A rail boss slammed for kicking passengers on a busy train out of first class before spreading across two seats used to run a fish and chip shop, MailOnline can reveal.
Long before he came to public attention for the wrong reasons, Mark Boon, 48, owned the popular Mermaid Fish Bar in Finchley, north London.
Earlier this week, the operations manager for Southern Rail’s parent company Govia Thameslink faced the wrath of hot and bothered commuters when he was seen ushering people back into economy on a Southern Rail train to London Victoria.
A photo of Mr Boon posted by hairdresser Emma Fitzpatrick showing him using a first class seat for his bag and jacket went viral online, prompting further fury.
He hit back, saying that he was trying to guide passengers to seats elsewhere, but that didn’t stop thousands from sharing their outrage on Twitter following months of delays and strikes on the line.
Amid accusations of arrogance, MailOnline can disclose Mr Boon’s more modest background.
Rail boss Mark Boon, who was slammed for kicking passengers on a busy train out of first class before spreading across two seats (pictured above), used to run a fish and chip shop, MailOnline can reveal
MailOnline can reveal that he ran the Mermaid Fish Bar in North Finchley (above left) for four years between 2009 and 2013 and was popular locally
Mehrdad Kayedpour, who now runs the chip shop, described how he’d been well loved in the community when he’d run the popular chippy, originally established in 1932
Brought up in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, he worked for National Express and TfL before running and owning a ‘family catering business’, according to his Linkedin profile.
He ran the Mermaid Fish Bar for four years between 2009 and 2013.
Mehrdad Kayedpour, who now runs the chip shop, described how he’d been well loved in the community when he’d run the popular chippy, originally established in 1932.
He said: ‘He lived in the flat above the shop. I met him a couple of times when we took over the lease from him.
‘Customers came from all over, from as far afield as Camden, to have his fish and chips. This place was packed out on a Friday.
‘We still get people coming from miles away now. He was really well liked local businessman around here too.
‘But he suddenly vanished and no one knew where he went on to. We all thought he was working for London Underground.’
Mr Kayedpour said customers came from all over north London to have Mr Boon’s fish and chips
In an article for local newspaper The Archer in 2011, Mr Boon said his favourite part of running a north London family chip shop was ‘getting to know his customers’
In an article for local newspaper The Archer in 2011, Mr Boon said his favourite part of running a north London family chip shop was ‘getting to know his customers’.
His father and grandfather both worked in the same line of business in south Wales, the article said.
‘What I like about the business is that I’m my own boss and I can get to know the customers. We have a lot of local trade and customers come from as far as Mill Hill and Muswell Hill.
‘My parents were up visiting a few weeks ago and they’re very proud of what we’ve done here.’
The article was published after his shop was awarded five stars by the Food Standards Agency and he won the Frymax Gold Standard Award for food quality.
The furore over the train seats began when Ms Fitzpatrick, from Croydon, South London, said she joined the train mid-route before it terminated at London Victoria.
The 33-year-old said that Mr Boon had a ‘really awful manner’ as he ‘dismissively’ turned passengers away from approximately 10 empty first-class seats on the train.
Earlier this week, a photo of Mr Boon posted by hairdresser Emma Fitzpatrick showing him then taking up two seats in first class – including one for his bag and jacket – went viral online, prompting fury