The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


25. 25

“How much said Pat Chan?’

£200 quid replied Albert knowing that the Chinese restaurant owner would try and knock him down.

“Come on man, you can do them less than that.’

“Alright one ninety.’


“One eighty five and we have a deal.’

“Done Pat, come and collect them as soon as you can.’

“See you in half an hour.’

Stan and Chris were now half way through the fish and Stan shouted up to the office. “Now that you’ve made a few quid are yer ganna make us a pot of tea and get us a couple of pies for our dinner.’

“You are going to have to eat on the hoof mind; the Burgess lorry will be here at three.’

“Don’t you worry about that; they will be done just gan get us those pies I’m bloody starvin’ here.’

Albert stuck on the kettle then jumped into his van and drove along to the chip shop and bought pie and chips three times.’

Once he’d got them he was back in the store and handed them out. The lads opened the bags up and were devouring handfuls of chips at a time whilst they carried on working. When the tea arrived both men took a gulp of it then set the pint pots down and bit into the steak filled pies.’ They had worked non stop for six hours now and their backs were aching from the constant bending down.’ They had six boxes of haddock each, eight stone of fish in a box, and they knew that they could fillet those in an hour.

“Are we going out tonight then?’

“Aye, can do said Albert.’

“Where we going then asked Stan as he finished boxing another load of fish; he threw some ice into the polystyrene box then placed the lid on top.

“What about the Jungle tonight there should be a turn on up stairs and we can pick up a couple of lasses.’

“Sounds good but I will have to come t’ yours for a shower before I gan oot or I will be stinkin’

“What are yer doin’ the neet Chris?’

“I will pop a long for a pint or two but I cannot stay oot.’ Wor lass is due to drop wor second bairn any time noo so a diven’t want t’ miss this one like I did wor Jackie when he was born.’

“See yer in there aboot seven then?’

“Aye expect so.

 The lads finished the last box of haddock off at quarter to three all they had to do now was load the wagon and they were finished for the day. Ten hours straight they had done.

Both men went to the toilet to relieve themselves before the lorry showed up. The three of them loaded the hundred boxes of fish and the slip was signed.

Lets go home they both said as they took of their oilskins and hosed them down before hanging them up ready for the next day.

Albert dropped Chris off at Coach Lane then headed home with Stan who went straight into the shower. Right I will run home and get changed said Stan.’

“Divent be daft I will drop you off.’

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