Article by RP
Remembering a lost loved one is something that is important to all of us. Where our memories can be linked to something that our family member or friend enjoyed, then that memory can be become very special.
At the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, we understand the importance of this, so we have established a Memorial Retreat on Platform 2 at Toddington where you can add the name of someone that was dear to you in a location where their memory will be in sight and sound of the trains they loved, be it the hiss and whistle of a steam locomotive or the two-tone horn and growl of a diesel engine.
Established in 2017 against the background of the Cotswold hills, the Retreat was dedicated by Canon Mead, a volunteer on the Railway and made possible by generous sponsorship from the Arden MG Club.
A beautiful memorial plaque to honour the life of a loved can be installed in the Memorial Retreat. These Plaques are available in lacquered polished brass with black lettering; dimensions - 5in x 2in with up to four lines of text; drilled and capped in each corner. The text can be just a name and relevant dates, or you can add a simple comment such as “who loved trains” or “a member and Volunteer”, the choice of how to remember your loved is yours, all we ask is a minimum donation of £100. The application for the Memorial Plaque can be found here.
You might also want to consider remembering our Railway in a will. If so, please go here.
The Memorial Retreat Dedication Ceremony
The dedication ceremony on 28 September was attended by an enthusiastic crowd of MG Club members and some of the GWR volunteers who had helped with the construction and decoration. Of course the Club members had arrived in their classic vehicles which made an impressive sight lined up together along the car park fence. Glyn Cornish, GWR Trust Chairman began the proceedings by introducing Canon John Mead, one of our Stationmasters. Canon Mead gave us some thoughtful words about memories – these being not just of a person's face but also recalling friendships and working together. He hoped that, as they visited the Retreat, people would be thankful for the comradeship of times past. Then Richard Workman, Chairman of the Heritage Run committee, expressed his pleasure at being able to support the Trust and unhooked the ceremonial 'ribbon' to declare the Retreat open.
After spending some time looking inside the Retreat and chatting, everyone returned to Platform 1 where Foremarke Hall was waiting. At 2.45 the whistle blew, and MG enthusiasts and GWR volunteers departed together for a return trip to Cheltenham Racecourse.