New voiceover artist used for a new recording.

The request was refused by Northern Trains Limited.

Dear Northern Trains Limited,

May i please know what the name is of the voiceover artist who just says the word "Lumo" on your Ketech automated announcements system used at Morpeth railway station please.

I know that your automated announcements at all of your stations are voiced by Celia Drummond but at Morpeth station the announcement changes to a completely different voice when it says the word "Lumo" but the rest of the announcement is the standard Celia Drummond voice. Obviously because Celia Drummond sadly died in January 2021 which is why you have had to use a new voice for this new sound recording so i am just wondering which voiceover artist voices this one recording.

Thank you for your help with this information and i look forward to hearing back from you regarding my request and hopefully you will have the information.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Watson

SMB - FOI, Northern Trains Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Adam Watson,

Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information request.

Kind regards,

FOI Team, Northern Trains

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Dear SMB - FOI,

I am writing to request an internal review regarding my request please.

If i was asking for the name of a staff member than i would completely understand and agree with your use of section 40 (2) here. However i am asking for the name of a voiceover artist. Voiceover artists are quite public figures in that they actively publicise themselves and have websites that show who they have done work for and advertise their availability to do voice over work. So voiceover artists are not really the sort of people who are private and keep themselves hidden. I am not sure who the voiceover artist you are withholding is however i am sure like all other voiceover artists she has a website or page on the internet and her voiceover work is likely advertised there. So the use of section 40 (2) is odd as although a name is indeed personal data i would think that her name is already publicised and advertised online like all other voiceover artists. So withholding it makes no sense. I am not asking for names of staff members like drivers or guards or your staff or anything.

Almost all other railway voiceover artists names are publicised:

eg, Trisha Jarman, Celia Drummond, Phil Sayer, Elinor Hamilton, Emma Hignett, Emma Clarke, Pauline Cavilla, Michael Meech, Julie Berry, Faye Dicker, Janine Cooper Marshall, Martin Oldfield, Sarah Parnell, etc.

It should also be noted that other TOCs have released this information. For example when the 800s and 801s entered service an FOI was made to LNER and they advised that Justine Harris was the voiceover artist. Similarly when the 2009 stock and S stock entered service TFL answered an FOI saying that Sarah Parnell was the voiceover artist.

I require this information for an article i am writing about the history of automated announcements at stations and on trains so i need all the names of the voiceover artists and i am just missing this one.

Please kindly carry out an internal review in to this and hopefully you can release the information that you have but are withholding.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Watson

SMB - FOI, Northern Trains Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Adam

Please find attached our response to your internal review request.

Regards

Freedom of Information, Northern Trains

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Dylan Fox left an annotation ()

That seems very strange how they're refusing to disclose just a first name. I'm an editor on Automated Announcements Wiki and this has thrown a spanner in the works for me too; for now I'm just gonna refer to her as Withheld Female because of this FOI request.

Maybe it might be worth asking KeTech instead but don't mention you've already made a FOI request to Northern as they might withhold it on the basis of the FOI request

Adam Watson left an annotation ()

The voice that says "Lumo" at Morpeth is clearly "Only Woman" who was at Brighton and East Croydon and Gatwick Airport and London Victoria and various VTWC stations in the past. Listen very carefully to that "Lumo" announcement and you can tell that it is without a doubt "Only Woman" who is voicing it. So i think that it is most definitely her. So we already know it is "Only Woman" but the mystery is who "Only Woman" is.

This makes sense as i believe Amey and Ketech still partially work together despite being separate companies. The seem to still have some sort of cooperation with each other rather than being complete competitors.

From what i understand after the collapse of Ditra they split Ditra up in to Amey and Ketech and it was Amey who then took over the Southeastern and Southern and South West Trains and First Great Western and London Overground systems while it was Ketech who then took over the Chiltern and Northern and Scotrail and Irish Rail systems.

So it makes sense that "Only Woman" was probably asked to do the "Lumo" recording (and probably the "Reston" recording too although i have not heard that one yet) and she is probably the default voice for both Amey and Ketech nowadays.

Who exactly "Only Woman" is though remains a mystery strangely. I have seen some suggestions that it could be Emma Topping perhaps. Emma Topping is confirmed to voice the automated announcements on the Red Funnel Ferries and they sound very similar to "Only Woman" so it could be her. But i can not find anything to confirm this 100% though. Maybe it might even be worth contacting Emma Topping (if we can find contact details) and asking if she is the voice of the "Only Woman" railway station announcements.

I did ask Amey a few years ago but they are a massive company with hundreds of different departments across all different industries and it is impossible to get in contact with the right department or right people. The customer service at Amey seems to be outsourced to an Indian call centre. So i had no luck getting any help from them. I do not know how to reach Amey Datel (the department that deals with the CIS sysyems) directly. But that is a good idea to contact Ketech and ask. They are a much smaller company than Amey so i might give that a go and see if they can tell me.

Dylan Fox left an annotation ()

Oh yes I see exactly what you mean now! Only Woman isn't a voice I'm very familiar with and also the bizarre pronunciation of it doesn't help either (sounds more like Limo). Yes I do agree that it is Only Woman