“Albert the Hat” had big smile on his face as Stan walked into the store at five thirty.’
“Enjoy yersel then?’ I bet she got a right shock wi yor trouser snake did she.’
You’ll never get rid of her noo yer na.’
“No, no, I told her that it was only a one night Stan.’
Albert laughed; ’here he said when he’d stopped I’ve got fifty boxes of prime cod to fillet can you handle them?’
“No bother. Stan put on his oilskins and a pair of rigger boots favoured by all the lads and a Scandinavian sweater; he pushed up the sleeves to reveal the many tattoos he had on his body all done by Davey Turner the local tattooist. Many hours he had spent in Davey’s tattoo parlour either on his back or on his stomach. There was a huge St George and the Dragon tattoo on his back that had been done in one session in black then he’d come in for another session to have all the colours done. It was a real work of art. The Chinese dragon went all the way up his left arm and its head cumulated on his shoulder. The other arm had Koi Carp swimming up his arm among the lily pads.
The first box of cod was placed into the trough and Stan sharpened his filleting knife on a steel hanging up then set to work. He sliced through twenty boxes in less than an hour. They were all packed with salt and ice then boxed off ready to be taken away to Grimsby later that afternoon. He had fifty boxes of haddock to get through before three o’clock but that wasn’t a problem for Stan who was used to working fourteen hours straight. His knife just kept going and going. The only time it stopped was to re-sharpen the blade then away he would go again.
Stan had work right to lunch time without a break and Albert came back with a bag of bacon sandwiches with HP brown sauce on them and they were devoured in less than two minutes. Then on he went slurping on a huge mug of tea as Albert Drove to various fish shops around North Shields to deliver the filleted fish. It was a good day today because the cod and haddock were plentiful otherwise it was Huss, Dogfish, and skate to fillet which was more time consuming. All the fish had to be skinned which was a right fart on.’ Meanwhile Stan blitzed through the fifty boxes of haddock and had them all done by one forty. They stood waiting to be collected as Stan filleted some monk fish for his tea that night. It used to be discarded at one time but someone battered it and found it had a similar taste to prawns and mock scampi was born. The restaurants in London couldn’t get enough of the stuff.
“The fish had to be skinned though; the huge ugly head of the monkfish was cut off then the body and tail skinned to produce a lovely tasting piece of fish.’
A lot of the locals liked it poached in milk and onions.
“When Albert the hat returned he told him how he’d just spent an hour with Winnie Stewart who owned the “Deep Fry in Walker Gate.
“What a right one she is I can tell you.’
“Stan laughed then told him how she’d tied him to the bed and went down on him.
“Never in the bloody world.’
“I tell you mate you would think butter wouldn’t melt but when she got her kit off what a crackin’ little body she has and she rode me like a bronco.’
“How many are you givin’ one to every week?’
Oh I reckon at least six on a regular basis but you have to be careful I had to shimmy doon a drainpipe with just me undies on when one lass I was shaggin heard her husband coming up the stairs. She had to pretend that she was lying naked waiting for