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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 23:27 GMT 00:27 UK
MBE woman kept station on track
Doreen Sweeney
Mrs Sweeney is due to retire in August
A platform assistant who has helped keep a train station on track by doing everything from cleaning to making the announcements has been made an MBE.

Doreen Sweeney, 59, was nominated by South Eastern trains after 19 years of service at Bexleyheath Station, in south-east London.

She finishes working in August and says the MBE is a great retirement gift.

Mrs Sweeney says she knew many of the commuters as children and has been a guest at several of their weddings.

Originally from Burnley, Mrs Sweeney took on her post at the 100-year-old station when she moved to the south.

I've even been blamed for some of their babies being born after a train got delayed and they've nipped back home for half an hour
Doreen Sweeney

"It's lovely for somebody like me who hasn't got a right good job to get this," she told BBC News.

There are a small number of staff at the station, which Mrs Sweeney describes as the heart of the community.

"I'll miss the passengers when I retire. I've known some of them from when they were young kids and I told them off for running around the station and now I go to their weddings," she said.

"I've even been blamed for some of their babies being born after a train got delayed and they've nipped back home for half an hour."

When she retires Mrs Sweeney plans to spend the first twelve months catching the 0930 from Bexleyheath into London and visiting as many churches and museums as she can.




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