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The railways of Cumbria

You are in: Cumbria > Places > Features > The railways of Cumbria > Tribute to devoted dog unveiled

The Ruswarp statue at Garsdale Station

The Ruswarp statue at Garsdale Station

Tribute to devoted dog unveiled

A devoted dog which stayed with the body of its dead master for 11 weeks in the Welsh hills has been immortalised with a statue at Garsdale Station on the Settle to Carlisle Railway

The Friends of the Settle to Carlisle Line have created a tribute to border collie Ruswarp, who guarded owner Graham Nuttall of Burnley.

Mr Nuttall played a major part in saving the railway line just before he died mountain walking in Wales in 1990.

Mark Rand spokesperson for the Friends of the Settle to Carlisle Line said: "It was important to mark this dogs part in history and through JOEL's sculpture we are able to do this."

The sculptress JOEL with the bronze of Ruswarp

JOEL with the bronze of Ruswarp

"This sculpture is being placed at Garsdale in recognition of the tens of thousands of people and one dog who objected to the proposed line closure between Settle and Carlisle. The one dog that protested was Ruswarp who marked the petition with his paw print and as a result of this petition the line stayed open."

"I hope visitors to the area take time to admire the sculpture and learn of it's story, whilst also making use of this line that was kept open thanks to the support of people across the county - and one dog."

This life-size sculpture was unveiled on 11th April at Garsdale station on the beautiful Settle to Carlisle railway line, to celebrate 20 years since the saving of the line.

Graham Nuttall and Ruswarp

Graham Nuttall and Ruswarp

Mr Nuttall, from Duke Bar, became the first secretary of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line. His tragic story cast a shadow over the Friends' early days, but proved an inspiration, too.

He and faithful Ruswarp pronounced "Russup" were inseparable.

Mr Nuttall lived just long enough to see the line's reprieve in 1989, for on January 20th, 1990, he went missing. He and Ruswarp got day return tickets from Burnley to Llandrindod Wells to go walking in the Welsh mountains. But Mr Nuttall never returned.

His body was found on 7th April by a mountain stream. Nearby was Ruswarp, so weak the 14-year-old dog had to be carried off the mountain. He had stayed with his master's body for 11 winter weeks.

Ruswarp lived just long enough to attend Mr Nuttall's funeral.

last updated: 17/04/2009 at 12:40
created: 17/04/2009

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