Adapt and Recover

"Adapt and Recover" which tells about two boys growing up in the 1970's in which was still known as the Ridges Estate. Michael and Lizzy Fox live in Oakwood Avenue they have friends who live across the road; Connie and Bob Harris. Both of their sons Roger and Ronnie play together and go to the same school. Infact they are inseparable. This story takes you through their childhood together and their desire to be Royal Marine Commandos after Lizzy, Rogers mother buys Roger an Action man toy for Christmas. As young boys they join the Army Cadets until they reach the age of eighteen where they sign up to take on the hardest training regime in the world. see the boys grow into men as they are sent to fight in the Gulf War in 1991. This is a story of friendship and comradery. one that will last a lifetime.

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“Right then Liz I will see you in the morning.’

Lizzy Fox walked home feeling very proud of herself knowing that she had landed a job right on her doorstep. There would be no bus fares to pay and it would only take her a few minutes to walk down the street each morning. Plus she would know all of the customers which was a bonus.

It was just after three o’clock when she got back so she peeled some potatoes that she’d bought. The post had come and she opened a letter informing her that the council were planning to re-modernise all the houses on the estate. The work would commence in the summer of 1971. Roger was big enough to walk home from school which he did with his friend Ronnie Harris who lived just over the road at number 18.

“Connie Harris worked for Breekes fish cake factory on the Quay and they got in the Percy main club on a Saturday night.

“There were some right characters that lived in the street at that time; Irish Lilly Reynolds who was one of the first women in the street who was arrested and went to the North Shields Assizes for the theft of ten pounds of bacon from Hoults the butcher. She was given a three month prison sentence. Then there was Tommy “Tiddle, his real name was Liddle but he got caught having a pee in the public phone box and got himself a fifty pound fine.

There was a man who people called Frank Sinatra because every Saturday night he’d come home drunk and stand in the middle of Oakwood serenading his wife who then came out and dragged him into the house after giving him a swift kick up the arse for getting himself in a state.

There was also an ex boxer in the street called Johnny Rembrandt.” His real name was Tomkinson; he was never off the canvas after being knocked out so many times the name stuck. He was a bit punchy they reckoned. He would shadow box in the middle of the street.

Lizzy put on the pan of potatoes as Roger ran into the path he was panting for breath as he ran to the tap and stuck his head under it and drank some water.

“Roger! I’ve told you about that.’ Get a glass from the cabinet.’

“Sorry mam I was chokin’ for a drink.’

“Don’t give me that you know I’ve told you before.’

“What’s for tea mam?’

“Shit with sugar on for you lad.’

“Mam, you know there’s no such thing.’

“There will be if you stick your head under that tap again.’

Ten minutes later and Roger’s father came rushing through the door then headed for the toilet to relieve himself.

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