Mind the Gap
by Olivia Wycech
What happens when a loved one's voice is gone for good?
For more than 40 years, Oswald Laurence's voice could be heard by tens of thousands of commuters across London's Tube daily. In a gentlemanly tone, what the message said was simple—mind the gap, please. To one woman, the voice meant a lot more, and her heart broke when it was phased out after being played for decades.
Margaret McCollum is Laurence's widow, and after her husband passed away in 2007, the one place she could go and still hear her beloved's voice was Embankment station on London's Northern Line. There, she would sit on the platform bench and listen to him say, "Mind the gap!" over and over. Hearing his voice allowed her to find comfort in his absence and remain close to him even though he was gone forever. A few months ago, though, a digitized voice replaced the reassuring message from her late husband. McCollum was devastated and felt the only gap that needed minding now was the one in her life. She wrote letters to Transport for London, pleading with them to reinstate the iconic message.
Her story eventually touched the heart of one kind soul at Transport for London. Soon, she not only received a recording of her husband's voice on a CD, but her husband's recorded warning was reinstated. The computerized voice was ditched, and Laurence's voice could once again be heard at Embankment station, with plans to expand the use of his voice even further. McCollum is delighted that she can now continue to ride the train while being reminded of the love of her life. These small acts of kindness remind us that there are people out there who care.
玛格莉特‧麦克科仑是罗伦斯的遗孀，在她的丈夫于 2007 年逝世之后，她唯一能够听见自己爱人声音的地方便是伦敦北线的堤岸车站。在那儿，她会坐在月台的长椅上反覆地聆听他说：『请小心月台间隙』。听着他的声音能让她在失去他的日子里内心得到慰藉，且即使他永远离开了，她仍然能与他紧紧相依。然而，几个月前，数位声音取代了她已故丈夫那安抚人心的留言。麦克科仑心痛至极，她觉得如今唯一需要留意的是在她人生中的空隙。她写信给伦敦运输局，恳求他们恢复播放那则具代表性的留言。