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Category: Dad Stuff

4 Months and still waiting for an answer from @Virgin_TrainsEC

4 Months and still waiting for an answer from @Virgin_TrainsEC

As usual with my blog posts, they are a bit long, wordy and full of grammatical errors, if you’d like to skip that just read TLDR; Virgin Trains have redone the first class  toilets in Leeds and only put baby changing in the ladies toilet, I asked them why as there is plenty of space in the gents in November and almost 90 days later, still no response.

On the 30th of November, We have a family trip to London and with an 8 month old and a  Weekend First Class upgrade we were in for some excitement. As usual Heather makes sure we get to the train station mega early so we ended up in the newly refurbished First Class Lounge at Leeds Station.

During the delay it became clear that someone needed a change and it was Dad’s turn, so I grabbed the baby and changing bag and headed to the bathroom, there was plenty of space in the gents for one so this annoyed me a bit, I tweeted Virgin Trains


And after a bit of confusion I received


After a week or so I tweeted that I hadn’t received a followup or anything and was told they don’t do responses, to get a response I’d have to email

So I did

Hello Virgin (East Coast) Team!

I tweeted your team the other day about an Issue I have with the toilets ( and was told that the issue would be ‘passed on to management’ 

However when I asked for a response, I was told that, it wasn’t available unless I emailed.. 

So I’m emailing, I was really disappointed to see this, I travel with my daughter alone a lot and yet again this is an example of dads being treated as 2nd class parents. 

If I wanted to change my daughter I’d either have to leave the room or awkwardly use the women toilets with a sense of shame and embarrassment, no father should field embarrassed to change his child. 

There looks to be plenty of space in the Blokes for a changing table, so I have to ask why wasn’t one added?

Thanks for your time so far.

A few days later I got an autoresponder

Dear Dom,

Thank you for your correspondence received on 06 December 2016.

Your correspondence has been received and assigned the reference number above. We review all our feedback, praise and complaints and if your case requires a response then we aim to send you a full reply within the next 28 working days. If you have any additional information in relation to this matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by replying directly to this email.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Yours Sincerely

Customer Solutions Team

Virgin Trains East Coast

28 working days.. wow that puts us to about the middle of January with the Christmas period, that came and went and I gave them a few extra days and tried to call the phone number in the email…. it didn’t work..

and finally JW jumps in with an excuse

Someone ELSE operates the station,  we are just happy to take the credit about our new refurb and fancy seats and facilitates when it’s good stuff


Thankfully JW was on the case after a bit of pushing.

That was the 24th of Jan.. Here we are over a month later.. and even after a small poke


No response.

I realise in the grand scheme of things it’s a small thing, but it matters that when my daughter needs changing, I shouldn’t feel remotely embarrassed about any facilities available or having to ask permission to use another bathroom.

The Virgin Brand has always pretty good at customer relations and I use the train service most months without issue but this issue and the lack of accountability has really disappointed me.


What do I want?

  • I’d like a baby changing table in the gents for a start 😉 or at least to know why it wasn’t added originally
  • I’d like to know why my question has been ignored for almost 4 months even after someone taking ‘personal charge’
  • I’d like more services to run on the August Bank Holiday Weekend (this may be unrelated to the above post)




Virgin have said that it will hopefully be done by April, I’ve asked why it’s taken 4 months to tell me that 🙂

1 Second Every Day

1 Second Every Day

I’ve had a lot of fun over the last year putting together a 1 second every day video of Scarlett’s First year.

I highly recommend it to any new parents, it’s a small glimpse into a year which flies by.

Trapped in my own house?

Trapped in my own house?

I’m writing this here because I’m hopeful that someone will see it and be able to give some advice.


Last night the house next door was set on fire for the third time in three weeks. My family and I were out at the time, but we received a phone call from both the police and our neighbours, informing us that my door had been breached by the fire brigade as they thought someone was in the house.
This is the culmination of over two years of issues with the house next door and each government department I’ve spoken to has passed it on to other departments effectively saying ‘there is nothing we can do’.

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Yesterday I went shopping for some baby stuff..

Yesterday I went shopping for some baby stuff..

I fucking love TK Maxx sometimes

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

Better get Scarlett’s new teddy home safe

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

Scarlett and her Guard Chicken…

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

I also bought some Baby Clothes but I figured I’d photographed those enough.

22nd Feburary 2016 – 10:41pm

22nd Feburary 2016 – 10:41pm

This post is part three, if you've not read part one and two, try them first :)

Scarlett Veronica Hodgson – 5lb 13 and 5 weeks early.

2016-02-22 19.30.32

She obviously gets her impatience from me, Mum had a few hours to rest in the delivery room and I sat with her in silence, refreshing Reddit, texting friends and family and acquiring and .com.

After what seemed like hours but was in reality was less than one, we were moved into the Transitional Ward and that’s where I’m writing this from.

Apart from the stern doctor who told Heather she was going to have the C-Section, every single member of staff that we’ve dealt with at the hospital has been beyond amazing, we are now on our 9th day in the Hospital and in the time we’ve been here, We’ve been to four departments (we didn’t go to neonatal so missed out on a full house).

Heather read a negative review of St. James on the internet so during the pregnancy she switched to the LGI,  I have never been more thankful for a ward to be closed, not that I thought the LGI would be bad, but I was born at St. James so I was happy to be moved there (but you never argue with a pregnant woman)

I wanted to write this message so that if someone searches for St. James Maternity Ward Review, hopefully this will appear and they can see that you are in the very best of hands.

I’ve no doubt I’ll be using this blog to complain when things go wrong with stuff and it’s much easier to write complaints than complements but if your thinking about St. James, I could not ask for more from them (other than a car park pass 😉 )

21st Feburary 2016 – 11:31pm

21st Feburary 2016 – 11:31pm

This post is part two, if you've not read it, read part one

iMessage from Heather Heather: They’ve just done and scan and the baby is in breach, they are going to do a c-section tomorrow

I called Heather straight away and we talked through what had happened, the Doctor had been quiet matter of fact and left after giving the information so we were both upset that she was on her own with this news, we chatted for 5 minutes and agreed that we both needed some sleep.

I ran downstairs and woke my mum up by SHOUTING AT HER,

You’ve got to get up at 6 tomorrow, I need to get up and goto the hospital, baby is in breach so she’s coming tomorrow, I need a bath and you need to drive me!!

I switched the lights off and went back upstairs and then it started to sink in.. we were going to have a baby TOMORROW.. holy shit.. 

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21st February 2016 – 3:30pm

21st February 2016 – 3:30pm

2016-03-03 22.44.28

The day of the World Club Challenge had arrived. I’d been excited about this for months, tickets were booked and I’d upgraded Grandad and I to some prematch VIP hospitality with a three course meal.

Dinner started at 4:00pm so at 3:30pm Grandad and I had our shirts on, the car was packed and we bound towards the door, my hand was on the handle when my phone buzzed..

iMessage from Heather Hodgson : Can you come upstairs please

I trotted up the stairs and walked into our bedroom to find Heather on the bed, “My waters have broke” 

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