BR Station Announcers of Old

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

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  1. 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.
     
  2. 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!
     
  3. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Marvellous - sounds like a slightly older version of Celia Johnson ....
     
  4. 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
  5. 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.
     
  6. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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

    Cowley Established Member

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    Excellent and welcome to the forum. How long were you an announcer for?
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. jacksonbang

    jacksonbang Member

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    This is probably the train I refer too - the orange curtains stirred up a memory - sort of bright Easyjet orange. I also enjoyed the journey on that train.
     
  12. Phil.

    Phil. Established Member

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    Can't remember the name of the ex Guard at Stevenage in the mid-seventies who would announce, "....calling at KnebworthWelwynNorthWelwynGardenCityHatfieldPottersBarFrinburyPark andKingsCrawsss. All in one breath.

    The world's worst were the two ex supervisors at Gatwick Airport. They should have just been paid off when they became medically limited but union insistence and management weakness put them behind a train announcer's microphone. They were so bad that it was embarrassing.
     
  13. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Yes, it was a favourite of mine as well :)
     
  14. Rover

    Rover Member

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    I won't mention his name and he's sadly now passed away but one of the station supervisors at Chesterfield in the early 80s would announce the Manchester Piccadilly - Harwich Parkeston Quay as the boat train for Harwich Parkeston "Kway"!
     
  15. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    One of my favourites was the woman announcer at Sheffield Midland in the 1980s and '90s. That was in the good old days when most stations had live announcements rather than digitally pre-recorded ones (and always preceded by BR's standard "ding dong ding", which they don't bother with at Sheffield these days). See www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8eYvnmZ60k
     
  16. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I miss the ding dong ding...
     
  17. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    A few stations do still have it, even with the present day pre-recorded announcements. Harrogate, for example.
     
  18. 341o2

    341o2 Member

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    That reminds me of the Glasgow tram which was fitted with a pa system so the driver could announce the stops. It was removed after, not realising the system was live, a driver made some unprintable comments regarding another road user
     
  19. D5645

    D5645 Member

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    I think she also did the announcements at Chesterfield at well.

    Very nice voice and you didn't mind your train was late quite so much when she announced it.
     
  20. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    The announcements at Newport used to be made from the old Panel Box (now itself demolished) at the East end of Platform One.

    Way back in the seventies, I visited the Box and was talking to the staff there, including the person who was the announcer. Someone (maybe me) asked him about mistakes. He said that there had been a time when the announcers knew where the Mystery Excursions were going to, and the then announcer (not him, he stressed!) said "The next train on Platform Three is the 09.00 Mystery Excursion to XXXX (the actual destination, I can't remember where)"!

    Not long after that, they stopped telling the announcers where the trains were going ... I wonder why?
     
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