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Govia Thameslink Railway colleagues raise charity cash in memory of Chigwell dad

Press release   •   Jul 11, 2019 09:47 BST

Selhurst Repair Shop colleagues Jon Dye, Tom Mills and Justin Lanigan with Jackie Lawrie, manager of Beckenham's Cancer Research shop

Govia Thameslink Railway engineers have raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK in memory of a much-missed colleague.

Selhurst Repair Shop colleagues Jon Dye, Tom Mills, and Justin Lanigan recently presented a cheque to Jackie Lawrie, manager of Cancer Research’s Beckenham shop, following a huge charity football tournament involving several GTR fleet depots.

In total, £7,290 was raised in memory of Symon Harris, who had worked at the Selhurst depot for around 20 years and died suddenly of cancer in September last year at the age of 55. The father-of-three, who lived in Chigwell, was a lathe operator and also used to be a team leader.

Overhaul manager Justin Lanigan said: “He was a proper engineer. He used to do lots of welding for us; he was a really clever guy. At over 6ft, he was a gentle giant. He was a big fella who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He never complained about being ill. Losing him was a complete shock to us. It rocked the whole depot quite badly.”

The fundraising tournament took place in November at Elmers End, near Croydon, with about 40 players and 50 spectators. Colleagues from depots in Hornsey, Brighton, Selhurst and Battersea were all involved. The event was also supported by colleagues at Three Bridges, Monument, Go-Ahead House in Croydon and workers from Siemens. The winners were the Selhurst Repair Shop colleagues.

Production leader Tom Mills said: “It was a big success to get all the depots together. Everyone chipped in. It was a really good day overall and we did Symon proud. There was no way we couldn’t win it!”

Following the success of last year’s tournament, organisers are hoping to stage another one this year.

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria,,,