Bill folded the certificate then handed it back to his friend. “I’m sorry for your loss he said as he opened the back door of the car so that they both could get in.
They drove home in silence and when they reached the gate Alice just went straight into the house and into her bedroom where she lay on the bed crying her heart out.
5th of June 1958
Heather Reid was gutting herring ready to be split and then smoked in the kipper house there was some banter going on with the girls as they asked what they were doing that evening.
“Well there’s a group on tonight at the St Aiden’s Church Hall.’
“What are they called asked Heather as she fed another herring onto a long wooden skewer ready to be placed into a wrack with many others ready for the smoker?
“Noddy’s Purple Train” said Sally Kendal. I’ve heard that they are very good. Do you want to come with me and Irene tonight? You never know there might be a nice lad there for you.’
“I don’t know I would have to ask my dad first.’ You know what he’s like about rock bands.’
“Tell him to get with the times and forget about Mario Lanza.’
Irene Jackson gave a little chuckle to herself as she moved the wrack into the smoke house. each wrack held fifty pairs of kippers there were around twenty wracks going at one time so that was a thousand kippers every two hours. They were then boxed and sent to various stores around the country.
“Tell him that you are coming over to my house tonight Heather shouted Sally.’
“Aye that’s an idea.’
“So we will se you there then say half past six.’
“How much is it to get in?’
“It’s just a bob you’ve got that haven’t you?’
“Oh Aye, but I will need a few bob to get a drink.’
You only need a tanner man Heather let the lads buy you a drink.’
“I know but isn’t that leading them on a bit.’
“Divent be a mug; if they offer you a drink, Just take it and say thank you.’
Just because they buy you a cheap bottle of lemonade does mean they own you, yer na.’
Both sally and Irene were both eighteen and knew how the game was played. Heather was just fifteen and was totally inexperienced. She’d never ever kissed a boy in her life. She thought because of her height and weight that she would never get a boy. At five feet nine and ten and a half stone; Heather was head and shoulders above her friends.
Her clothes were more expensive to buy as well as her shoes because she was a size eight.
Heather was pretty though and had nice hair that was naturally curled. The other girls had to go to bed with rollers in their hair to get a curl going in theirs. Heather had Emerald coloured eyes that were large and her teeth were almost perfect as she had always cleaned them twice a day from being little. She had gone to Meadow well Primary School then on to Queen Victoria Girls School, before going to Linskill.
She was bright for her age and could have gone to grammar school in Tynemouth but her father made her leave and seek work so it would bring in more money.
Living on the Ridges Estate meant that there was little chance of finding a good job unless you went to college so she ended up like a lot of her friends working on North Shields Fish Quay.