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.


4. 4

There was little light in the rookery as the clouds covered the moon Joe held the torch near the ground so that they wouldn’t fall over dead branches.

“Joe whispered to the others not to make a sound or it would set the rooks off crowing and it would alert the caretaker who would call the police. Joe selected a branch from a yew tree which was the best kind for making catapults with. He climbed up the and worked his way up the tree. He took out a little saw when he found a branch that he had selected that would make at least three good catapults. He sawed away which took quit some time because of the size of the saw teeth plus he had to hold onto a branch to stop him from falling.

“The branch eventually began to crack under its own weight Joe whispered to those below to move away as he sawed through the remaining branch until it crashed to the ground. Joe quickly came down from the tree then he set about choosing the best part of the branch that would give him an excellent V shape. Again he sawed through both sides then held up the piece of yew as if he was going to fire the catapult.

“Perfect he voiced then placed it in his pocket whilst Skipper cut the one he wanted.

“Hurry up man; will you Paul voiced; this place gives me the creeps.

“I’m gannin’ as fast as I can; said Skipper as he finished one end then started on the other.  When he was done Ralphie began to cut his. In fact Ralphie thought his was the best of the lot when they were done.

Suddenly they heard a noise coming to wards them and a dog barking.

“Come on quick its Bulldog Baldwin the copper and his dog.

The boys ran through the wood of the rookery until they came to the fence which they all bounded over. They all ran down the street all the way down towards Tynemouth infirmary where they hid behind the war memorial until they saw the policeman and his dog The chubby looking policeman was called bulldog because of his fat face he had a squashed nose where he had been belted by several drunks over the years and his jowls hung down loosely around his neck.

He looked over towards them so they all ducked down. When Joe looked again he had turned towards Scorer’s Park.

They came out then walked straight down Hawkey’s Lane towards Ralph Gardner School. Once there they ran along towards Silkey’s Lane and down Waterville Road.

“Right tomorrow bring you catapults and we will fix them up. We need some plastic coated wire, a pair of ya fathas old braces and some electricians tape.

We can go down to Clarke’s bike shop in North Shields tomorrow afternoon and get some strong elastic that they us to make model aeroplanes with.

Right see you all here again tomorrow at ten o’clock don’t be late Paul said Ralphie as they crossed the road from the Redburn.


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