The woman comes every day without a miss to the Embankment station for two decades to hear her deceased husband's voice.
Love doesn't truly end, even if one of them leaves the world. It was proven by Dr. Margaret McCollum, who sits every day at the underground station to hear the voice of her dead husband, Oswald Laurence. Her husband, Laurence, recorded the message in 1950 and passed away in 2003. In order to feel his presence, McCollum began making rounds on the station every day to listen to him. Her world came crashing down when she was informed that her husband's message was replaced by an electronic voice. To somehow preserve this memory, she began reaching out to the authorities. Hearing her side of the story, the authorities took a heartwarming step, as reported by BBC.
Laurence, a RADA graduate and actor, was hired amongst many to record the message "Mind the gap" for subways. This message intends to inform travelers that they should always be aware of the space present between the trains and the docks. It could lead to dangerous consequences for travelers if they fall into the gap, therefore, this message is important. For many years, Laurence's voice playing in the subway was a fun thing to experience for the couple. However, after Laurence was taken away from McCollum, she used the voice as a means to hold him close to her.
McCollum, after Laurence's death, missed him dearly. She missed seeing him, hearing his voice and just being with him. This longing drew her to the underground station, where she would hear his voice. She began going every day so she could sit on the bench and listen to her beloved Laurence while waiting for the train. It continued for five years. However, to her shock, in 2007, Laurence was replaced by an electronic voice. It caused her to panic, as she had somehow devised a way to find something to hold on to her husband, and now it was gone. McCollum immediately contacted the London subway transport company, TfL Rail and told them the whole story. She requested a cassette tape, so she could hear her husband's voice in her home.
McCollum talked about how she felt at that moment, "Since he died, I would sit and wait for the next train until I heard his voice. On November 1, he wasn't there. I was just stunned when Laurence wasn't there anymore. I inquired and I was told there was a new digital system and they could not get his voice on it."
The subway company got to work and fortunately, found the recording in their archives. Seeing the love McCollum felt for Laurence, the company wanted to honor it. Therefore, they decided to pull back the electronic voice announcement at the Embankment stop of Northern Line and replace it again with Laurence's voice, as per the update provided by tellyspotting. They chose that particular stop as it was near McCollum's house and therefore, would be easier to access. They wanted McCollum not only to get the experience of hearing Laurence's voice again but also to have the chance to reminisce about the time they spent in the subway with each other.
In London, there's a woman who goes every day on the subway and sits on the dock just to listen to the announcement recorded by her husband in 1950.— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) September 16, 2023
Margaret McCollum after the death of her Oswald Laurence, sits on the bench waiting to hear this recording that became one of… pic.twitter.com/ZcU7Miwiqb
This heartwarming step touched McCollum and she continued her routine of coming every day to the station to hear Laurence. The announcement also serves as a reminder to all the passengers that 'eternal love' exists.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 22, 2023. It has since been updated.