SYNOPSISLucy Piddock meets Arthur Goodrich, solid and reliable, a stonemason and regular churchgoer. As far as her family and friends are concerned, Arthur is the ideal match. But Lucy's perception is different. He is prone to one calamity after another - hardly the man of her dreams - and she remains lukewarm. Unbeknownst to Arthur, she is holding out for Dickie Dempster, the dashing guard she fancies who works on the newly constructed railway which runs through her home town of Brierley Hill.But then tragedy strikes and Lucy’s world is turned upside-down . . .Nancy Carson's powerful tale of love, loss and jealousy is down-to-earth and unforgettable, humorous yet poignant, and full of the astonishing twists and turns that make her stories compulsive reading.
THE BLACK COUNTRY CHRONICLES
The Railway Girl
Set in the Black Country during the Victorian age of steam, and centred
around an actual historical incident, The Railway Girl tells the compelling
and often hilarious story of a young man and a girl, who cannot make up
their minds. A robust tale of love, loss and jealousy.
EXTRACT . . . Arthur was out of breath. ‘Sorry I’m late, Lucy.’ ‘It’s too late to be sorry,’ she replied, deciding to manifest her scornful side. ‘I’m going back home.’ ‘Oh, wait, Lucy.’ He sounded irritated and impatient at what he deemed unreasonableness. ‘If you knew the trouble I’ve had you’d be very understanding. I didn’t mean to keep you waiting. I’ve gone through hell and high water to get here on time.’ ‘You didn’t get here on time.’ ‘I know that. But I still went through hell and high water.’ He dismounted and stood before her. ‘I had to run an errand for my old man. He’s bad abed.’ ‘What’s up with him?’ she asked indifferently. ‘God knows. With any luck it’ll be terminal.’ ‘I thought you didn’t like riding horses,’ she said, softening. ‘I don’t. I loathe and detest the damned things. Stupid animals. But if I’d walked I’d never have got here.’ ‘What’ve you done to your eyebrow? It’s cut and bleeding.’ ‘I know.’ He put his fingers to it gingerly. ‘Let me have a look at it.’ Obediently he bent his head forward and she inspected the wound, putting her gentle fingers to his temples. He felt a surge of blood through his body at her warm touch. ‘I think it’ll be all right,’ she said softly. ‘It needs a smear of ointment on it. How did you do it?’ ‘I banged my head on a lintel.’ ‘Banged your head on a lintel?’ she repeated, incredulous. ‘You aren’t that tall.’ He explained in detail how it happened and her pique melted away with her peals of laughter. ‘I’ve never known anybody like you for getting in the wars,’ she said. ‘It’s one calamity after another with you.’ He shrugged. ‘So do you forgive me, Lucy . . . for being late?’ ‘Oh, I suppose so.’ ‘I won’t do it again.’ He sniffed audibly. ‘You’ve got a cold.’ ‘I know. A stinker.’ He snivelled again to emphasise the fact.
HISTORICAL NOTE The Railway Girl highlights a long-forgtten railway accident that occurred on Bank Holiday Monday in August 1858. An excursion from Wolverhampton to Worcester on GWR ended in tragedy when the two trains carrying the day-trippers collided. 15 carriages from the leading train came adrift and rolled back down the 75:1 incline to crash into the train that was following. Twelve people were killed and more than 100 injured.