Eddie Isaac, 75, has finally retired after a 53 year career on the railways. Edmund Isaac MBE, known as Eddie to friends and colleagues, was a popular figure on the platforms at Leicester station. Eddie, from Antigua in the West Indies, joined the railway in 1961 in London dealing with parcels and then transferred to London Road in Leicester shortly afterwards.
He dealt with the loading and sorting of parcels until the early 1980s. Promoted to Leading Railman he despatched trains and helped thousands of passengers young and old down the years with information and advice. During his time on the railway Mr Isaac received many awards and accolades and in 2004 was awarded an MBE for his service to the rail industry.
In 2008, he became famous around the city when he was photographed for the ‘One Leicester’ promotion with his photo appearing on posters dotted around the city. These carried his message: ‘One thing I love about Leicester is the people. I’ve been here for over 60 years and the only time I’ve ever left the city was to collect my MBE from the Queen.
‘I’m proud to say I’ve never missed a day’s service in the 45 years I’ve worked on the station. It’s my second home and my customers make me so happy. I’ve never had a bad day in Leicester, which is why I believe ‘happiness within’ is the secret to good health. Keep happy, keep smiling.’
Says David Horne, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, ‘Even at the tender age of 75, Eddie is famous for dashing up and down the platforms, calling out to passengers and blowing his whistle as loudly as he can. All the passengers and staff at Leicester have a great deal of respect for Eddie and he will be a big loss to the station.
‘We are hugely grateful for Eddie’s enthusiasm and his unswerving commitment to delivering the best possible service to our customers over many years at Leicester station. We wish Eddie all the very best for a long and happy retirement.’
A presentation was made to Eddie Isaacs MBE at Leicester station on Friday 10 January after he had dispatched his last train. Says Eddie, ‘For once, I am speechless. My plan is to have a little break now. I want to volunteer for a few days and pass on my knowledge of trains. I will be back – I will visit the station every day, this is my second home.’
The news was welcomed by local staff. Says travel advisor, Jenna Robinson, 32, who works with Mr Isaac, ‘He is the face of Leicester station and always will be. He is such a happy and great character – he will never be forgotten.’