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“Mind the Gap, please”, is heard over the loudspeaker in London Underground stations. It’s 1960 and the acclaimed actor Oswald Laurence enjoys a coffee with his wife Margaret after having lent his voice to the company to record the warm announcement. In Spanish, the phrase could be translated -not literally- as “careful with the gap”, in reference to the space that exists between the formation of the subway and the station. As the years passed, the expression became popular and became the usual greeting for the millions of users of the service.

However, in 2007 the phrase changed meaning. Laurence died in Gloucestershire aged 86 and for Margaret McCollum, his wife, the way to stay close to the love of his life was the subway. Religiously, he went downstairs every day, sat on a stool at the Embankment station on the Northern Line, and closed his eyes. When the subway arrived, for a few seconds the famous sounded Mind the Gap and that fraction of time had the perfume of shared years.

The story of Margaret and Oswald is known throughout the world
The story of Margaret and Oswald is known throughout the world

However, time began to do its work and as technological advances in transportation emerged it was decided to digitize the voice of the metro and replace Oswald with a more neutral tone. When Margaret arrived at her bank on the Embankment she was devastated not to hear the love of her life on the loudspeaker.

With the pain that this caused him, he went to the subway offices to find out what had happened. The employees told him that in the new system they couldn’t play Oswald’s voice but they could find a way to record a CD for her to have at home. However, the story began to spread through the platforms until it reached the ears of the subway director. Moved by what he was told, he made up his mind to return Margaret’s smile.

Oswald’s voice is still heard every day at the Embankment station

“We were very touched by her story, so the staff located the registry and not only made a copy of the ad for her to have but they are working to be able to retrieve it at Embankment station”, Said a spokesman for the company at the time.

Today almost all stations on the London Underground have a neutral and digitized voice, except for one. In Embankment, who still has Maggie sitting on his bench, you listen to him. “Mind the Gap, please; Mind the Gap, please,” says Oswald. She looks and smiles, the subway leaves and she goes upstairs to go home. He was reunited with him, once again as he did for so many years.

The story rose to fame in 2013 when the woman’s request became known and the company confirmed the reinstatement of the actor’s voice on the aforementioned station. according to the site Rtbf.be.com Today, it is known again and is the most commented of the day after the user @agustin_avenali will dedicate a Twitter thread to a love story that proves that neither time nor distance can change affection.




www.lanacion.com.ar

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