Thursday 31 July 2014

Remembering Laddie

There is seldom anything to add to the notoriously exhaustive general-interest features on the BBC News website (remember the cardboard boxes?). However, I noticed that this piece on railway collections dogs - which I much enjoyed, especially the tales of Brighton Bob's embezzlement and subsequent kidnapping - makes no mention of Laddie.
 I have fond memories of Laddie, a stuffed Airedale who used to stand in a glass case on platform 9/10 at Wimbledon station. Laddie, born in 1948, collected more than £5,000 for the Southern Railwaymen's Homes in Woking before retiring in 1956, dying in 1960, and being stuffed and returned in a glass case to Wimbledon station, where he stood until 1990, when he was carted off to join the National Railway Collection.
 Our children always enjoyed going to say hello to Laddie whenever we found ourselves waiting on Wimbledon station. I rather miss him... We've all been there. You're waiting on the station, the children are bored. You wonder, is there by any chance a stuffed dog in the vicinity? Enter Laddie.
 (I wonder if any of my fellow South Londoners remember him too?)

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