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Old 11th November 2015, 21:23   #16
Scottish-Exile
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Ha, my first job on the railway was as a CO1 Train Announcer at Ayr, covering Ayr, Newton-onAyr, Prestwick and Troon on the long line tannoy. This was in 1985.

Later, in 1987 I moved to Edinburgh and for a few months was the station announcer at Waverley sat in the Signalling Centre. Others at Waverley were Irene, Evelyn, Christine? and Jack. Don't remember the surnames.

Lots of laughs and happy memories. Funniest at Waverley was the 2 second pause you waited, for the chimes to properly finish, before you started your announcement. I was on shift with Irene who was on tannoy and I was working the solari indicator board. Irene pressed the transmit button which sent the chimes out, but was waiting to speak the announcement. One of the signalmen, on his break and not realising the system was 'live', came over and asked Irene "Have you eaten my kippers" which got boomed out across the whole of Waverley !
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Old 12th November 2015, 00:26   #17
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkpmv8jUZe4

A familiar and much-loved announcer from Exeter St. Davids during the 70s and 80s - I think he retired with the commissioning of Exeter Power Box. He lived in the hut located on one the stairwells down to the 'Southern' platforms which gave him a good all-round view of operations. He had perfect ennunciation and never seemed to get flustered when services were going horribly wrong. His only very slight flaw was the pronunciation of Teignmouth. which he insisted on calling 'Tingmouth' rather than 'Tinmouth'!
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Old 13th November 2015, 11:24   #18
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Many train announcers were real characters - though the one at Willesden Suburban who put external severe delays down to "bad operational management" one day was not my employee of the month ....! - he happily retired in due course, and was much missed by all for his genuine caring announcements...
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Old 23rd November 2016, 12:56   #19
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At Hastings station during the 1980s I have this memory of very "Queen's English" woman's voice who occasionally did announcements. It was by no means the regular voice to be heard at the station and I think was restricted to Marshlink services. What always amused me was the school headmistress-style "Now please listen..."/"Now please ensure..." prefix to the narration. It was definitely automated so wondered who this was and whether it was really as authoritative as I seem to remember.
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Old 25th November 2016, 09:32   #20
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Just remember the very Welsh railman at Neath who would below into the PA (circa 1973)

"NEATH ...NEATH ...this is NEATH , Swansea train in "

Interspersed with such comments as "one running over the bridge Dai , give it a minute"


The Southern pre-recorded announcemens , as in the Members "Sound of the Suburbs" (Staines - this is Staines)" - were hugely distinctive....
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Old 25th November 2016, 09:55   #21
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At Hastings station during the 1980s I have this memory of very "Queen's English" woman's voice who occasionally did announcements. It was by no means the regular voice to be heard at the station and I think was restricted to Marshlink services. What always amused me was the school headmistress-style "Now please listen..."/"Now please ensure..." prefix to the narration. It was definitely automated so wondered who this was and whether it was really as authoritative as I seem to remember.
Ah yes, we had a headmistressy lady at Ashford. "Passengers for London Charing Cross, please cross the platform to platform 2" always seemed to have quite a nice meter to it.
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Old 25th November 2016, 14:30   #22
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At Hastings station during the 1980s I have this memory of very "Queen's English" woman's voice who occasionally did announcements. It was by no means the regular voice to be heard at the station and I think was restricted to Marshlink services. What always amused me was the school headmistress-style "Now please listen..."/"Now please ensure..." prefix to the narration. It was definitely automated so wondered who this was and whether it was really as authoritative as I seem to remember.

Did she sound somewhat like this? I always got the impression from railwayman of the time that the Marshlink often felt like it's own little world - neither feeling like it belonged to the Central nor Eastern divisions!
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Old 25th November 2016, 19:01   #23
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Did she sound somewhat like this? I always got the impression from railwayman of the time that the Marshlink often felt like it's own little world - neither feeling like it belonged to the Central nor Eastern divisions!
Marvellous - sounds like a slightly older version of Celia Johnson ....
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Old 27th November 2016, 19:31   #24
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Did she sound somewhat like this? I always got the impression from railwayman of the time that the Marshlink often felt like it's own little world - neither feeling like it belonged to the Central nor Eastern divisions!
Wow, that is an excellent find !

