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.


3. 3

Sally helped her mother with the cooking which was a massive job. The range was going from morning until night where pounds of flour were used as well as margarine, suet, and lard to provide meals for all sixteen of them. There were two beds in each of the lad’s rooms; where two of them would sleep in each bed. The girls had to squeeze three beds into their room which was the biggest room in the house. Again there were two to a bed. Their mother and father had the smallest room in the house.

George, Malcolm, and John were getting married in May so that would make more room for three of the others. They had found wives. Georgina, Alice, and Margaret were also getting married in August. This would create a lot more space as they were going to live nearby. George, Malcolm, and John had found houses on Waterville Road whilst the girls were moving to Chirton Green just across the road.

There was a lot of preparation going on for the lads wedding which was taking place in only two weeks time. The Chirton had kindly allowed them to use the room in the club to hold their reception. They knew that they would make a lot of money on beer sales. They had agreed to do the same for the girls too. Maggie was pleased as she only had to cross the road to bring the food over. All the girls would help to set up the tables. They were allowing Lizzie and Sally in until the reception was over then they would have to leave.


“Where the hell is he asked Joe Kimber as he waited on the corner of the Redburn Pub which used to be an old vicarage in the early thirties?

“Do you think his mother has kept him in then asked Kevin Skipsey scratching his head?”

“Ralphie slapped Kevin across the head and told him to keep his dickies to himself.

“I haven’t got dickies; my mother scrapes my head with a dickie comb every Friday night.”

“We will give him another five minutes then we are leaving said Joe.”

“We are going to have to run all the way there and back or we will get skinned Skipper added.”

Just then they spotted Paul Kerrigan running towards them. They beckoned for him to run faster but Paul was the podgy one of the group and couldn’t run that fast.

His face was crimson when he reached them and was clearly out of breath.

“Sorry I had to go a message for my mam.”

“Never mind let’s go and remember if we are caught no grassing us up or I will beat the crap out of you.”

The four boys made their way up Wallsend Road passed the Pineapple then turned up towards Burt Avenue. They jumped onto the bus at the quadrant and then carried on to Tynemouth College where they all got off.

“Not far now said Joe they walked up the road towards Preston High School then climbed the wall of the rookery.


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