Millionaire shoe repair chief's teen daughter 'stranded' at Euston after Virgin Train staff 'refused to believe she was a child'

Patrick Grafton-Green
The ticket, with the words not a child written on it: Twitter

The millionaire boss of a shoe repair chain lashed out at Virgin Trains when his daughter was left stranded at Euston station in a row over her ticket.

James Timpson, chief executive of Timpson Shoe Repairs, said 15-year-old Niamh was set to get the train from London to Crewe when she was stopped by an inspector at the ticket barrier.

The 46-year-old said the inspector accused Niamh of being too old for her child ticket.

Mr Timpson was furious that she was left stuck as she tried to travel home. He branded the rail company, which has since apologised, a “disgrace”.

He posted a picture of her ticket, with the words “not a child” scrawled across it, on Twitter.

The furious father said: “Virgin Rail at Euston. Why do you stop a 15 year old girl at the barriers (who has a valid ticket) from travelling home. You say she has no ID to prove how old she is.

“It’s 7pm and she is alone now at the station. When did you have to prove how young you are? You are a disgrace.”

Keeping his Twitter followers updated on the situation, he later added that she had been allowed get a train home.

He said: “Good news. Just picking Niamh up from Crewe station.

“Not a good experience at all of the Virgin Rail ticket inspectors at Euston. Be a kind and caring company please.”

A spokeswoman for Virgin Trains said: “Customers under the age of 16 are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on fares and we do recommend that if a child looks older then it may be appropriate for proof of age to be carried when travelling.

"We’re sorry for the experience of Mr Timpson and his daughter and we are in touch with them so we can look into this properly and offer a gesture of goodwill.”