In memory of Dave Walden who died in May 2015. Beloved of the Bradford on Avon station Garden Gang of whom he was so proud , the staff who make our local railways run, the many friends he advised, helped and encouraged at other stations and the community of Bradford on Avon. In May 2016 we gathered in the gardens he established to celebrate his legacy with beautiful new benches installed by his friends in the Garden Gang, thanks to generous donations from his family and the local community.
Dave served the people of Bradford on Avon for several years in the station ticket office, and customers would travel long distances to come and seek his advice. He was honoured, respected and loved by the local community, as well as by his colleagues.
One of the many wonderful memories of Dave that his friends will treasure will surely be the magnificent celebrations for the station’s 150th anniversary that he played the central role in organising. A vintage bike he had borrowed helped him to zip around keeping things running smoothly – and just taking care of everyone, in that unique way he invariably did.
Dave retired in May 2008 – well, officially. His love for the station meant that he was soon back, starting work on the gardens that are one of the great glories of the railway line today. He was not alone for long – within a few years his Garden Gang (as he called it) had grown to twelve people, working every week on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Dave was so proud of the station he served as both railwayman and community rail volunteer for well over a decade.
One of the memorial benches is now installed on the very same spot that Dave was standing on in the previous photo. His sister and brother were at the ceremony with us in May 2016.
The replica Running in Boards that are now at a few stations were originally designed by Dave for Bradford on Avon. This was his favourite spot for “family photos” with members of the Garden Gang, and with visitors from other stations and railway lines who came to learn from Dave and his team.
Friends from the local community, Great Western Railway and the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership joined the Bradford Garden Gang in May 2016 to remember Dave in the beautiful gardens he established.