The sale of two Thunderbird nameplates from Virgin Trains’ Class 57 locomotives has helped raise much needed funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.
Run in association with The Railway Magazine, Britain’s number one railway title, the auction of both Parker and Tin Tin nameplates realised over £4000. With an additional contribution from Virgin Trains, a cheque for £5000 was presented to Jamie Anderson, whose father Gerry was the creator of the popular television programme Thunderbirds.
Speaking at the presentation event, Jamie said. “My dad did a great deal to support Alzheimer’s Society in his final year with us and believed it to be incredibly important that we raise awareness of dementia and help people understand that it is a condition that can happen to anyone.
"There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK and 1 in 3 of us over the age of 65 will develop this incurable disease. So it's vital that we do what we can to raise funds to support and care for those living with dementia and also fund research that hopefully will one day find a cure.
“The Alzheimer's Society was a huge help and support to my dad and the rest of the family so I'm delighted that the money raised from the sale of the Thunderbirds plates will support their vital work. It seems like such a fitting tribute!
Joining Jamie at the event at London Euston were the lucky auction winners Melvyn Smith and Steve Davies.
Virgin Trains Communication Manager, Richard Stanton added: “The Alzheimer’s Society does such fantastic work up and down the country helping both patients and families to deal with the effects of dementia. Gerry was very supportive when we originally came up with the idea of naming our trains after the characters from Thunderbirds so it felt only right that we should donate any monies raised from the sale of the nameplates to such a worthy cause.”
Chris Milner of the Railway Magazine said: “It was a fantastic gesture from Virgin Trains to have donated the nameplates and we were only too delighted to help. The response from our readers was overwhelming and we would like to thank them for their support.”
If you aren't able to purchase a plate but would still like to support Alzheimer's Society in memory of Gerry, you can make a donation, no matter how small, at http://www.justgiving.com/RememberingGerryAnderson.
You can also read more about the story in the next issue of The Railway Magazine (due on sale 5 February 2014).
Photo (from left to right): Richard Stanton (Virgin Trains), Melvyn Smith, Jamie Anderson, Steve Davies, Chris Milner (The Railway Magazine).
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