The Shieldsman

A story of four young boys growing up in the tower block of flats in Percy Main in North Shields. the story follows them through to adulthood through mischief and lost innocence, love, tragedy, and finally triumph. If you remember what it was like growing up as a child then this story is definitely one for you.

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The rain bounced off the windows of the towers as Ralphie looked out. “Here son put on your duffle coat and your pom pom hat it will keep you dry and have you got your wellies ready to put on?” I have put your shoes in the bag with your PE stuff. Here is a penny for you biscuits at break time; “Now hurry on or you will be late and no splashing in the puddles my lad, do you hear me?”

“Yes mam; stick in now Ralphie you are doing very well in your lessons.

Ralphie sat on the step leading down and pulled on the black wellington boots then pulled the thick grey socks over the lip to stop them chaffing.

He picked up the elasticated bag and ran down to meet his friends.

Walking through the subway towards the school it was beginning to fill up with water. Who ever designed the structure had forgotten about the British weather.

All four lads met on the road walking towards Percy Main Junior School it would be their last year here and they would either go to Ralph Gardner Secondary Modern or Linkskill High school. If you were a Catholic you went to St Joseph’s or St Aslums.

All four of them were going to Ralphie’s “The College of Knowledge” as it was better known as.

“We won’t be playing football in this said Joe disappointedly, the pitch will be sodden.”

“We might get to use the gym for a game of British Bulldog Joe.”

“Aye if Mr Parkin takes us; let’s hope it’s not Jenkins or we will be stuck in a classroom reading some National Geographic book.

“Hey in some of them there are naked natives; have you seen them?

“Aye wi big bums and droopy titties.”

They could hear the bell sounding so they all went to the classroom where their form teacher Mr Hetherington was waiting to call the register.

 

“Morning boys said the teacher.”

Morning sir came the reply from everyone.”

“Now I know you have been enjoying yourselves this weekend; but kindly keep your stories for the break.

“Right when I call your name just reply present or here.”

“Armstrong?

“Here,”

“Bond?

“Here.”

“Carmichael?

“Here.”

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