Shrewsbury Station Just After Six

So Shrewsbury...have you read anything good lately!?

I have, the beautiful book 'Shrewsbury Station Just After Six' written by local author, journalist and very dear friend Philip Gillam. 

Before I go on to talk about the book, please allow me to tell you a little bit about the author. I have known Philip Gillam for about 12 years now, he is an amazing dad to my best friend and his two brothers and all round family man. He loves Christmas, The Beatles and Shrewsbury and writes a weekly article in the Chronicle, where he chronicles (sorry, I can't resist a good pun!) his great times and musings from his favourite town. He has had the privilege *cough* of watching me grow up, and I, in turn have had the mighty privilege of learning, through him about what it takes to really have pride in one's home town.

Shrewbury Station Just After Six is a tale about Alastair, his wife Penny and their 23-year-old daughter Vicky, as they each deal with trying to find their own versions of happiness. 

Based in our fair town of Shrewsbury and its surrounding countryside, this book really is more of an ode to the beauty in the places that surround us. Phil's descriptions take us from a sun-set in a garden in Belle Vue to the winding country roads of Acton Virgil. Shrewsbury really comes to life in this book and the conversations, temptations and struggles of these three key characters are those that I'm sure have been seen in familys nationwide. Although fiction, this book feels very personal and intimate and in reading this book, you gain a real sense of who the author is and how much he knows his town and his created characters within it.

Having also read his first book Here Comes the Sun, I finally decided to speak to Phil about what it means to him to write a fiction novel, specifically what inspires him and  why. He had this to say;

"I believe passionately when you get down to it, all fiction is about us. It's about people, the human condition. Stories can tell us far more about people and about ourselves than any documentary or textbook ever could. Even the most outrageously fantasical tales such as Harry Potter, Star Trek, Iron Man- are, when you get down to it, about people. About what makes us tick. About good and evil and love and friendship. I like to think I have something to say about the human condition, and I certainly like to think I have something to say about family life and about life in a middle-sized English town. So I do tend to set my stories right here in Shrewsbury, my home town. I enjoy creating these characters and seeing what happens next."

 From a personal perspective, I loved reading this book. I'm a big supporter of the amazing talents that exist within our gorgeous town and Philip Gillam is a huge (and highly underrated!) author. 

So, now that the sun has got his sunshiny hat on, and you're picking out your spring/summer reading list, please be sure to add this very honest and refreshingly sweet book to it AND if you like the book, then please be sure to check out his very awesome blog too!

So, until next time...Thank you for reading!

(Phil has been a journalist for more than 30 years, working for the Shropshire Star, the Express & Star and other newspapers up and down the country. He is currently the editor of the Newport Advertiser and the Market Drayton Advertiser and also writes a regular column for the Shrewsbury Chronicle.)


Kerri Jones Kerri Jones
Freelance writer, fashion student and Oxjam Shrewsbury Takeover manager...and a general lover of our fair town of Shrewsbury :)

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