Someone must have rescued the old machine before they demolished the old station buildings. Must have heard that voice so many times over the years. A trip back to my childhood Sounded a lot more echoey and not quite so electronic in its natural habitat.

(Also nice to hear the Maidstone - Otford - Chiselhurst variation for when Sevenoaks tunnel was being done up).

I notice the announcement only says "cross via the subway". I vaguely recall a version going "cross via the subway, or the footbridge" but this may be the memory playing tricks ! I also don't recall the stopper calling at Petts Wood either.

As a passenger, the Marshlink certainly felt like a world of its own at the time !
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Old 27th November 2016, 19:37   #25
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Ah yes, we had a headmistressy lady at Ashford. "Passengers for London Charing Cross, please cross the platform to platform 2" always seemed to have quite a nice meter to it.
There was an old tape-recorded system with a proper classic RP bloke doing "Bletchley, this is Bletchley", but sadly it got fried in a thunderstorm and was replaced with the standard autoannouncer woman you get everywhere.
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Old 27th November 2016, 19:54   #26
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There was an old tape-recorded system with a proper classic RP bloke doing "Bletchley, this is Bletchley", but sadly it got fried in a thunderstorm and was replaced with the standard autoannouncer woman you get everywhere.
Indeed. I wonder how many have survived over the network !
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Old 27th November 2016, 21:38   #27
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Originally Posted by Scottish-Exile View Post
Ha, my first job on the railway was as a CO1 Train Announcer at Ayr, covering Ayr, Newton-onAyr, Prestwick and Troon on the long line tannoy. This was in 1985.

Later, in 1987 I moved to Edinburgh and for a few months was the station announcer at Waverley sat in the Signalling Centre. Others at Waverley were Irene, Evelyn, Christine? and Jack. Don't remember the surnames.

Lots of laughs and happy memories. Funniest at Waverley was the 2 second pause you waited, for the chimes to properly finish, before you started your announcement. I was on shift with Irene who was on tannoy and I was working the solari indicator board. Irene pressed the transmit button which sent the chimes out, but was waiting to speak the announcement. One of the signalmen, on his break and not realising the system was 'live', came over and asked Irene "Have you eaten my kippers" which got boomed out across the whole of Waverley !
Excellent and welcome to the forum. How long were you an announcer for?
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Old 27th November 2016, 22:22   #28
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Did she sound somewhat like this? I always got the impression from railwayman of the time that the Marshlink often felt like it's own little world - neither feeling like it belonged to the Central nor Eastern divisions!
Yes! That is what I heard in the 80s!

Right up until about 2001 the Marshlink really felt unique. I remember the ticket inspector had to change carriages between stops as he could not walk through the train. Also the trains were like nothing else on the network - one especially seemed like some sort of Orient Express shabbier cousin - all wooden interior, 6-seat compartments, lots of green upholstery. It always seemed to be quite empty.

I probably didn't use the ML for 10 years and then I returned in 2011 when I settled in Winchelsea and now use it at least weekly. Sadly it's overcrowded 2-carriage trains don't make the trip much of an event anymore.
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Old 27th November 2016, 22:35   #29
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Yes! That is what I heard in the 80s!

Right up until about 2001 the Marshlink really felt unique. I remember the ticket inspector had to change carriages between stops as he could not walk through the train. Also the trains were like nothing else on the network - one especially seemed like some sort of Orient Express shabbier cousin - all wooden interior, 6-seat compartments, lots of green upholstery.
Yes, they cut corridor connections into some of the thumpers in the early 90's to deal with this (when the middle carriages were removed).

I remember a 4 carriage Hastings gauge running the line in the late 80's which was quite plush and still with orange curtains. Had trojan rather than green moquette though.
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Old 28th November 2016, 01:11   #30
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Indeed. I wonder how many have survived over the network !
Not many, I expect. Talking of the "X this is X" thing, the original Phil Sayer system at New St used to do that, but the new one seems not to.
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