Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 09:24 UK

Tribute bid for 'remarkable' dog

Graham Nuttall with dog Ruswarp
Ruswarp even signed a petition to save the line with his paw

A devoted dog which stayed with the body of its dead master for 11 weeks in the Welsh hills is to be immortalised.

The Friends of the Settle to Carlisle Line want to create 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.

An appeal has been made for 8,000 to create a lifesize statue of the dog at the Garsdale station in Cumbria.

It is hoped the bronze memorial will go alongside a bench dedicated to the canine's owner who classed the station as his favourite place.

Mark Rand, Friends of Settle to Carlisle Line chairman, said: "In 1980 the line looked doomed. There were just two trains a day and no freight at all.

"But with help of campaigners, including Graham and his faithful dog it survived. Ruswarp even added his dog paw to the petition.

"Today, the line is busier than ever, open 24 hours a day and about to have its capacity doubled to cope with demand."

This is a remarkable demonstration of canine devotion which deserves to be remembered
Mark Rand, Friends of Settle to Carlisle Line chairman

Mr Nuttall had only known for a few months in 1989 that the line was saved before he went missing on 20 January, 1990, in the hills following his final trip on the line.

His body was found by a lone walker after 11 weeks. His 14-year-old dog was so weak he had to be carried to safety.

Ruswarp received two awards for bravery and vigilance from the nomination of Superintendent Ralph Rees of Dyfed Powys Police.

The border collie lived just long enough to attend his owner's funeral.

Mr Rand added: "This is a remarkable demonstration of canine devotion which deserves to be remembered.

"A life-sized statue of Ruswarp will be a fitting tribute and we appeal for help in raising the money needed."


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