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.


5. 5

“Where have you been; said Janet Skipsey to her son?” she folded her arms and waited for an answer.

“I’ve been oot playin’ wi me friends mam honest.”

“Aye and I bet you’ve been up to no good as well. If you fatha finds out you’ve been in trouble again with the coppers there will be hell on.”

“I haven’t mam I was wi Joe, Paul, and Ralphie. “ We are all gannin to the pond the morra’ to catch frogs and newts.”

“Well divven’t be brinin’ them in my hoose lad.”

“I won’t.’

“Go an get ya sel washed in the sink and wash those bloody lugs of yours you could plant bloody cabbages in them.”

“Yes mam said Kevin to his mother as he walked into the scullery removing his knitted tank top and his tee shirt underneath. The red elasticated snake belt held up the short pant’s that had been passed down from his older brother.

He ran the tap until the water began to warm his hands then quickly washed his face with palm olive soap.

“His mother stood in the doorway and watched then said “don’t forget to wash your neck as well Kevin.”

Kevin sluiced the water over his neck then took hold of the soap and began to wash himself. The soap stung his eyes so he reached for the towel; blinded by the stinging perfume they added to the soap which he hated, he felt for the towel.

Once in his hand he dried his eyes that were still stinging minutes later.

“Can I have a bowl of cornflakes mam I’m hungry?

“Go on then but don’t put too much sugar on them or you will get worms.”

“Kevin picked up a bowl then filled it with Kellogg’s Cornflakes then splashed some milk on them. He took a spoon from the draw next to the stone sink then began to spoon some sugar over his bowl of cereal.

The cereal didn’t fill him but it was better than nothing.”

“Where’s me Da’.”

“I’ll give you three guesses.”

“Is he at the pub wi his mates.”

“Well done you guessed right; you think he lived there at that bloody pub you would; he’s never out of the place.”

“He never takes me across the doors these days; at one time we went all over the place together.”

“We would spend many a night in the Cresta Club in Shields; we would go dancin’ and he would take me to the boating lake in Tynemouth. He would buy me flowers and chocolates. This year for my birthday he bought me an electric iron.”

“I will batter the drunken bugger over the heed wi it when he comes in.”


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