Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

An Interesting Day At The Station.

Today, after many years coming, a new memorial stone was unveiled remembering railway men who worked at Manchester's London Road Station (now known as Piccadilly Station), and were either killed in action or died from wounds during the First World War.



There had been a bronze plaque built into the wall of the building until the 1960's when, after renovations it was lost. Due to the dedicated research and work over several years by two Virgin Trains managers and a team of volunteers, today's event was eventually able to take place.



All that was left of the original memorial was a grainy image, but that revealed enough information about the names listed on it that researchers were able to trace many of their descendants, and I was one of them, resulting in an invitation to attend as a guest today which included media appearances to describe my own feelings. News reports of the event have appeared on both the BBC and ITV news this evening.





The event was attended by dignitaries including the Mayor of Manchester, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, senior representatives of the Army, Royal Navy and RAF. Michael Portillo was also there to unveil the memorial, and footage will appear in a future edition of his TV programme "Great British Railway Journeys" where he follows a 19th century copy of Bradshaw's Railway guide.


If you find yourself at Piccadilly Station in Manchester, the memorial is located in the middle of platform 10.

After the event there was afternoon tea, where we were able to exchange stories with other relatives, (and Mr Portillo), and a very good time was had by all. For me, it left me feeling proud that Arthur Eccleston, named on the memorial, was part of my family. He was killed in action in France on 19th April 1918, and is buried in Gommecourt British Cemetery number 2, Hebuterne, in France. RIP.

2 comments:

  1. That Michael Portello has no dress sense! You looked the part.

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    Replies
    1. You are not the only one to make that comment Tom, as the occasion could be described as somber and as such, most there including other media representatives were dressed accordingly. However, Mr. Portillo was asked to perform the unveiling ceremony with the event to be included in a future episode of his tv programme "Great British Railway Journeys", and his radical dress sense is his signature for that, so I suppose could be excused in that context. He is a pleasant enough bloke, and chatted freely with all of us after the event.

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