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.


26. 26

The list went on until the register was done and Mr Hetherington sent Paul Kerrigan up to Mr Eliot’s room with it.

“Now as you can all see it is raining outside so there will be no football today?

There was a groan went up and Mr Hetherington called for silence.

“Please make your way to the library where you can spend the morning reading.

Everyone rushed for the door.

“Quietly please and keep to the left. Mr Hetherington stood on the right hand side of the corridor as the class filed out and made their way up the corridor. He wore a grey herringbone suit and brown brogues his white shirt had been neatly pressed by his wife Eileen and he wore his favourite tie to match his suit.

The boys lined up outside of the library until Mr Jenkins made an appearance. The tall bespectacled teacher who looked like Bamber Gascoigne from University Challenge on the television quiz show opened the door and the children went inside.

“Help yourselves to a book then come and sit down.”

Paul picked up a book about George Stephenson who made the first locomotive steam engine.

Joe got a book out about weight training by Ben Weider; a man who lived in Canada but was of Polish decent. He joined the Canadian army during the war and was a Lieutenant Colonel in 1942 in the (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment. He and his brother Joe founded the international bodybuilding federation and his books on fitness and body sculpture were world renowned. Ben was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kevin Skipsey got out a book on Sea fishing. Kevin wanted to own his own boat and to take to sea like his great grandfather Edward. Ralphie got a book about building houses.

Ralphie had dreams of building his own house up by Jackson’s Farm. His father John William served his time for Hastie D Burton a well known builder and merchant.

At eleven o’clock the milk monitors brought in a crate filled with over twenty five Gil bottles of milk every one who wanted one took one and they were given a blue plastic straw to drink from. There was usually five bottles spare and Joe polished them off in less than a minute. Then the biscuits were sold. They gave you six Golden Crunch or Fruit Crisp for a penny.

Kevin didn’t have any money on him today so the rest all gave him one of theirs to eat.

“Are you all stayin’ for school dinner then asked Kevin?

“Aye we do every week don’t we; what’s on the menu today?

“It’s mince and dumplings and coconut cake and custard.”

“Get in said Paul my favourite.”

“All food is your favourite said Ralphie to Paul.”

“At least my mother pays for my dinners, unlike some who stay for free.”


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