A MAN’S wedding anniversary celebrations have had to be cancelled as rail strikes hit home in the county.
All Pembrokeshire trains have been cancelled today, Tuesday, June 21, and will be affected Thursday, June 23, and Saturday, June 25, due to industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail.
Western Telegraph went down to Haverfordwest Train Station, which was like a ghost town with empty platforms and silent ticket offices.
There was one sole customer, waiting at the ticket office, looking to get a refund on a trip to Cardiff to celebrate his wedding anniversary.
Brian Dullaghan, 66, was heading to Cardiff on Friday with his wife to celebrate their 23rd anniversary.
Those plans have now been scuppered, with Mr Dullaghan cancelling two restaurant bookings and the hotel.
Despite the disappointment, he says he is not opposed to the strikes with Mr Dullaghan showing empathy for the people affected.
He’s now hoping to book a restaurant in Neyland over the weekend to celebrate him and his wife’s milestone.
“I got an email to say there may be disruption on Friday,” said Mr Dullaghan.
“Even if it is not a strike day there may still be disruption. I just do not want to take the risk, and we don’t want to travel down the M4 because the roads will be crazy.
“This is going to hurt everybody, but I know how these people (the strikers) feel because we had the same thing for the company I used to work for.”
Brian Dullaghan, (right) has had to cancel anniversary celebrations because of the strikes. Also pictured is Kay Davies and ticket officer Jim Mills who has sympathy for the strikers
Strikes have hit the county
Kay Davies opened up Cleddau Café at 6.30am this morning. She said the station café has had six customers so far.
Ms Davies described how business has been chalk and cheese, with last week manic and this week ‘dead quiet’.
Haverfordwest ticket office is the only ticket office open in the county today and, despite the strikes, it’s taken a healthy £700 in advanced ticket sales.
Haverfordwest train station, like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie
Ticket office clerk Jim Mills has been in the rail industry for 40 years.
Despite the ticket desk being as quiet as a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie, he said he understood why the strikes were taking place.
“I do not like striking but I do not think they have a choice,” said Mr Mills.
“I don’t worry so much about my future but I worry for the young people employed in ticket offices.”
Despite the strikes the ticket office made £700 in advanced ticket sales
TfW is advising that customers only make essential journeys by train on 20, 22, 24 and 26 June, and not to travel at all by train on strike days 21, 23 and 25 June.