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.


28. 28

Thanks Mrs Johnston.

Joe walked away from the counter and found the top table and sat at the head of it.

Pongo Smith asked if anyone wanted another dumpling.

 “Pass it up here I will eat it. The plate was passed to Joe who scooped up the dumpling then handed it to Paul who then handed it back down the line.

“Pass that water jug up said Ralphie and four glasses as well the jug and water quickly ended up in Ralphie’s hands.

He placed a glass near everyone then poured water into each of them; before setting the metal jug back onto the centre of the table.

Joe was finished eating his dinner before all of them and took a sip of his water before starting in on his pudding.”

“What are we doing tonight then Joe asked Kevin.

“I’m going down to the YMCA tonight wi me Da’ he’s going to get me into the weights room.”

“They might not let you in with you only being eleven Joe.”

“I’ll get in you watch me.”

“I bet he does; Paul nodded his head in agreement; you’re as strong as an ox.

“Aye me mother is making me massive bowls of porridge for school every morning.

You should have seen the faces of the women on the Co-op counter when my mother bought eight boxes of Quaker Oats.

“Have you got a horse at home they asked me mam?

“No but it feels like one, the amount of food my Joe eats she said.”

The lads on the table all fell about laughing.

“Right then who’s for a walk around the school yard; maybe you can see Agnes and the girls playing netball.

They got up from the table then took their trays and stacked the plates after scraping the left over’s into a plastic bucket The knives, forks, and spoons were placed into separate buckets to be washed. They vacated the dining room then exited by the top door where a prefect was standing. The rain had now stopped and the sun was now shining again.

They walked around to the other side of the fence where the girls were playing in the top yard.

Bella, Agnes, and Anne were playing whilst Brenda was sitting on the grass.

They waved as they saw the lads outside until Mrs Buckley blew her whistle and ordered the girls to get on with the game.

The lads wondered off leaving them to get on with their game whilst they went into the other yard and began talking to Brian Ellis who lived in the fifth tower block, which they had played football with yesterday.


“Fancy another game tonight then asked Brian?’

“Are you kidding the grass is soaked and we will get covered in mud and me mam will skin us.”


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