Voice from the past Transport for London made headlines as it revealed it will reinstate the original ‘mind the gap’ announcement so that the widow of Oswald Laurence, the original voiceover, will be able to hear his voice again. Laurence was heard for years up and down the Northern Line until last November and his widow used to travel to Embankment station just to hear him. Her ‘touching’ story led TfL bosses to reinstate it.
How I see it
Tanya Hughes, managing director, Talk PR
By reinstating actor Oswald Laurence’s 40-year-old ‘mind the gap’ announcement, Transport for London did something brilliant – proved it’s human, sensitive, even romantic. It listened to what’s important to its passengers and had the imagination to act on it, cutting through the red tape normally associated with government bodies.
It also sparked thousands of positive conversations through a cleverly orchestrated PR campaign. ‘Reasons to love London’, ‘where can I buy the Mind the Gap CD?’ ‘TfL do have a heart’ were some of the tweets in circulation. And Monday night’s London Evening Standard piece will have warmed many cockles on the chilly commute home. The challenge now will be to get over the ‘technical difficulties’ that have kept Oswald silent so that all the warm feeling does not go cold.