Magistrate has knack of stringing sentences

Barbara Phipps, a Wakefield based author is celebrating the launch of her second book, 'Never Ask Why'.
Barbara Phipps, a Wakefield based author is celebrating the launch of her second book, 'Never Ask Why'.
Have your say

A MAGISTRATE from Wakefield who caught the writing bug just four years ago has had her second novel published.

Barbara Phipps, 63, of Walton, is celebrating the launch of her latest novel ‘Never Ask Why’.

Mrs Phipps’ debut ‘The Threlfalls’ was published less than 12 months ago.

Now the grandmother has a second tome on the shelves and is already writing a third.

Mrs Phipps, who has been on the bench at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court for 13 years, said the new book is a light-hearted look at the process of grief.

It tells the tale of 50-year-old widow Helen McGuire, who is left plenty of money by her husband after he dies. Helen McGuire has two grown up sons who show no sign of leaving home. So she decides to go away for a while and buys a motorhome.

Helen makes new friends on her travels and their situations and difficulties leave her with a new attitude to life.

Mrs Phipps, a former student at Wakefield Girls’ High School, said: “My characters in Never Ask Why have diverse personalities. All families have difficulties hidden behind their front door which seldom match the way they are perceived by others.

“It’s a great feeling to know that even though I only started writing four years ago I now have two published books and a third on the way.”

In her first book ‘The Threlfalls,’ Mrs Phipps vividly brought to life the sights and sounds of of 1950s and 1960s Leeds. It relates the tale of young woman growing up as part a dysfunctional family in a fictional pub in Briggate.

The main character Susan’s mother is an alcoholic and her publican father tops up his income by working as a black marketeer. Both books are on sale and available via

170118  Olympic Triathlete Lucy Hall takes on  Sophie Chapman, 10, in the triathlon challenge at Trinity Leeds on saturday .

Tri something new: Olympian Lucy Hall introduces Leeds shoppers to triathlon