A train guard on one of Britain's busiest train services, is tonight at the centre of a controversy in which a woman passenger suffered temporary deafness when, she says, he blew his whistle right in her ear.
The trouble started when Jennifer Spadge desperately tried to board the 15:27 Southwestern Trains service from Manchester to Bournemouth train at Manchester Piccadilly this afternoon. The train was already running 8 minutes late, and passengers were hurriedly scrambling aboard the vehicle.
As the doors closed, Miss Spadge, 32, made a frantic dash to get on, passing the train's guard Matthew Blewitt, who, it's claimed, blew his whistle for all he was worth.
Blewitt was standing with off-duty train guard, Jack Gayle, who had just finished his shift when the 14:46 train from Manchester Airport had arrived on the next platform.
"He blew it right in my ear. I know it's part of his job to blow his whistle, but you would have thought he could have taken a bit more care about where he was blowing it! The station was full of people, and I'm sure others were also upset by this man's incompetence and lack of sensitivity."
But Blewitt denied having been the whistleblower. He said:
"It's true that I got me whistle out to give the driver the signal to move off, but Jack grabbed it off me, and blew it right in that posh bird's lug!"
Southwestern Trains have apologised to passengers for any inconvenience they may have suffered.