Carnforth clock volunteer to remain banned from station

Former volunteer at Carnforth Station Jim Walker, who has been banned from the station following a complaint about him from a member of the public regarding an alleged remark he made.
Jim at the station with a map he has been issued marking the routes around the station he is allowed to follow.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
30-1-2017
Former volunteer at Carnforth Station Jim Walker, who has been banned from the station following a complaint about him from a member of the public regarding an alleged remark he made. Jim at the station with a map he has been issued marking the routes around the station he is allowed to follow. PIC BY ROB LOCK 30-1-2017
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A Carnforth man who has been winding the station’s famous clock for the last 13 years is to remain banned from the premises.

Jim Walker has been keeping the clock, which featured in the Brief Encounter film, running twice a week since it was reinstated 13 years ago.

However, he has been told he can no longer enter parts of the station after a member of the public made a complaint against him over an alleged racist comment.

The 71-year-old has been given a map which outlines areas of the station he is not allowed to enter.

Members of Carnforth Station Trust met on Thursday to discuss the issue further – but agreed that Mr Walker continue to be banned from all parts of the station owned by the trust.

However, they say this does not include the area which houses the clock – and they have moved a set of ladders into an accessible area for him to use.

Trust chairman Peter Crowther said: “We invited Jim to come along to the meeting and he didn’t reply or turn up.

“It was his opportunity to give us any further information about the complaint.

“We have looked at it and taken legal advice and we think we have done the right thing and so the ban will continue until further notice.

“Jim has been given the right to go into the station to get the tools he needs to do the clock without having to go into trust buildings and he is not doing it.

“The clock not being wound up is Jim’s personal decision and nothing to do with the trust.”

The ban followed a complaint made by a visitor who overheard Mr Walker discussing a Daily Mail article which referred to the age of young refugees entering the UK from Calais, and the comparisons being made to Jewish children arriving in England in 1939.

Centre manager John Adams later investigated the incident and reported back to the board, who agreed to exclude Mr Walker from areas of the station under the control of the heritage centre.

Mr Walker was not spoken to as part of the investigation.

Mr Crowther said: “There was enough evidence from eye witnesses for us to take action straight away.

“The gentleman said he would have gone to the police.

“We are very concerned about the image of the station and the public are entitled to come in to a nice atmosphere.”

Mr Walker said: “This is all a consequence of someone speaking their mind and someone else overhearing it – whatever happened to free speech?”

“Why should I attend a meeting in front of a group of people who have already made a decision about me without inviting me to be a part of it the first time around?