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Passengers That Ship In The Night


This story goes back to my second stint working in Leeds way back in 2004-2005. The small village in which I live – Silsden – is about a 35 minute train journey from Leeds so I would generally catch the 07:56 or 08:04 train in and most likely the 17:20 train home at night.

Like most young, red-blooded males I’d play the “who’s the best looking girl on the platform?” game every day and over time I’d start to recognise pretty much everybody who got on at my station. I’d see Mr. Sharp Suit who always buys a ticket each day, cute blonde and cuter black haired girl who drive to the station car park together and put on their make-up on the train, Miss Always Running Late who day after day would have to sprint to the platform, student boy who really needed a haircut and then of course there was Silsden Station Girl.

She was very attractive. Small. Slim. Always caught the same train in as me and the same train home. She drove a silver Vauxhall Corsa. She had a really cute laugh when on her phone to her friends. She had a lovely smile. Beautiful eyes. Great skin. Fantastic taste in clothes. And for day after day, week after week, month after month we’d always catch each other’s eye, smile, maybe even say hello, but never actually have a conversation. I even found myself sitting next to her one time and she was reading some gossip magazine about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston which was the perfect opportunity for me to use my trademark humour to strike up a conversation but I never did. I bottled it.

Silsden Station - the left-hand platform goes to Leeds

I was of course in the middle of a relationship with my now-wife (who usually took an earlier train) so I wasn’t exactly going to start running off with her but my in-built good manners made me want to break the ice and talk to her – we were both taking the train to and from Leeds every day, we might as well have someone to chat to. Maybe I was scared of rejection, or of the dilemma of us being unable to keep our hands off each other and what to do about it (remember, I said I was a young, red-blooded male back then – logic didn’t come into my thinking). Whatever the reason, I spent a long time wanting to talk to her and never taking the opportunity. I let friends in on my secret shame, even my long suffering girlfriend (as she was back then) knew all about her, who she was and what a wuss I was.

Eventually in late-2005 I handed in my notice and was to start working in another town. This meant I’d be driving to work and no longer taking the train into Leeds. This was my chance. I decided that I absolutely would talk to her and find out her name, I’d make her laugh describing how it had taken me until I was leaving Leeds to actually talk to her. Even though I may never see her again it was beyond a joke that I’d never said more than “hello” to her – it was time to be a man.

And you know what? I never got the chance!!

For the full 3 weeks of my notice period she never once took the train into Leeds or back again. Despite metronomically taking the same trains for the past year she’d vanished off the face of the earth. Even stranger, my good lady still takes the train into Leeds and she’s never once seen her in the 3 years since.

I missed my chance. I’ll never know her name. I’ll never know anything about her. On the plus side I think the poor girl probably had a lucky escape. However it’ll always sadden me that I’ll likely go to my grave never knowing who Silsden Station Girl actually was…

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

11 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. What’s your point here John? Are you tinged with regret? Are you telling us all to seize the moment? Have you just been watching “Brief Encounter”?


  2. I thought this was going to culminate in some kind of holistic relief — that you’d hired her or she’s moved in next door or one of your mates is dating her. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I feel kind of empty now. 😉


  3. Sorry guys, I had actually finished as I usually do with a positive, jokey line but then took it out to leave it hanging. It’s a story with a beginning and a middle but no end – so I had to leave the post that way too! 🙂


  4. Nice story, and frankly, I like it the way it is, ending and all, or lack thereof.

    Maybe someday, someone knowing this Silsden Station Girl will stumble upon this post, and post a proper ending to the story.


  5. I have a similar story but its about a guy who I still see in a shop every week! He is absolutely gorgeous and looks just like Heath Ledger but I dare not speak to him haha!


  6. The problem with situations like this is that the longer you go on not plucking up the courage to say anything, the harder it gets!

    Thanks for having the guts to share such an honest story.


  7. Totally reminds me of that song by James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

    Indeed, a very sad story, John.


  8. Its a lovely story John, and I know your intentions were no doubt honourable, but have you questioned your wife closely about this girls whereabouts…I’m sure the hitmen would’ve told her where they hid all the evidence ;o)


  9. John, I think that “You’re Beautiful” as well.

    However, after reading your blog recently, I’m reminded more of the song, “Dancing Queen”…

    (Is banter allowed on here?)


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