St Mary Cray train dispatcher celebrates 81st birthday

PUBLISHED: 11:41 22 December 2015 | UPDATED: 14:09 22 December 2015

Bob Neill MP, Joe Foster and David Statham managing director at Southeastern

Bob Neill MP, Joe Foster and David Statham managing director at Southeastern

Copyright: Simon Kelsey@PraxisDesign. All rights reserved.

Joe Foster has worked on the rail for more than 30 years

A great-grandfather who still works full time at a busy train station will celebrate his 81st birthday this month, and has been dubbed “an inspiration to us all”.

Joe Foster has worked for Southeastern rail for more than 30 years, and will turn 81 on December 29.

But ahead of the busy Christmas schedule, Mr Foster was treated to a surprise while on his break, when Southeastern managing director David Statham and Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst held a celebration.

The great grandfather has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

First starting as an on-board train conductor at east Croydon in 1984, Mr Foster has reportedly never taken a day off sick, and consistently passes his medical test each year.

One of Mr Foster’s secrets to health is taking two garlic cloves, two teaspoons of olive oil and cod liver oil tablets every day.

The 80-year-old still cycles to work each day and claims exercise and a strict diet have kept him fit.

Working as a train dispatcher, Mr Foster can be seen walking the platforms of St Mary Cray station.

The St Mary Cray resident expressed his reluctance to retire, saying he has no plans to hang up his hi-vis jacket just yet.

Mr Foster said: “It was such a nice surprise. I have worked her for more than 30 years and I never want to give up. After I blew out the candles everyone told me to make a wish. I just wished to stay fit and keep doing my job.”

Mr Statham said: “He’s certainly no average Joe, after more than 30 years in the job he’s still going strong.

“Bob and I wanted to be here to celebrate his 81st birthday and thank him for everything he does.

“He is a credit and an inspiration to us all.”

Bob Neill said: “I’m wishing Joe a happy 81st birthday on behalf of my constituents who’ve come to know him over the years. He simply loves helping people and that makes him a real role model.”

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