"We will shortly be arriving in Doncaster, home of my mother in law, so it's always dark and cloudy": Is Virgin Trains' comedy conductor back?

A train conductor who sparked outrage among rail passengers last year with a sideswipe at Doncaster could be back on track with more light-hearted announcements gently mocking our town.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 6th January 2017, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:01 pm
Virgin Trains operate services through Doncaster.
Virgin Trains operate services through Doncaster.

Rail traveller Jon Wilks was among passengers who began giggling aboard this morning's Virgin Trains service between London King's Cross and York when the conductor announced: "We will shortly be arriving in Doncaster, home of my mother in law, so it's always dark and cloudy."

Jon, a folk singer from Whitchurch, who was on board the 10.08 service from the capital said: "Everyone in the carriage was giggling. He was a cheery chap! Very friendly."

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It is thought the announcer could be the same conductor who shocked rail passengers last November by announcing: "As if it wasn't miserable enough already, the next station stop is Doncaster."

Traveller Mark Davies was aboard a Virgin Trains express from London King's Cross to York when the guard made the comment as the train approached Doncaster.

He said: "I understand that he was probably trying to be funny, but I don't think it was his place to be disparaging and make an unnecessary put down.

"It might just have been a joke and light-hearted comment but I found it a bit sarcastic. I've travelled on trains plenty but never heard an announcer make their thoughts clear on what they think of a place. It all seemed a bit unprofessional."

Mark, a traffic surveyor, called his friend Robert Wainman to tell him of the announcement and the proud Doncastrian instantly sprung into action, contacting Doncaster MPs Ed Miliband, Rosie Winterton and Caroline Flint and the managing director of Virgin Trains to make a complaint.

Virgin later apologised with a spokesman saying: “Our staff are encouraged to be friendly and playful with the announcements.

"We apologise if this particular announcement caused offence. It certainly wasn’t our intention – We love Doncaster!”