BR Station Announcers of Old

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by rsg126, 27 Oct 2015.

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  1. rsg126

    rsg126 New Member

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    Apologies if this subject has already been raised elsewhere.

    Phil Sayer is no doubt the most recognisable announcer these days, but does anybody know the names of those responsible for the recorded station announcements around London and the south-east during the BR era ?

    Here's an example of one from YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y8m6AyJQYI at the 2:55 mark. This chap seemed ubiquitous around the region !
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Bletchley had him - it seemed somehow fitting in the station's historical context. Unfortunately he was fried during a lightning storm in the mid 2000s, and was replaced eventually with the standard "dystopian future" woman as pioneered at Manc Picc and now used throughout the network.
     
  3. slilley

    slilley Member

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    My best friend from school, indeed still my best friend, was the station announcer at Kings Cross for a while in the early 1990s. Quite spooky to hear the voice and know who it is!
     
  4. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I used to love announcing - shame in many places it's been replaced with the auto Doris that is useless with anything but a perfect service in place.
     
  5. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Lovely, lovely EPB's.
     
  6. kentman

    kentman Member

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  7. satisnek

    satisnek Member

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    Angela Peberdy was the voice on the Southern Region in the 1970s - immortalised on The Members' 'Sound Of The Suburbs' (the original single version, not the inferior recording found on compilation CDs today). Perhaps a little clipped and plummy by today's standards.
     
  8. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That really is a fascinating find. All the times I passed there not realising it was a little capsule of 1994 !
     
  9. rsg126

    rsg126 New Member

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    I certainly remember a particular female announcer, but not sure it was Angela.
     
  10. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    I used to love the Asian announcer at Wolverhampton.
    Vulverhamperton this is Vulverhamperton
     
  11. Tw99

    Tw99 Member

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    I always used to enjoy getting on what the station announcer described as the "Surface for London Euston" at Hemel Hempstead.
     
  12. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Good old Welsh boy at Neath - used to call out in a local accent "Neath , this is Neath - pause - Edgar , old boy coming over - hold the train boy - Neath , this is Neath...Swansea train " - circa 1976.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Classic stuff - and as you say "Staines - this is Staines" embedded now.

    Supertramp had a track called "Rudi's on a train to knowhere (half way down the line) - which has the Reading announcer circa 1974 calling out all stations to Oxford. ....

    :D
     
  13. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    The announcer on the Supertramp track is still on the railway! He was a trainee then and is now, after a varied career, the timetable guru for a certain TOC.
     
  14. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    You mean Roger ! (yes , I know who you refer to :D)
     
  15. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Plymouth had an announcer with a lovely local burr in the 60s.
    Preston too, pronouncing Blackpool North as "Norrrth" - northern, but quite unlike how they'd pronounce it in Manchester (or Liverpool).
     
  16. Scottish-Exile

    Scottish-Exile New Member

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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 !
     
  17. Sir Felix Pole

    Sir Felix Pole Member

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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'!
     
  18. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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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...
     
  19. jacksonbang

    jacksonbang Member

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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.
     
  20. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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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....
     
  21. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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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.
     
  22. GatwickDepress

    GatwickDepress Established Member

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    [youtube]tkbImDCm6Sk[/youtube]
    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!
     
  23. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Marvellous - sounds like a slightly older version of Celia Johnson ....
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    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 !
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2016
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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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.
     
  26. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Indeed. I wonder how many have survived over the network !
     
  27. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Excellent and welcome to the forum. How long were you an announcer for?
     
  28. jacksonbang

    jacksonbang Member

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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. 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.
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    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.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    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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