This section provides an overview of automated announcement systems that are no longer in use.
An unkown female voice-over artist, nicknamed after her pronunciation of 'buffet'.
Fitted to a number of stations in East Anglia and former Thames Trains stations on the GWML and for a short while with Connex in the Medway Towns in the early 2000s, but all installations had been replaced by the end of 2011. The system was supplied by Racal plc.
Here is an example of the "Boofay" system at Newbury, which has since been replaced by an Atos installation.
This comprised of a male voice belonging to voice actor Jon Elgar and an unknown female voice actor, and was first installed by Ditra and used by BR in the Southern Region in around 1983 to co-incide with the resignalling scheme in the Victoria area. The system was first installed at stations such as London Victoria, London Blackfriars, Elephant and Castle, East Croydon, Beckenham Junction, Bromley South, replacing an earlier generation of automated announcements played on tapeboxes.
Over the years, this system gradually expanded across the BR network, not just the Southern region, although Jon Elgar tended to be used in the London area only. The female voice could be heard at stations on the Eastern region such as Stratford, Hackney Downs, Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Cheshunt, Harlow Town, Bishops Stortford, and on the LTS network around Southend. She was also used at quite a few stations in the North West, such as Liverpool Lime Street, Warrington Bank Quay , Wigan North Western, and could also be heard down in South Wales at Cardiff Central. On the Southern region, it was eventually expanded to London Charing Cross, Waterloo East, London Bridge, Orpington, City Thameslink, Guildford and Southampton Central.
Around about the mid 1990s, the onset of privatisation, Jon Elgar the male voice became unavailable to make new recordings, which meant in some cases, words which sounded vaguely similar had to be scrambled together.
It was also around this time that Ditra had recruited two new voiceover artists to take over the recordings; the ubiquitous Phil Sayer and Celia Drummond, so from 1996 onwards, Phil and Celia, and of course various over systems gradually replaced the BR Ditra systems.
There were a few notable survivors well into the 21st century, on the former West Anglia section of what became National Express East Anglia (NXEA), at Seven Sisters and Bishops Stortford ; those stations hung onto this system until mid 2011, long after many stations lost it in some cases nearly 15 years previously!!