The old man sat in the armchair near the fire of his three bedroom apartment in Tynemouth over looking the Priory Castle. He had always liked the view from his window as he looked out each morning before breakfast. Robert McCreadie was ninety one years old; he had had a good life he thought as the embers of the coal fire burned away in the grate. Picking up the poker Robert stabbed at the coal then lifted the coal bucket at his side and poured on more lumps of Shilbottle Nut, a slow burning fuel that was delivered every fortnight by Rowley’s Coal Merchant’s in North Shields. The flames rose as Robert placed a shovel over the grate then opened last evening’s Chronicle newspaper and put it up against the shovel a vacuum was created and the paper was immediately sucked by the air from the chimney. Once he was satisfied that the fire was now blazing he removed both the paper and the shovel the heat from the fire quickly warmed up the room. Even though Robert was an elderly man he still had his faculties. He was able to walk to his local shop and buy bread or some milk.
His main shopping was bought by his housekeeper Brenda Christie who had been in his employ for over twenty five years. She cooked his meals for him and tidies his house and did his washing for him. Brenda was paid over the going rate, in fact Robert almost paid her double the wages so that he kept her in his employ. Robert McCreadie was a wealthy man he had joined the merchant navy as a boy after going onto Tynemouth Grammar School.
He had seen a lot of the world in that time’ he had been to Osaka in Japan; Seoul in Korea, Cape Town in South Africa, Kowloon in Hong Kong, and Australia where he had gone gold prospecting and made his fortune in the Northern territories, locating a large seam of gold ore that no one knew the whereabouts of. He had carefully drawn a map of the area and had brought it home with him where it was kept in a safe deposit box in Lloyds of London until his health began to fail him and he withdrew it and hid it.
Robert had been estranged from his wife Edna who divorced him in 1908 they had two children from the marriage Robert Hugh McCreadie and Allan James.
Edna miscarried a daughter which Robert dearly wanted. Edna moved to Scotland and he had never been in contact with them since. He made a will leaving his house to Robert and Allan Junior. Upon his death they would try and locate his sons who would be now in their sixties. Robert felt bad about not seeing his sons growing up and he didn’t know whether or not he had grand children either. He did however write to a Scottish newspaper and placed an advertisement asking for his children to contact him but they never did. Robert drank a sip of his tea then looked out of the window seeing the wave’s crash against the rocks. That was the last thing that Robert McCreadie saw as his heart arrested and he died in the chair where he was sitting.