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Retired Michael tidies up Newmarket Station

Michael Baldwin (6500098)
Michael Baldwin (6500098)

A retired taxi driver has ‘adopted’ Newmarket Station, which he visits up to three or four times a day to ensure it is clean and tidy and everything is in good working order.

Michael Baldwin, 68, was described as an ‘unsung hero’ by train operator Greater Anglia, which has given him a special award.

His work has also been recognised by Newmarket Racecourses, which gave him a luxury trip on a special train.

Michael said he was pleased his voluntary work had been recognised by the company.

“It started about 15 years ago when I went up to London on the train or took passengers to the station in my taxi.

“There would be broken glass and litter everywhere so I would collect it up in the back of my car and chuck it on the bonfire at the July Racecourse.”

Gradually, Michael began to visit the station more regularly until by the time he retired three years ago he was cleaning up two or three times a day during the summer and more frequently on racedays.

“I also report any faults, particularly with the ticket machines,” said Michael. “They put in these all-dancing all-singing machines but they often don’t work, especially for pre-bought tickets, so I report that back to the company.”

“I try to go when no-one is about so I can give it a good clean. At one time there was graffiti and some vandalism but since I have made sure it is clean and tidy all the time, there is very little. If it’s kept in good condition, the majority of people use the bins.

“Also there’s now CCTV and lights on 24 hours a day which deters the vandals.”