Trains to be named after BBC Radio Bristol’s lockdown heroes


  • Local lockdown heroes Iain Bugler and Sarah Williams-Martin named as BBC Radio Bristol’s Make A Difference Superstars
  • Iain won for his amazing work providing food to those in need in Nailsea – all while dealing with a cancer diagnosis
  • Sarah volunteers seven days a week, managing 2,500 volunteers across the BANES area

  • Each will have a GWR train named after them at a special ceremony

Two tireless volunteers will have trains named after them for their outstanding work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ian Bugler and Sarah Williams-Martin were nominated by listeners to become BBC Radio Bristol’s ‘Make a Difference Superstars’. They will each have a high-speed Great Western Railway (GWR) train named after them.

Iain Bugler organised a hot food delivery service in Nailsea which at its height was delivering 300 meals a week. Remarkably he started the project just after radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment. Sadly, he passed away on July 1 at the age of 51.

Sarah Williams-Martin won for her work with Compassionate Community Emergency Volunteer Response in Bath and North East Somerset. She volunteers seven days a week and built a database to manage the 2,500 volunteers who signed up to help during lockdown. She ensured that every person who contacted the group was given the support of a volunteer.

Since the pandemic began BBC Radio Bristol has been running its Make a Difference campaign, which gives regular coronavirus updates and links up those who need help with those who can offer it.

In August the station teamed up with GWR to find two ‘Make a Difference Superstars’ in the BBC Radio Bristol area who could have trains named after them.

Dozens of people got in touch to nominate someone and a panel whittled them down to Iain and Sarah.

Sarah Williams-Martin – the lockdown supermum

On Friday morning BBC Radio Bristol’s Emma Britton surprised mum-of-two Sarah live on air with the news she had won. Emma told her: “You need to get your cape on because you’re like Superwoman!”

She then asked her to go outside where reporter James Hanson was waiting at the other end of a red carpet. He gave her a picture of a GWR train with her name on it.

Speaking on the station a stunned Sarah said:

“This is just amazing.

“I just wanted to make sure people were looked after, it just mushroomed into quite a lot.”

Iain Bugler – the builder who never stopped giving

Iain’s family describe him as a man with boundless energy who was always ready to help others.

Catherine Blease, the friend who nominated him, said:

“Iain was such a great chap, he was good humoured and enthusiastic.

“He gave everything to the town – while he knew he was ill he was thinking of other people.”

Iain’s widow Kate said:

“He’d just finished chemo and radiotherapy when lockdown happened.

“[The food delivery service] started with 50 meals and just jumped over the weeks to 250 to 300 a week. He co-ordinated it all from home on his laptop.”

His son, Ed, added that he was “very proud” of him.

The nine BBC local radio stations in the GWR area are taking part in ‘Make a Difference Superstars’. Two people from each area will have trains named after them, meaning a total of 18 trains will be named after local lockdown heroes.

Stephanie Marshall, Head of the BBC in the West and South West, said:

“The pandemic may have been the worst of times for many of us, but it has brought out the best in so many people.

“Since lockdown began nearly two million listeners have contacted their BBC local radio station either looking for help, or in many cases offering it out, through the Make a Difference campaign.

“The stories of local heroism have helped put a smile on faces across the country and I’m incredibly proud that BBC Radio Bristol played a part in that.”

GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton said:

“The GWR has a long and proud history of naming trains after Great Westerners – past and present heroes from across our network – and to that list now we can add the names of Iain Bugler and Sarah Williams-Martin from the BBC Radio Bristol region.

“It has been a privilege to partner with the BBC Make a Difference campaign and learn more about those people who have helped to make such a huge difference in their communities during the pandemic.

“Listening to BBC Radio Bristol we were particularly overwhelmed by the stories of these two winners and I hope our train-naming ceremonies will serve as a fitting tribute to them.”