Hastings council employee drove passengers home from Tunbridge Wells after rail death
A Hastings Borough Council employee drove passengers home from Tunbridge Wells after they were left stranded following a death on the tracks.
A man was pronounced dead on Saturday night (September 15) shortly after he was hit by a train at Warrior Square.
Trains were delayed and cancelled for the remainder of the day as emergency services shut the line to carry out investigations.
Valerie Broughton, who had been in London to see the King and I, was travelling back home to Hastings on the 7.15pm train from Charing Cross with a friend when their train was stopped at Tunbridge Wells.
More than an hour from home, the 58-year-old was getting anxious to get back to her disabled husband when Kevin Boorman, the council’s marketing and major projects manager, offered her a lift home.
She said: “I suffer from a few health problems, walk with a cane and need to take medication so I explained to staff at the station that I needed to get a taxi home.
“In fairness to them, they booked one but said it would take about 45 minutes to an hour for one to arrive.
“During which time, a woman (Mr Boorman’s wife) came on to the platform to ask if anyone needed a lift back to Hastings.”
Mr Boorman, who had been collecting his wife and 15-year-old son after they got stuck on their way back from Southampton, also gave Valerie’s friend and an elderly gentleman a lift back to the town.
It was around 9pm when his wife called to say they were stuck at Tunbridge Wells and were awaiting a bus to bring them back to Hastings.
He said: “I knew from experience – I was the station manager at Tunbridge Wells over 30 years ago – that it could take some considerable time to organise an emergency bus service on a Saturday night, so I said I’d drive to Tunbridge Wells to collect them.
“The buses still hadn’t arrived when I got there, so I brought them home.
“I had space in my car for other passengers, and so brought back three who were also returning to Hastings. I didn’t want to leave them at Hastings station very late at night, so just took them to their various homes – it was no big deal, and I’m sure others would have done the same.”
Valerie said she was extremely grateful for his kindness.
She added: “While we were talking in the car, Kevin gave his name and said he worked for the council.
“I was thanking him so much for giving me a lift. He wouldn’t even take a penny off us.
“He went above and beyond after a day at work and ahead of another day at work.
“The journey home took about an hour and I got home at 11.15pm. I was really grateful.”