Beloved railway campaigner dies at the age of 95

Thursday May 30th 2024

Madge Elliot

Madge Elliot.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

A community stalwart who was behind a campaign for the restoration of the Borders Railway has died at the age of 95, her family has announced.

For almost half a century, Madge Elliot campaigned tirelessly against the closure of the Edinburgh-Hawick-Carlisle Waverley line in 1969 and was a founding member of the Campaign for Borders Rail.

Her efforts came to fruition when the line reopened to Tweedbank in 2015 and Madge had a railway carriage named after her in recognition of her brilliant work.

Despite a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s, Madge continued to fight for worthy causes.

Just weeks ago she was invited to reopen the Teviot Day Service for the elderly in her hometown of Hawick, which had been closed illegally by Scottish Borders Council.

The campaign to restore the service was led by Madge’s son, Sean, who has described his mum as “inspirational”.

He said: “After a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s, our inspirational mum, Madge, succumbed to a combination of old age and this awful disease on Saturday morning.

“Truly a life well lived, she gave so much time to the community, not just in terms of the railway campaigning (well documented elsewhere), but a huge contribution to tennis (in partnership with our dad, Bob) and a whole host of other campaigns and volunteering roles over her lifetime, too many to list.

“She loved Wilton Park and spent so much time at the tennis courts, playing, coaching, organising juniors, matches and competitions, as well as managing the courts when the council would no longer provide a court attendant.

“She loved to see young people playing sport. We’re very glad she was able to attend the re-opening of Teviot Day Service a few weeks ago, the last campaign she was involved in.

“We will certainly miss her.”

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