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Quiz about They Were Not Railway Children to Begin With
Quiz about They Were Not Railway Children to Begin With

They Were Not Railway Children to Begin With Quiz


Not only for children, but for all those Railway people who love E. Nesbit's classic story. My questions are strictly on the book only.

A multiple-choice quiz by cseanymph. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
cseanymph
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
408,564
Updated
May 05 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
78
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Why didn't Father mend Peter's broken toy engine, as the children had hoped? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What were the words the children printed in blacking on a white sheet for the old gentleman to read as he passed by in the train to London? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Who did mend Peter's engine in the end? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What was Perks' Christian name? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Who were Slingsby Minor, Parr and Paley Terts? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. How many potentially fatal accidents did the children prevent in the book? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What is Perks' main fault? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What did Peter predict would happen on Phyllis's wedding day? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which of the following statements is true? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. There are several 'clues' in the book about the mystery of Father's disappearance. Which of the following is NOT a clue? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Why didn't Father mend Peter's broken toy engine, as the children had hoped?

Answer: Because some visitors called unexpectedly and he had to go away

The engine, a birthday present, had gone off with a bang while Peter and Phyllis were playing with it, only three days after his birthday. They were sure their Father would be able to mend it, as he had repaired lots of their other toys. But just as Father was examining the broken engine, there was a knock at the front door and the parlour maid announced two gentlemen wished to see Father.

The children waited and waited while loud voices were heard from the library, and eventually they were told Father had been called away - on business.

This was the beginning of their adventures.
2. What were the words the children printed in blacking on a white sheet for the old gentleman to read as he passed by in the train to London?

Answer: LOOK OUT AT THE STATION

The children used to wave their handkerchiefs to the nine-fifteen train to London every day and call "Give our love to Father!" The old gentleman used to wave back with his newspaper. This was the only acquaintance they had with him, but when Mother was ill they needed help to pay for the things the doctor had prescribed.

They decided to ask him. The sheet saying LOOK OUT AT THE STATION was to get the gentleman's attention so that Phyllis could hand a letter to him when the train stopped at the station.
3. Who did mend Peter's engine in the end?

Answer: Jim's second cousin's wife's brother

Yet another adventure at the station, and all because Bobbie wanted to get Peter's engine mended for a surprise! She was sure the 'engineers', who drove the train, would help her, because "everyone who has to do with railways is so good and kind." In those days engines had to be stoked with coal, and Bobbie, trying to get the attention of the fireman and the engine driver, climbed up onto the engine and fell into the coal heap just as the train was leaving the station.

Her faith in the kindness of railway engineers was justified, however, and Jim the fireman(not to be confused with another character called Jim, who appears later in the book) and Bill the engine driver arranged for the toy engine to be made as good as new.
4. What was Perks' Christian name?

Answer: Albert

Perks the porter was the first friend they made on the station, and he gave them much interesting information about trains. They quickly became very fond of him, but on a couple of occasions they had to learn that true friendship can be demanding. Perks doesn't always react in the way they expect him to!
5. Who were Slingsby Minor, Parr and Paley Terts?

Answer: Boys at Jim's school

Jim was at a school in Maidbridge, the nearest town. After the children discovered him in the tunnel with a broken leg, he was kept at Three Chimneys to be looked after by Mother. He talked to them endlessly about his school friends and Mother wrote a rhyme entitled 'The New Boy' which mentioned these three boys. Parr was the new boy, whom Jim despised as a 'jolly fool'. Boys at schools were then called by their surnames. Slingsby must have an older brother, which is why he is known as 'Minor'. Paley must have two older brothers in the school, as 'Terts' stands for 'the third'.
6. How many potentially fatal accidents did the children prevent in the book?

Answer: Four

First, and most famously, they stop the train from crashing in to a mound that had fallen on the line by waving red flags (so lucky Bobbie and Phyllis were wearing their red flannel petticoats that day!)

Next, they save a baby from a barge which has caught fire. The bargeman's wife, after getting the baby to sleep, goes to join her husband at the local inn, saying to the children, "Who'd hurt a little thing like him? Besides, Spot's there." The children are just about to leave the canal where they have been fishing, and go home, when they see smoke curling out from the barge. Peter and Bobbie between them manage to get the baby out safely.

Some time later they are watching a paper chase, a popular Edwardian game in which the 'hare' lays a trail of paper for the 'hounds' to follow. The children, waiting to see the hounds come out of the railway tunnel, notice that the boy in the red jersey hasn't come out. They realise something must have happened to him and on going to investigate, discover him lying in the tunnel with a broken leg. With some difficulty they carry him to the side of the tunnel.

