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.


55. 55

Spring 1994

The families gathered at the bottom of Bedford Street as Maxie and Donna made their vows together. They were flying off for a holiday in Grand Canaria and when they returned they would be living together in Donnas’ house. It was a happy day for both Catherine and Jenifer they couldn’t have been more pleased for them both as they stood in the airport and watched the plane take off.


Russell and Annabella Howard had their first child which was a boy and they named him Gordon after Annabella’s late brother.’ Russell became a councillor and fought tirelessly to end the poverty that still existed in North Shields. He was still one of the leading architects in the country and highly sought after. The re-development of the Tyne was a huge success and he won many awards for his designs.


“Albert the Hat” opened his second Store called “Hatfield Fish Wholesalers” and Stan Taylor was made manager of it. Chris Lorrimer was left in charge several new filleters’. Business was booming and Albert became one of the richest men on the North Shields Fish Quay.


The children of the Meadowell now play with computer games and a lot of the old culture that existed is now lost but one thing still exists and that is unemployment.’

The North East remains one of the hardest hit unemployment area’s in Britain with over two million people unemployed. The future is uncertain for many who live there but one thing is certain. There are some who seem to rise like a phoenix from the ashes to make better lives for themselves.





The end


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