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Hearing the Voice of Her Departed Husband

For over half a century, the voice of Oswald Laurence was heard on the Underground Transit System in London. He made a simple but needed public safety announcement, warning passengers to "Mind the gap."

When Oswald passed away in 2007, his widow Margret felt heartbroken and alone. She missed Oswald's love and zest for life. To ease her pain, Margret would visit the Embankment Station, sit on the platform, and listen to her beloved husband's voice saying, “Mind the gap.” Then, one day in September 2012, she sat down, and his voice was gone.

In modernizing their systems, the London Underground officials had replaced Oswald's voice with an electronic recording. Margret was distressed by the change and requested a copy of Oswald's recording, so she could listen to it at home.

When the London Underground staff learned of Margret's story, they were moved by an extraordinary act of compassion and kindness. The staff got past all the red tape, searched through the archives until they found Oswald’s recording, and then had it digitized. It was also decided to continue with Oswald’s recording at the stop nearest to Margret's home. Today, if you find yourself at the Embankment Station on the Northern Line of the London Underground, you will still hear the 1950 recording of Oswald Laurence's voice.

Has that message saved lives? Who knows? But has that message touched at least one life? Absolutely. In fact, that’s why it’s still there. One act of kindness can change a life!

You can watch the short video and hear Oswald’s voice here.


Dan Lewis, “The Best Story You’ll Hear About Someone’s Morning Commute,” NowIKnow.com (6-7-21)

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