Bobbie stays with the boy, Jim, in the dark railway tunnel, while Peter and Phyllis go to get help. This is when the fourth potential accident is averted. They come to a signal-box and climb up to talk to the signalman, although they know this is forbidden. The signalman's duties were something similar to an Air Traffic Controller. He signalled to let the train drivers know when it was safe to go through a crossing. Peter and Phyllis found the signalman fast asleep, and woke him just in time for him to pull the levers and avert an accident.
7. What is Perks' main fault?

Answer: He is quick to take offence

Poor Perks! I'm sure he was never unkind to his wife. However, he is sometimes very touchy. The children are taken aback by his coldness on one occasion, when he is dying to know the story of the Russian gentleman, and none of them has thought to go down to the station and tell him. "You're sharp enough when you want to get anything out of old Perks," he says bitterly.

However the children persuade him to be friends again. They are so fond of him that they plan a great surprise for his birthday. Unfortunately, Perks takes offence at their well-meaning efforts when he finds his cottage full of presents for him and his family.

He is even more insulted when he finds that the children have been round asking his neighbours to contribute, and accuses them of "coming the charity lay" over him.

The day ends happily, though, once Perks understands that it was true friendship that prompted the children.
8. What did Peter predict would happen on Phyllis's wedding day?

Answer: Her bootlace would come undone when she was walking up the aisle and the groom would trip over it

Phyllis is the youngest of the three. Her exact age is not stated, but Bobbie is twelve and Peter is ten, and Bobbie remembers a poem she herself recited to Father on her fourth birthday "when Phil was a baby", so Phyllis must be about eight or nine. Phyllis is a clumsy child and is always tearing her clothes, spilling things, and hurting herself.

Her bootlaces invariably come undone at moments of stress or when she is in a hurry. Peter is rather too fond of teasing her. On one occasion he reduces her to tears by calling her 'ungentlemanly'.

She protests: "I didn't never call him unladylike, not even when he burnt my Clorinda at the stake for a martyr." She is also very affectionate and is always the first to throw her arms around Perks and say: "Let's kiss and be friends."
9. Which of the following statements is true?

Answer: Peter faints when he hurts his foot on a rake

Several people swoon during the course of the book, and no wonder with such hair-raising adventures going on!

The Russian gentleman is indeed overcome with emotion when Bobbie pants out the good news to him - but he doesn't faint, he bursts into tears.

It is Bobbie, not Phyllis, who faints on the line in reaction to the danger they have narrowly averted.

And it is poor Jim who faints in the tunnel, owing to the pain of his broken leg. Bobbie is ministering to him as the others have gone to get help. (She does feel a bit light-headed when she cuts off his stocking and sees the injured leg, but she stays conscious this time).

Peter faints from the pain and shock when the teeth of a garden rake run into his foot. He is laid up for several days. Bobbie feels to blame as she and Peter were quarrelling over the rake when he was injured. More than the other two children, Bobbie tries to be good and behave well, so she takes it to heart when she lets her good intentions down. It is Peter's injury that leads indirectly to Bobbie's discovering the terrible secret about Father.
10. There are several 'clues' in the book about the mystery of Father's disappearance. Which of the following is NOT a clue?

Answer: The Stationmaster says Peter is a chip off the old block when he is caught stealing coal

"The Railway Children" has been beloved as a book for over a hundred years, and the story is also well known from the two popular films. Even first-time readers are probably aware of the solution to the mystery, although I can remember getting nearly as horrible a shock as Bobbie when she reads the words on the old newspaper at the end of Chapter Ten. (It is possible that E. Nesbit wanted the young reader to guess the mystery, as in The Treasure-Seekers, where it is meant to be a secret that Oswald is telling the story, but it is fairly obvious early on in the book that he is the narrator.)

The parlour maid's remark seems to be a blatant clue, but perhaps this is only in hindsight. Peter certainly does not guess what she is driving at, although Mother's promptly sending her away is an additional clue.

Mother asking them to pray for prisoners and captives seems to arise from a natural pity brought on by learning the story of the Russian gentleman. But Phyllis remarks: "Why Mother, how very sorry you seem to be for him!" And, just prior to this, Peter protests (on hearing that the Russian gentleman's crime was merely that he spoke against the Tsar), "But they can't! People only go to prison when they've done wrong." "Or when Judges think they've done wrong," Mother corrects him.

Mother posting her letters in Maidstone is a very subtle clue. Obviously no one in the village knows who the children's father is. But they all rejoice with the children and their mother on the day when the wrong is righted and his release is announced in the newspaper.
Source: Author cseanymph

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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