One of the custodians of the famous Carnforth Station clock is calling for justice for the pensioner banned from setting foot in the station.
The clock, made famous by its appearance in the Brief Encounter film, has been standing still since 71-year-old Jim Walker was banned earlier this year.
As reported in the Visitor in January, Jim, who had wound up Carnforth Station clock for the last 14 years, was banned after amember of the public made a complaint against him over an alleged racist comment. Jim was given a map which outlines areas of the station he is not allowed to enter.
Mr Walker says he was overheard 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. He denies the comment was racist.
Centre manager John Adams later investigated the incident – without speaking to Mr Walker – and reported back to the Carnforth Station Trust board, who agreed to exclude Mr Walker from areas of the station under the control of the heritage centre.
Clock custodian Peter Yates said: “I and many other members of our community are banging our heads against a brick wall as the trustees refuse to lift the unjust ban placed on Jim Walker, who has wound the clock twice a week since 2003, barring him from the station premises in the trusts’ tenure.The trust will not accept they have acted unfairly barring Mr Walker without interviewing him. It is my opinion that the trust are overseeing untold damage to the world famous station, its clock and our community.”
Jim said he “hadn’t heard a thing” from the board since the decision was made.
He said: “To be quite honest I think we are at a complete impasse.
“These people are obviously adamant that under no circumstances are they going to compromise.”
Jim said he had received support from many people in the town.
“A number of people have said to me that they think what’s gone on has been absolutely outrageous,” he said.
Carnforth Station Trust chairman Peter Crowther said the board is looking into a solution which would see the clock wound once again.
However, they are standing firm on Jim’s ban.
He said: “The clock is very much a landmark for the station so we want to see it working again. But Jim is not going to get an apology because the board has done the right thing so we don’t feel the need to apologise to him.”