Great-grandmother ticks off bucket list wish by waving off train at Honeybourne station

  • All aboard as 78-year-old train fanatic Rose Gardener signals a train to leave Honeybourne

A great-grandmother who fondly recalls helping clean the Queen's Royal Train as a child has ticked off a bucket list wish by waving a train off from the platform.

Rose Gardner, from Upton Snodsbury, near Worcester, used her green dispatch flag to send the train on its way from Honeybourne on Wednesday 3 August.

Trains have played a big part in her family’s life, with Rose cleaning the Queen’s Royal Train when it stopped at Honeybourne on its way to Cheltenham Racecourse when she was a young girl.

Rose, 78, has 20 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, and says she was "brought up with trains".

"Everywhere you went, if you wanted to go to the seaside it was a train. No buses or coaches really, nothing like that," she said.

"Trains were a very big part of our lives."

She said her childhood home was surrounded by train tracks connecting trains up and down the county.

"We would watch the main London line. You could watch trains going round to Cheltenham and one going to Birmingham so it was trains all around."

Rose's family contacted Great Western Rail to see if they could help fulfil her wish. Her granddaughter's partner, Callum Simpson, said she couldn't believe her lifelong dream was coming true.

"She said 'who's that’ and I told her he works for the Great Western Railway, you’re gonna dispatch the train," he said.

"She just couldn't believe it."

Billy White, station manager for the North Cotswolds, said it was a pleasure to make one of her dreams come true.

He said: "It was an absolute pleasure having Rose with us here today, she dispatched the service perfectly and we’re hoping it made a special day for her."

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