Bristol, Bristol Temple Meads Station, flowers, Memorial plaques, memorials, Miss Emma Saunders, Public Transport, Railway Stations, The Railwaymen's Friend, Victorian., Victoriana
This flower arrangement was probably worth a blog post all of its own, but it is obscuring something I found even more interesting…
It seems that Miss Emma Saunders, known as The Railway Men’s Friend or “The lady with the basket” was a Victorian woman with a mission. In brief Miss Saunders sort to stop the ever increasing numbers of Bristol railway employees from turning to alcoholism by handing out Christian literature and posies from her basket of flowers. She also set up Bristol & West of England Railwaymen’s Institute, the forerunner of the British Rail Staff Association, which offered railway workers with access to a canteen and a skittle alley. You can read more about Miss Saunders here: http://www.redland.org.uk/cgi-bin/page.cgi?20:20:32
To quote Clifton Online’s “famous and infamous” section:
“Her funeral service at Christchurch on her 86th birthday was conducted by three vicars and Clifton society rubbed shoulders with over a thousand of “her” railwaymen, all of whom wore a daffodil in her memory of their friend”.