on the piece of string. His mother would cut them into squares then feed a nail through tied to a piece of string you then took off what you needed after reading what was written of course. There was a sign on the door which he’d read many times it said: “sometime’s I just sit and thinks’, other times I just sit.’
“When he came out he went to the stone sink in the scullery where there was a wooden table and four chairs some shelves with various tins. His father was busy making a flask of tea in an old jerry can used by the miners made of aluminium the top screwed off and you put your hot tea inside then replaced the lid which was actually a cup it had a wire handle so that you could carry it and it kept hot for up to an hour or so depending on the weather. Some milk and sugar were placed in a screwed top jam jar then placed inside a bait bag.
“Morning Dad said Jimmy as he poured himself a cup of tea after drying his face. The cold water from the sink woke him out of his drowsiness as his father emptied the ashes from the fire in the bin outside and set about lighting some kindling and some sticks to get a fire going in the range ready for his wife Martha who would be up in a moment to start her day. She would bake fresh bread every day and there would be something cooking on the stove when her husband returned; usually a pan of broth.
The fire quickly got going and William added some coal then adjusted the flu to let in more air so the fire would burn more quickly. He reminded himself to ask Ronnie Skinner “the Sweep” to come with his brushes to clean the chimney of soot.
Once he had done that the two men made their way out of the house just as Martha was getting up. “See you later love he told her as she went to the toilet outside.’
Bye mother said Jimmy as they went out of the wooden gate then crossed the road and onto Mast Lane. They didn’t have far to walk as they crossed the main road and walked further down to the Bank Top where the cottages were. They made their way down to the bottom of the bank then along the soft sand. William looked out at the sea, it was relatively calm out there. Looking at his watch Jimmy saw that it was just gone five thirty. They walked along the pier to the boat where she was tied up they climbed on board via a set of iron steps and William started the engine. The smell of diesel fuel was strong as the smoke rose in the air.’
The bilge pumps pumped out the water over the side and there was a purplish colour upon the water as the oil and diesel floated on the top. The seagulls were in fine song as William began baiting the four hundred hooks on the long line. After every piece of mackerel there would be a feather attached to a size two o’ hook. William made sure all the hooks were sharpened by filing the barbs before baiting them. It was fifteen minutes later when Keith and Brian came running along the pier with a cane rod in each hand and a Scarborough reel and a bag upon their backs.
“Mornin’ Jimmy, mornin’ William said the two men as they undid the ropes that secured the boat then handed down their bags and fishing tackle.’
“Right then said William lets go fishing as he let the boat away from the harbour at Cullercoats and headed out to sea.’
“I didn’t expect you both after what you two put away.’
“We were going easy last night said Brian; we usually have a lot more than that.’
“How did you get on with Hazel then?’
“She’s alright; I wouldn’t want to marry her though.’ She’s too bossy for my like.’
God created woman but he made one mistake.’
“What was that asked William?
“He gave them a gob.’
“They all laughed as William stood in the cabin.