‘To say I’m upset is an understatement’ - Former police officer misses Queen’s funeral as train is stopped

Barry Boffy MBE was due to join the 2,000 people invited to Westminster Abbey

A man from Bristol invited to the Queen’s funeral said he missed the service after his train to London was stopped on its way to the capital this morning (September 19).

Former British Transport Police (BTP) officer Barry Boffy MBE was among those to be caught up when the line between Paddington and Reading was blocked due to damaged overhead electric wires.

Mr Boffy was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours this year - and was one of nearly 200 people on the list to be invited to the service at Westminister Abbey, having received a call from the Cabinet Office last week.

However, the day started to go wrong when his train stopped at Langley near Slough. He then tried to make his own way and was offered a lift - but on reaching London he was told to turn back around by Met police officers who said he wouldn’t make it due to traffic and road closures.

Barry Boffy MBE missed the service due to a train cancellation

He went home to watch the funeral.

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He told the BBC: “Events conspired against me and I wasn’t able to make it in time.

“We had pulled into Langley, and they [train operators] opened the doors and basically said ‘make your own way’.

“It was about an hour away by car and thankfully the kindness of strangers recognised I needed to get into London as soon as possible and offered me a lift with them.

“But with all the traffic and road closures, by the time I got pretty close to where I needed to be, Met Police told me there is no point you’re not going to make it in time.

“Ultimately there isn’t anything I can do about it, to change the circumstances, it is still a huge honour and privilege, just to have been invited, so I will treasure that, the memory of the opportunity to have been there.”

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Barry Boffy, former BTP Head of Inclusion and Diversity, was awarded an MBE for services to diversity and inclusion in policing.

He was recognised for his outstanding commitment and actions in improving policing legitimacy, as well as striving for better representation and understanding of employees from diverse backgrounds and varied communities within the force.