Re-recording 34 announcements, a train operator that had come under scrutiny for mispronouncing names of local railway stations addressed the issue.
Earlier in the year, Northern Rail had claimed to have updated its announcements, but the company faced backlash as some pronunciations remained inaccurate.
In response, the company sought help from local residents to rectify the situation. Laura Palmer, the station announcer, recognized the deep attachment people had to their localities. In July, an acknowledgment from Northern Rail revealed that Mossley Hill station in Liverpool was being wrongly pronounced as ‘Mozz-ley’ instead of the correct ‘Moss-ley’.
An attempt to resolve this by changing it to ‘Mose-ley’ sparked further uproar from locals, as it was still an incorrect pronunciation; the accurate version should be ‘Moss-ley’. Having documented names of more than 500 stations across their network, Northern Rail received 47 formal requests for re-recording announcements.
Certain station names garnered multiple submissions: Aspatria in Cumbria (correctly pronounced as ‘As-spay-tria’), Kirkham and Wesham in Lancashire (correctly pronounced as ‘Wess-am’), Ilkeston in Derbyshire (correctly pronounced as ‘Il-kes-ton’), and Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire (correctly pronounced as ‘Sowby Bridge’).
The ongoing debate revolved around pronounced loud Es, omitted S’s, and silent ‘ands’. The individuals behind the recorded voices, namely Northern Rail employees Ms. Palmer and Pete Corley, returned to the studio in light of this discussion.
As the new recordings are rolled-out across the Northern fleet of 345 trains the pair have thanked people for their feedback, adding: “We couldn’t have done it without you.”Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “This has been such an interesting process and proof, if ever it were needed, of the passion our customers have for the North.”Some of the stations on our network are pronounced very differently to how they appear in writing – it’s important to get these things right.”She thanked the announcers and the locals for their “persistence” and “speaking up” for their hometowns.
Check out the 34 mispronounced station names below:
- Dore & Totley
- Euxton Balshaw Lane
- Hall i’ th’ Wood
- Kirkham and Wesham
- Lazonby & Kirkoswald
- Lostock Gralam
- Mossley Hill
- South Elmsall
- Sowerby Bridge
Feature Image Credit: Northern