Virgin Trains has paid tribute to Jake, their trainspotting dog with the unveiling of a commissioned portrait and a new dog watering bowl at Stafford station.
Over nine years, Jake had been a regular sight at Stafford train station and had become part of the Virgin Trains family; joining the station staff and delighting customers to welcome trains into the platform with lots of lively wags and barks.
Such was his popularity, Jake helped launch the company’s new uniform in 2017. The envy of his canine friends, he was the proud owner of a bespoke dog-friendly uniform, carrying it off in in a way only Jake could.
His untimely loss last year came as a shock to everyone.
“Jake was always guaranteed to put a smile on your face,” explained Fiona Main, Team Leader for Virgin Trains at Stafford. “We wanted to do something to honour his memory and were gobsmacked when one of our design team in London, in their own time, presented us with the portrait.”
“It’s going to be pride of place in the ticket office and will ensure he’s always in our thoughts.”
The dog watering bowl, which can be found in the main concourse, and a handy stop for those travelling with their canine companions, has the simplest of messages.
“Paws for a Refresh. In loving memory of Jake, our trainspotting dog. He loved this station, and we loved him.”
Owner Neil McNamara, who was presented with a copy of the portrait, was overwhelmed by the gesture. “Jake always had a love and fascination for Virgin’s trains! His daily trip to the station was a real highlight for him. I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me and the family.”