Britain’s longest-serving railway worker retires

Sixty-eight years after he started working at London Waterloo station, the man thought to be Britain’s longest-serving railway worker has retired.

Now aged 82, Don Buckley arrived at the station as a 14-year-old in 1953 and has worked there ever since. 

Leaving home in Ireland alone, he asked a taxi driver to take him to “the big station”. He was dropped off at Waterloo. Too young to get a job on the trains, he found work as a station message boy. 

During his career he saw the last steam train leave Waterloo in 1967 and the station cinema close in 1970. He watched train robber Buster Edwards setting up a flower stall at the entrance after the latter’s release from prison in 1975. 

More recently, Don has worked three shifts a week, helping visually impaired or reduced mobility people around the station, and sharing his unrivalled knowledge.

On his retirement, Don said: “I have loved working at Waterloo all these years. The station may have changed a lot since the 1950s, but it’s still such a special place and I feel so lucky to have had so many wonderful experiences working here. 

“The people are what make the station special, and I will miss my colleagues and customers immensely. Waterloo will always have a very special place in my heart.”

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