People all across the country will be finding new ways to celebrate Mother’s Day this year but for mother and daughter trainee train drivers, Cynthia and Vicki McCarry from Gillingham, it will just be another day on the network.
Cynthia, 60, and daughter Vicki, 30, are both currently training to be drivers, working and learning alongside one another at Gillingham station. It’s the first time in Southeastern’s history that a mother and daughter have trained as train drivers at the same time.
Cynthia has looked after passengers for Southeastern since 2003, holding a variety of roles from platform staff, to ticket office, to training, before becoming an On Board Train Manager. This is the role that made Cynthia want to be a train driver and led her to starting her training in August 2020.
Following in her mum’s footsteps, Vicki began her training in September 2020, having been part of the Southeastern team since 2012 working as a Passenger Host and On Board Manager.
Cynthia said: “I’m really enjoying training to be a driver and to do it alongside Vicki makes it even more special. I’m immensely proud of her and humbled to see her following in my footsteps to take on a lifelong career in rail. We’re a very close knit family with my other daughter’s husband also working for Southeastern at Ebbsfleet and Stratford, so doing this training together just gives us more to talk about around the dinner table!”
Vicki said: “As a new Mum, I’m proof that anyone can apply to be a train driver, no matter their family commitments or background. The flexible shift work means my Mum and I can share childcare responsibilities, all while working hard at our training. We are able to arrange it so we can work opposite shifts and there is always someone there for the family, so it’s worked out perfectly!”
Like many families, Cynthia and Vicki won’t be able to spend Mother’s Day together, but they are planning a big barbeque in a few months for the whole family when restrictions are lifted to celebrate all the missed milestones.