Dr. Margaret McCollum spends a lot of time at the Embankment Tube Station in London. She doesn’t wait for any train in particular. She just sits on the station’s bench every day, seemingly watching the trains come and go.
But in reality she’s there for a very particular reason, and if you’ve ever visited the London Underground, you’re probably familiar with the reason why.The Underground’s warning announcement “mind the gap,” is very special to Dr. McCollum. This is her last connection with her late husband, Oswald Laurence, the voice behind one particular version of the recording.
Laurence, who was a theater actor, recorded the famous phrase for the Northern Line in the 1950s. McCollum met Laurence in 1992 while he was working on a tour with a cruise company in Morocco. The couple later married and resided in north London until he died in 2007.
After that, McCollum made it a daily habit of going to the station every day to hear his voice. That is, until one day when she heard a devastating change. The announcement was made by a computerized voice from the station’s updated equipment, leaving McCollum heartbroken.
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When the widow called Embankment Station to inquire about returning his voice to the announcements, the staff informed her they could not get his voice on the new digital system. But then something amazing happened.
After hearing her touching story, Transport for London made a beautiful gift for her — a CD with every announcement her husband had recorded for the station. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)
McCollum was over the moon, but the next time she went to the station, it got even better. Laurence’s announcement was back because sometimes people are good and caring.
So, wherever your true love takes you and when things get rough, never forget to mind the gap.
Some things never die.
Like love. Here’s a video about this touching story: