The Stand Back Train
Author: John Ironside (Peterhouse 1952)
Born to the sound of an express whistling through the station, Pal Shripney’s complacent existence of standing back and letting others in life’s train do the rushing by ends when his sister Alice and her Anglican curate husband Jack become lottery winners and call for help. Irreverent Pal finds himself in a strange new ecclesiastical world of diocesan dignitaries and parochial pastoral care. He is enlightened by sharing in a mission project in Thailand, but it is interrupted by Jack catching dengue fever. Publicity of Jack’s win brings grief when his sister Janet is abducted for ransom. Back home Pal experiences love and then marriage with bishop’s secretary Barbara. They help with Janet but have their own grief as victims in the 1987 King’s Cross underground station fire. Though permanently handicapped they live to enjoy Pal's continuing railway interests and the growing up of their children Emma and Pip.