Skip to main content

Standalone QTT

Christopher Purser

Ambassador at Thirsk

Christopher Purser

"The feedback indicates that we are really doing something that’s valued by the public"

When Christopher Purser first got involved as a Grand Central ambassador it took a while to get things going. “For two months there weren’t any trains because of track work,” he laughs, but he likens being an ambassador to working as a firefighter: “There are long periods of boredom interspersed with short interludes of panic.”

Christopher, a former TV broadcaster, has been a volunteer since the scheme started in 2017 and says he was absolutely delighted to be on board. “It’s great fun being an ambassador,” he says, “I love the contact with the people and the feedback indicates that we are really doing something that’s valued by the public.”

The ambassadors at Thirsk station make a difference in ways “too numerous to mention,” says Christopher, “we have people who turn up with tickets they can’t open on their phone, we had a chap on the northbound platform who thought he’d lost his phone at Northallerton station. I rang the ambassadors there and asked them to have a look for it. He went back, got the phone and resumed his journey.” It’s these little things, along with assisting the passengers on and off the train, he says, “that ensure the trains run smoothly and on time”.

Above all, says Christopher, the ambassador scheme is beneficial for the towns and cities it serves. “I used to drive the community bus here and I’m on the board of our community-run Ritz cinema, as well as being involved in lots of less formal schemes. Things like this make a real difference and are good for community relations.”