Michael Derwent Stynes, simply ‘Mike’ to all at Cockington Green Gardens, was more than just a train driver and gardener/handyman, he was a gentleman, a valued friend, trusted work colleague and a thoroughly decent person.
Mike’s sudden passing at the young age of 60 has left us empty and sad. We have lost more than a work colleague – Mike was like family. For more than 20 years he had been part of the Cockington Green Gardens family. Mike was one of those people you always felt you had known forever, and he had experienced and done so much in his life.
As our most experienced train driver, we relied so much on Mike to fill the gaps when nobody else could help. He was always obliging despite the fact that he had so many other interests and responsibilities away from Cockington Green Gardens. The final few years of Mike’s engagement was only for a couple of days a week, but it was always comforting to know he was around.
Mike always built a great rapport with visitors and had done so especially with many of our passholders who would make regular visits to the miniature steam-train either with their young children or grandchildren. He had an infectious laugh and was able to relate to people of all ages. His wonderful laughter will forever be ringing in our ears.
We are already missing Mike and will miss Mike so much in the years ahead. The family and staff at Cockington Green Gardens will spend considerable time coming to grips with Mike’s sudden loss and just want to simply say – “Thanks, Mike. We will never forget you.”