Woman Visits Subway Station Everyday for Years – Just to Hear Three Words From Her Love
True love lives on.
Losing someone we love is the most unbearable grief. It is, as they say, the price we pay for love. There is little we wouldn’t do for the chance to have just one more day with them or to hear their voice just one more time.
For Dr. Margaret McCollum, it is this wish that kept bringing her back to a subway station in London. Every. Single. Day. For almost two decades.
What makes this daily pilgrimage extraordinary is the simple yet profound reason behind it – the desire to hear her deceased husband’s voice.
A Voice Lives On
Margaret met Oswald Laurence while on tour in Morocco in 1992. He was working for the tourism company as a tour guide. It was the sound of his “most gorgeous voice” that first attracted him to her.
It was a voice she would quickly grow to love. They stayed together until his death in 2007 at the age of 78.
Back in the late 1960s, Oswald, an actor and voice artist, was hired to record the iconic “Mind the Gap” announcement for the London Underground’s Northern line. The recording warns travelers to be careful of the gap between the train and the platform.
For years, his voice played over the intercom, until eventually it was phased out of all of the stations except one: the Embankment Station.
After Oswald’s death and desperately missing him, Margaret started going to the station daily. She would sit on a bench and wait for the announcement to air. Just for the chance to hear the sound of his voice once again, saying “Mind the gap.”
To everyone else, they were just three simple words. But for Margaret, they held a lifetime of love.
“Since he died I would sit and wait for the next train until I heard his voice,” she told the BBC. “Knowing that I could go and listen to his voice was simply wonderful. It was a great comfort.”
For five years, this became her routine. Until November 2012.
A Voice Is Silenced
In November 2012, Oswald’s voice was silenced in the name of progress; his recording replaced by a new digital system.
Margaret was devastated.
She contacted staff at the Embankment Station, hoping to get a copy of Oswald’s recording. The staff told her they’d see what they could do.
And because apparently true love ISN’T DEAD, staff at the station, at London Underground, and at the Transportation for London office, all rallied together in the name of love and loss. And together they made the impossible possible.
In an amazing display of humanity, archives were searched. Old tapes found and restored. A voice recording was digitized. An entire company-wide announcement system was altered.
Reams of customary bureaucratic red tape were cut and in the end, eternal love prevailed.
Margaret received a CD recording so that she could listen to Oswald in the comfort of her own home whenever she wanted. However, that wasn’t the end of the line.
At the time, London Underground director Nigel Holness, told the BBC, “We were very touched by her story, so staff tracked down the recording and not only were they able to get a copy of the announcement on CD for her to keep but are also working to restore the announcement at Embankment station.”
In March 2013, the restoration was complete.
And Margaret once again heard the voice of her beloved announcing, “Mind the gap,” over the loudspeaker of the Embankment Station.
To this day, according to the London Transport Museum, Oswald’s legacy lives on. The Northbound platform of the Embankment Station is the only platform along the Northern line that has a different, non-digital voice delivering the safety message — Oswald’s.
Three times for each and every train.
A Beautiful Testament to Love’s Power
For those among us who have lost a loved one, there is no greater wish than to be able to hold onto cherished memories. To have a piece of them live with us, long after they are gone.
Margaret’s enduring love for Oswald is inspiring.
But so are the collective efforts of those who joined her in preserving Oswald’s voice. A group of people who went so far out of their way to ensure that one person would still have a connection to the person she loved most.
Loss is universal but so is love. And it was because of love, for a husband and for a fellow human being, that one man’s voice lives on.
More from Goalcast:
- 78-Year-Old Doctor Proposes to High School Crush After 60 Years Apart in an Airport – Proving the Power of True Love
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