Thameslink’s oldest employee has been presented with a second lifetime achievement award with his latest honour being presented by ’80s music mogul Pete Waterman.

Passengers and colleagues voted in huge numbers for Elstree & Borehamwood’s 82-year-old station assistant Siggy Cragwell in the annual Heart Of Gold Awards.

He received his accolade from Mr Waterman, the president of the Railway Benefit Fund, at an event at the station on Thursday (January 20).

Flanked by the town mayor, residents, colleagues and other well-wishers, Mr Waterman said he was bowled over by Mr Cragwell's 60 years of service to the railway.

He said: "Siggy is an inspiration to us all. Everyone here at the Railway Benefit Fund is so impressed by his amazing dedication. He is a truly deserving winner of our Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award and it has been an honour to meet him."

Borehamwood Times: Pete Waterman and Siggy CragwellPete Waterman and Siggy Cragwell

Mr Cragwell has worked on the railway since the day after he landed in England from Barbados as part of the Windrush generation.

He still gets up at 4am to do the 6-11am shift before spending the rest of the day in the gym or practicing Tai Chi to keep him fit for cricket.

After beginning as a cleaner at London Marylebone station, went on to stoke steam engines and supervise the workers who shunted the trains around the yard. He was then promoted to supervisor at Cricklewood Yard where he also shunted trains himself.

He was at Bedford when he was poached to be a stores manager at Luton before being promoted to a platform supervisor at St Albans in 1990, before arriving in Elstree & Borehamwood in 2002, where he has become a familiar and friendly face to thousands of commuters.

Borehamwood Times: Siggy Cragwell at Elstree & Borehamwood station Siggy Cragwell at Elstree & Borehamwood station

Lisa Minot, who helped spur the Borehamwood community to vote for Mr Cragwell with a call-out on Facebook, was invited to the event on Thursday.

She said: "It had that response because everyone knows Siggy. 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."

Jenny Saunders, customer services director at Thameslink described Mr Cragwell as "inspirational" and say the railway company is "honoured" to have him, while Elstree & Borehamwood town mayor Cllr Farida Turner said Mr Cragwell is a "true gentleman".

Borehamwood Times: Thameslink's Jenny Saunders with Siggy Cragwell and Pete WatermanThameslink's Jenny Saunders with Siggy Cragwell and Pete Waterman

This is Mr Cragwell's second lifetime award after being honoured in the National Rail Awards in 2020.