The House Across The Road

This is a true story about a strange old looking woman who lives on her own in North Shields- she befriends a disabled young boy.

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I stood under the canopy outside of the shop and waited for the Evening Chronicle van to appear. Fifteen minutes later the red coloured van appeared then drove onto the kerb and backed into the shop’s entrance.

A young man got out of the front seat he then came around to the back and opened the doors.

He threw the piles of bound papers on the ground before closing the doors.

I picked up two large bundles and made my way into the shop, setting one bundle down as I lifted the wooden partition that led into the back of the shop, picked up the bundle from the floor walking straight as I could under the weight of the newspapers into the back of the shop. Then I took down the ledger from the shelf and a pencil and began to write out the addresses of the customers who wanted their paper delivered.

It took a while to write out the hundred or so addresses but when it was done I placed them into the bag and headed out of the shop and onto Burt Avenue,

 

Most of the houses that I delivered to were either privately owned or the council tenants that had money because we couldn’t afford to have our newspapers delivered.

My father read the Daily Mirror every day. He liked to do the crossword before he had his dinner or during his break at the commercial Plastic’s factory where he had worked for about ten years.

His father worked there too but he was in the boiler house where he shovelled coal.

My father worked on the big V9 machines as a fitter, where they made “Snappy” Plastic Bags.

 

As my paper bag got lighter I was able to jump over the gates to deliver the papers which saved time having to open and close them.

I was like a kangaroo bouncing from one path to another until the round was done and I could run back to the shop. The round took me forty minutes to do both morning and night where I was paid seventeen shillings and six pence a week which I gave my mother twelve shilling and sixpence to help out. I hated Sunday mornings because there were magazines to deliver as well as the papers and I used my Bogie (a home made go cart from the wheels from an old (Silver Cross baby pram) because the weight of the bag dug into my shoulders.

I worked for Mr and Mrs Peart for three years before I left school and started working full time as an apprentice fish filleter on North Shields Fish Quay.

He took my brother and me to Wooler in Northumberland because we never missed one day in those three years of work and was never late.

 

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