This is part of the frieze around the lovers statue in St Pancras Station, actually called Meeting Place. It shows a typical scene from a busy commuter train, maybe an underground, maybe just an ordinary railway train. You can see a typical cross-section of people, some asleep, some reading newspapers, some just gazing into the distance, some reading books…. just a typical commuter train. I’ve been on such trains, crowded with people but all of them in their own little worlds. I’m guessing because some people are asleep that it is a train taking weary workers home… but maybe it is an early train setting off with people heading for their day earning their wage and maybe they are dozing because it is so early not so late.
However, I think it is a train going home and my eyes are drawn to the central figure on the right. He has a book in his hand but he is not looking at it… what is he thinking? Of something he has just read, a marvellous scene, a dramatic episode, an unexpected death, an unexpected kiss?! Maybe it’s a boring book and his mind has wandered to the day… a miserable boss, a bullying co-worker, a romantic glance across a stairwell, a telephone call from his wife?
I think it is to do with the book, I think something he has read has taken him somewhere, somewhere real or somewhere imagined. I think he has understood a truth, made a connection, entered another world.
I wonder what book he has in his hand?