A STREET cleaner who has been keeping Clayton-le-Moors spick and span for two decades has been invited to Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s garden party.
Paddy McLaughlin, of Cumberland Avenue, Clayton, will be among community heroes to share tea, sandwiches and cake in the company of Her Majesty at her annual party in July.
It will be a richly deserved recognition for popular Paddy, who works full-time five days a week whatever the weather, and regards his job as "therapy".
His efforts have already been marked with a service award from local councillors, while last year he was commended for his honesty after finding £1,500 on the street and handing it back to the owners of the Rumbletums sandwich shop in Whalley Road.
After we contacted him about the honour, Paddy said that he is waiting for the formal invitation to arrive in the post but he had been tipped off that his name was on the list of guests.
Paddy, 65, should have no problem finding the Palace as he used to spend much of his time driving through London in a former job as a wagon driver.
He said: "I’ve driven past it hundreds of times but I never dreamed I’d get to go inside. I’m flying, buzzing. When I found out I thought somebody was taking the mickey."
Paddy, who was an admirer of the late Princesses Diana and Margaret, will be accompanied to the Palace by his wife, with their train fare met by the Queen.
He added: "I’m taking my wife Barbara Jean with me. She’s really looking forward to ordering a hat for the day."