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Petition Launched to Bring Back Railwayman and His Dog

Published on: 5 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 11 Nov, 2021

Horsley railway station users were astonished to read on local social media platform NextDoor on Wednesday morning (November 4) that Richard Bunce, the “station master”, had resigned because his employers, South Western Railway, has indicated that he may not take his dog, George, to work.

Richard Bunce and his dog George

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Transport weighed in with a supporting Tweet:

Grant Shapps Tweet of support for Horsley station master and his dog

Adam Aaronson, who alerated the Dragon to the news, reports Mr Bunce has conceded that: “This is fair enough as I was never allowed to do so in the first place,” but add he’s explained that there wasn’t an affordable or satisfactory dog care solution and that he had handed in his notice.

It’s said that Mr Bunce has been doing an excellent job managing the station as this link to the West Horsley Parish Council website shows https://www.westhorsley.info/Horsley_Railway_Station_40150.aspx

He is extremely popular and one of the more than 200 comments on NextDoor wrote: “It is the opinion of many that Richard should be receiving recognition and an award rather than leaving his job.”

Mr Aaronson has started a petition, Bring back Richard and George and in less than 24 hours it had nearly 5,000 signatures (As of 9.35pm, Friday, November 5).

Comments include: “We need more like Richard and George, not less. Richard is a role model for how to run a station and be part of the community.”

The petition concedes that… “rules is rules, it seems, but George wasn’t doing any harm and he and Richard make a great team and that makes a lovely happy station,“ and goes on to say” :If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, so come on SWR, make an exception and find a loophole, turn a blind eye or do whatever it takes to bring Richard and George back to Horsley before it’s too late!”

Guildford Borough Councillor for Clandon and Horsley, Christopher Barass (R4GV), points out on NextDoor, there is a similar issue at East Clandon station.

Mr Aaronson said: “Perhaps it is time for South Western Railway to review how their policies can be satisfactorily adapted, within employment legislation and without creating a precedent, to approach these matters on a case-by-case basis. Please sign the petition.”

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test 2 Responses to Petition Launched to Bring Back Railwayman and His Dog

  1. Adam Aaronson Reply

    November 5, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    This afternoon, The Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP tweeted https://twitter.com/grantshapps/status/1456621122284306432

    “Sad to hear that @SW_Help planning to dispense with the services of George the station dog, along with his owner station master Richard Bunce. Sounds like RUFF justice to me! A little less tick-boxing [sic] would brighten up everyone’s day.”

  2. James Rochford Reply

    November 6, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    George should be on the payroll and given the title of Customer Relations Paws-on

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