A cricket-loving station assistant who has worked on the railways since coming to the UK in 1962 has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Siggy Cragwell, Thameslink's oldest employee at 84, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to the railway.

The Elstree & Borehamwood station assistant moved to the UK from Barbados as part of the Windrush generation in the 1960s and immediately started working on the railways - a career that has lasted for 62 years.

After trying retirement once, he returned to work four weeks later - and now has no plans to give up work.

His commitment sees him getting up at 4am for his 6am to 11am shift and turning to gym and Tai Chi sessions to keep himself fit for cricket.

The sportsman, who lives in Hampstead and also credits walks on Hampstead Heath for his fitness, is a member of Enfield-based Holtwhites-Trinibis CC and played at an international level for England over-70s.

A testimonial cricket match took place to recognise Siggy in 2019A testimonial cricket match took place to recognise Siggy in 2019

Despite already winning two lifetime achievement awards, one a popular vote from customers at Elstree & Borehamwood station, the news of his honour delighted Mr Cragwell.

He said: "I was shocked.

"I stopped and thought for a little bit, ‘Is that really for me?’ I thought, I can’t wait to tell my friends at the cricket club – they’ll go ballistic!"

Another Thameslink employee, station manager at Luton Airport Parkway and Harpenden Joe Healy, was also recognised in the King's Birthday Honours.

Jenny Saunder, customer services director at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "Siggy and Joe are simply amazing colleagues.

"The customer service they give our passengers is exemplary and they are role models for us all.

"They symbolise everything that is great about our railway family and this honour from the King is thoroughly well deserved.

"I’m thrilled for them both."

Siggy started as a cleaner at London Marylebone station, before going on to work with steam engines and supervise the moving of trains around the yard.

He was then promoted to supervisor roles at Cricklewood Yard, followed by St Albans.

Siggy Cragwell with Joe Healy, also awarded with a British Empire MedalSiggy Cragwell with Joe Healy, also awarded with a British Empire Medal (Image: Thameslink)

He also served as a stores manager at Luton before arriving in Elstree & Borehamwood in 2002, where he has become a friendly face for thousands of commuters.

Since then, Siggy has been presented with two lifetime achievement awards for his "outstanding" customer service: one in 2020 and a second in 2022.

After he was presented with his second lifetime achievement award, Lisa Minot, a resident who encouraged the Borehamwood community to vote for Siggy, said: "He's a local legend, always there, always with a smile on his face and happy to have a chat.

"He knows what trains are running.

"I feel everything's ok when he's there."

The 84-year-old was also invited as a VIP guest to the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument in July 2022, where he met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Mayor of London.

His talked to Prince William about his journey from Barbados to the UK, his work on the railways for six decades, and their shared love of cricket.