I used to clean the trains and it was all done by hand using paraffin to get a good gloss.

"I always wanted to be a driver and my dad had a word with one of his train driver friends and I got an interview.

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"When I started my training it was on steam trains, although I never actually got to drive one of them."

For years the 64-year-old has been making his journey to Felixstowe and while he said he will miss the people he works with he is looking forward to spending time with his family.

"It does feel very weird to be leaving and to know that I will probably never get on a train again. I will miss the people I work with but I have a big family and it will be good to spend more time with them.

"It took me 20 years to become a train driver and I have seen lots of changes, from steam to diesel and many others but I am looking forward to time at home," added Mr Fisher, of Blandford Road, Ipswich.

A spokeswoman from Anglia Railways said: "We would like the thank Derek for all his hard work and dedication during his years in the industry and we wish him well in the future."

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