Train Stories: The Angel of Paddington Station: Part 2

Extracts from “‘The Angel’ of Paddington Stn: Misc. Interviews”

Interview conducted by X- B- on – 201-.
Subject: Ms D- O-.
Copied by ALB onto iPhone on – May 2013.
Personal identifying information redacted per Data Protection Act

I was travelling to London from Swindon. I had mislaid my ticket. I thought that there was no exit machines at Paddington. On arrival and attempt get through machines I was apprehended. [Note. This was by K- Y-]. I explained to the officer I mislaid my ticket. He ask where is return ticket. I explain I mislaid my return ticket too. The officer says he will have to give me ticket. He will have to give me penalty ticket for £20 plus cost of ticket. He takes out his pad and a pen. I explained to the officer I mislaid my ticket. As he is writing on his pad a beautiful young girl comes up. She had golden curls and a miniskirt. She is tapping the officer on the shoulder. He says, one at a time Madam I am dealing with this lady who has travelled without prior purchase a ticket. I explained to the officer I mislaid my ticket. The beautiful young girl doesn’t stop tapping the officer on the shoulder. Finally he turns round to her. Good God he says and stop writing on his pad. The beautiful young girl smiles at the officer. He says bugger it and tears out the page he has been writing on. He says to me don’t do it again and lets me through. He turns to the beautiful young girl. She looks at me in the eye. She waits till I am properly through the barrier. She grins at me. Then she vanishes.

Interview conducted by X- B- on – 201-.
Subject: Mr T- P-.
Interview conducted at St Mary’s Hospital
Copied by ALB onto iPhone on – May 2013.
Personal identifying information redacted per Data Protection Act.
Smoking references redacted due to health and safety issues.

I am currently in hospital consequent on my heart attack. I understand that I was brought here from Paddington Station on – 201- consequent on my heart attack. I do not remember that. All I remember is when I was at Paddington Station on – 201- prior to my heart attack. I am a heavy smoker. At least – cigarettes a day. Actually I am not allowed to smoke in the hospital but I was a heavy smoker prior to my heart attack. I was late for my train and I was running across the station concourse. Platform -. I live outside of Reading and was travelling home after work. Actually after a pasty and a couple of pints with friends after work. I remember that the station was empty, no one near me, although I may be remembering badly due to my heart attack. Suddenly I have great pain in my chest. I fall down. Next thing I know, my chest no longer hurts but there is white light everywhere. Bugger me I thought, this is it. Then a lovely girl is bending over me, with golden curls. Bugger me, an angel, I thought, this is really it. She crouches beside me. Even in my terminal condition I cannot help notice with approval her red knickers. Red knickers and honey-coloured skin, she was gorgeous. She holds out her hand and touches my chest. Immediately I know that after all I will be OK. I look at her to thank her even though I am pretty sure I cannot speak. She grins at me. Then she vanishes.

Interview conducted by T-O- on – 201-.
Subject: Mr S- R-R.
Copied by ALB onto iPhone on – May 2013.
Personal identifying information redacted per Data Protection Act.
Mild smoking references approved by appropriate authority Mr U-W-.

I am a homeless person. I often come to Paddington Station. Sometimes there is food to spare from the concessions. Sometimes you can beg at the Station, though if the officers sees you at it they throw you out. Sometimes it is that little bit warmer in than outside which is a benefit if it is cold out. Sometimes things go all right but sometimes it is very bad, no money no food and the officers taking liberties. On – 201- when it all happened it was very bad. I had not eaten for some days. Usually cigarettes take the edge off the hunger but cigarettes are harder to come by these days due to public health concerns. It was late in the evening. I was making myself scarce so as I could avoid the officers and stay at the station all night if possible. I find a corner and try to look like I am not there at all, just some old rags. I am not proud. I am trying so hard to be invisible that I fall asleep. I am very tired with the malnourishment remember. When I come to the station is deserted and I am on the floor. I tried to get up but I was too exhausted due to hunger to. Then I saw this lovely girl. She is walking across the concourse to me swinging her hips. She has golden curls which shone as they suddenly got in some beam of light, maybe from a night train. She is like an angel. In her hands there is a pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. I saw at once it was their top of the range Large Traditional Pasty. She puts it into my hands and she grips me by the shoulder and with a voice of infinite compassion she says, ‘Will you have chunky potato wedges with that?’ After that things got better all round, I found resources so as I don’t have to beg. She saved my life I believe. Who is she? I don’t know, I never saw her again. I reckon she’s an angel. At the time I was busy with the pasty I know but when I looked round to thank her she vanishes.

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