Dr. Margaret McCollum, a general practitioner met the love of her life Oswald Lawrence on a tour to Morocco in 1992.
Sparks flew and both of them fell in love, got married and lived a happily married life in north London, until Oswald died in 2007. While speaking to BBC, Dr. Margaret McCollum said:
It was devastating to lose him. He had a great zest for life.
Margaret was trying to cope with her husband's loss and the one thing that kept her going was hearing her late husband's voice in the tube.
Went past embankment today on my way home and realised the voice is Oswald ☺️This story is 100% true! pic.twitter.com/trTaFsNOOP— Zelda's Lullaby🖤 (@NatChoTelly) December 13, 2019
She would travel in the tube just to hear her late husband's recording telling passengers to "mind the gap" but eventually it phased out until his voice was only used in the Embankment station.
After hearing Margaret's heart-touching story the authorities decided to give her a copy of the recording of his voice.
They also decided to restore her husband's voice-over warning to Embankment station. How sweet! This is what the metro officials had to say after hearing Margaret's love story:
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 just a couple of days, this soul-stirring love story reached millions of hearts through various social media platforms.
John Bull, a historian took to Twitter to narrate this story that perfectly captures the feelings of love and loss.
It is election season. The world is busy and rubbish.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
But it is also Christmas.
So take a breather and let me tell you a story about London, trains, love and loss, and how small acts of kindness matter.
I'm going to tell you about the voice at Embankment Tube station.
Just before Christmas 2012, staff at Embankment Tube station were approached by a woman who was very upset.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
She kept asking them where the voice had gone. They weren't sure what she meant.
The voice, she said. The man who says 'Mind the Gap'
Don't worry, the staff at Embankment said. The announcement still happens, but they've all been updated. New digital system. New voices. More variety.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
The staff asked her if she was okay.
"That voice," she explained, "was my husband."
The woman, a GP called Dr Margaret McCollum, explained that her husband was an actor called Oswald Laurence. Oswald had never become famous, but he HAD been the chap who had recorded all the Northern Line announcements back in the seventies.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
And Oswald had died in 2007.
Oswald's death had left a hole in Margaret's heart. But one thing had helped. Every day, on her way to work, she got to hear his voice.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
Sometimes, when it hurt too much, she explained, she'd just sit on the platform at Embankment and listen to the announcements for a bit longer.
For five years, this had become her routine. She knew he wasn't really there but his voice - the memory of him - was.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
To everyone else, it had just been another announcement. To HER it had been the ghost of the man she still loved.
And now even that had gone.
The staff at Embankment were apologetic, but the whole Underground had this new digital system, it just had to be done. They promised, though, that if the old recordings existed, they'd try and find a copy for her.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
Margaret knew this was unlikely, but thanked them anyway.
In the New Year, Margaret McCollum sat on Embankment Station, on her way to work.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
And over the speakers she heard a familiar voice. The voice of a man she had loved so much, and never thought she'd hear again.
"Mind the Gap" Said Oswald Laurence.
Because it turned out a LOT of people at Embankment, within London Underground, within @TfL and beyond had lost loved ones and wished they could hear them again.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
And they'd all realised that with luck, just this once, for one person, they might be able to make that happen.
Archives were searched, old tapes found and restored. More people had worked to digitize them. Others had waded through the code of the announcement system to alter it while still more had sorted out the paperwork and got exemptions.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
And together they made Oswald talk again.
And that is why today, even in 2019, if you go down to Embankment station in London, and sit on the northbound platform on Northern Line, you will here a COMPLETELY different voice say Mind the Gap to ANYWHERE else on the Underground.— John Bull (@garius) December 11, 2019
Merry Christmas everyone.
Wow! Netizens were also left teary-eyed after hearing this inspiring love story and they recalled their own experiences on how they coped up with the loss of their loved ones.
I’d love to hear my mum’s voice again and would especially love to hear her laugh— Ms Counsel (@seeyouatthebar) December 11, 2019
My dad died when I was very young (54 years ago) but he worked as a BBC radio newsreader. In those days they didn’t keep recordings but the lovely people in the archive found me one small snippet and sent it to me. I can still listen today.— Stevi Page (@stevimp) December 12, 2019
That is just lovely. My mum has left my dad's greeting on our home answerphone and sometimes I ring when I know she won't be in, just to hear his voice again— Victoria Ratcliffe (@vratcliffe82) December 11, 2019
Isn't this an amazing love story? The things we do for love! *weeps*