The Street Urchin

The Street Urchin is set in North shields and tells of young Billy Phelps a promising young footballer- his father is a trawlerman and has no time for his children or his wife when he meets a Norwegian girl and begins an affair.
The impact of the the marriage break up and triumph over adversity are told in this heartwarming story.

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“Right then, we are fishing said Billy as they unwound the lines stuck a piece of wragg worm on each hook then dropped the lines down.

They all sat on the stairs and you could clearly see the sprats darting around under the water.

It wasn’t long before Alan got a bite, he pulled hard on the line, and he could feel the fish struggling to get free as he lifted it up to the surface.

It wasn’t long before they all had a few sprats each.

“We need just a few more then we can give them to Mrs Villaverde for her cats.

Denise Villaverde loved animals; she had a mongrel dog called Prince who wandered around the houses looking for scraps. She had two budgerigars that chirped away. One of them could tell you to” Bugger Off”

John you go and ask that bloke over there what time it is. It was starting to get dark now and Billy heeded his mother’s warning not to be any later than eight o’clock or it would be the belt for all of them from their father. It was half past seven as the boys left. They thanked the man who had given them the worms and then put the sprats that they had caught into a plastic bag.

“Right you lot let’s run we have to get to the fish shop and back home before dad gets up.” Instead of running up the stairs they headed for tanners bank which was steep but easier to get to Hadaway’s fish and chip shop.

Judie Hind stood behind the counter in Hadaway’s as the lads came in.

“What can I get you Billy?

“Three bags of chips separate with batter on Judie please.”

Judie lived in the same street as Billy and his brothers and knew his mother who went to the Pan Shop Club on Howdon Road with Albert.

“Is your father home then?

Yes, he came back today Judie.

“When’s he going back out again?

“Don’t know we haven’t seen him yet as he was in bed when we got in from school.

“Do you want these wrapped or left open?

Open please.

“Salt and vinegar?

 “Yes please.”

The lads took their chips and thanked Judie as they walked along they scoffed the chips. That sea air doesn’t half make you hungry doesn’t it said Billy to Alan.

“Yes; I was starving.”

After the lads had eaten the mountain of chips each that Judie had given them they still had twelve pence left. Right said Billy this money will be kept in the cupboard for another day and if any of you pinch it I will give you such a hiding do you hear me?

“Yes they both voiced.

 

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