Tributes have been paid following the death of a popular Fife rail worker who captured the hearts of hundreds of people during the pandemic.
Colin Reed, 62, was station master at Markinch, where he went out of his way to lift the spirits of travellers.
His wife, Effie, confirmed the news of his death on Monday, saying: “It is with great sadness, that I would like to let you know that my husband Colin Reed passed away suddenly at home.
“He was the best husband, dad, grandad and great grandad. We will miss him terribly.”
Mr Reed was known for his offers of help to passengers during the coronavirus pandemic as well as his daily messages placed at Markinch station.
His support extended to him giving his personal telephone number to anyone who needed assistance, as well as offering to call the elderly and people living in isolation for a friendly chat.
The former miner also provided toys and books for customers and families to use and was a prolific fundraiser, supporting a host of good causes locally and nationally.
His selfless actions even brought him national attention when ScotRail named him employee of the month in April 2020.
Head of customer operations Phil Campbell said the company was proud to have Mr Reed representing it.
Flags flew at half mast at Balbirnie House Hotel, just a short distance from Markinch station, as a mark of respect yesterday.
North Glenrothes, Leslie and Markinch councillor John Beare said Mr Reed would be “much missed”.
He said: “He always had a smile, a pleasant word and went above and beyond what was expected, which was recognised by ScotRail just last year.
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth said it was an “exceptional loss to the community”.
“Everyone in Markinch knows Colin. And because of that Markinch train station was like no other – he added friendliness, a joke here and there and things you wouldn’t necessarily expect at a train station,” she said.
“Colin will be sorely missed.”
Former Fife MSP and Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, herself a Markinch resident, said it was “very sad news”, adding: “Colin will be missed by all who used the station and wider afield too.”
Retired railway worker, and station regular, Bert Simpson, 81, said Mr Reed would go “out of his way” to help passengers.
“The public have lost a man who was dedicated to his profession,” he said.
Hundreds also took to social media to post their own tributes.
Martin Butler, wrote: “A fantastic public servant but so much more. Friendly, helpful, informative, welcoming, hardworking, caring are just a very few of the adjectives that could be used for him.”
Claire Jowitt, said: “a better man you couldn’t meet, so welcoming and really took pride in his station,” while Pauline Brook said Colin was “one of life’s true gentlemen.”
Mr Reed, described as a devoted family man and a lover of golf, is survived by wife Effie, five children, 18 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.