On track for a fantastic surprise

Mick and Eunice Mercer (second and third from left) with family and Virgin Trains staff
Mick and Eunice Mercer (second and third from left) with family and Virgin Trains staff

RAILWAY staff helped to spring a surprise party at Wigan North Western Station for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Mick and Eunice Mercer, from Skelmersdale, were travelling to Birmingham to celebrate the milestone event.

Their daughter Philippa had ambushed them with a First Class ticket last weekend but wanted to make their journey more memorable, so approached Virgin Trains for help.

Michelle Ragozzino, Virgin Trains Station Manager at Wigan, said: “At Virgin Trains we love making our customers’ experience that little more special, so the team at Wigan couldn’t wait to get on-board and create a surprise for Mick and Eunice. We had great fun organising everything and enjoyed giving them a memorable send-off.”

Philippa’s younger brother, Mark, dropped his parents off at the station, while the rest of the family made sure they could not be seen.

The station team took Mick, 71, and 73-year-old Eunice to the waiting room, where Philippa and her family surprised them with gifts and champagne.

The Virgin Trains team at Wigan decorated the waiting room on platform four, played some music and presented the couple with a bottle of bubbly and a card before waving them off. The on-board team also decorated the train with banners and balloons and ensured the couple had extra special treatment on their journey to Birmingham, including a bottle of Prosecco.

Philippa said: “Our mum and dad have done such a lot for us over the years, so we wanted to do something special for them to show our thanks. They’re big softies and were moved to tears as it was such a surprise for them - it was fantastic, as they had no idea what we had planned.”

Mick and Eunice said: “We couldn’t believe the surprise that was waiting for us at Wigan – it was brilliant and completely unexpected! Our family and Virgin Trains have helped to make our 50th anniversary even more special.”

The couple met when they were children, as Mike’s aunt lived on the same street as Eunice’s parents in Liverpool.

They played together as children and met up again in their 20s. The Virgin team welcomed Mick and Eunice back with a cake three days later.