"In the summer of 2002, I faced the fact that after working for forty years since leaving school, I would be signing on the dole for the first time. A couple of days after returning from holidays, I went to the steelworks, A.S.W. to convince myself it was closed. After working there as a railway shunter, then a train driver for nearly thirty three years and missing only one day in the first thirty one - Where did it get me? A small payout and no pension.
I visited job employment services and the unemployment office, and on both occasions I was in a daze at what they were saying. I am still on the lookout for a job that will suit me.
It took me until Christmas to get over the shock, but since then I have started to enjoy myself a lot more. My two dogs keep me out and about. My main hobby is local history and every week I attend a history society meeting, which I could not have done if I was still working shifts.
Over the years I have transformed my garden from a forest into a vegetable patch. Due to working extra shifts, I was unable to keep it tidy. A friend of mine then turned it into a patio garden.
The thing I miss most is my annual holidays abroad, after seeing over thirty different countries with so many memories.
After what happened in 2002, my main worry about looking for a job is self-confidence."