“I will expect you back for lunch dear.’ “Charles, please take these plates away.’
Charles called for the two servants who quickly removed the cups, saucers, and plates from the table.
Both Abigail and Muriel excused themselves.’
I will see you outside in half an hour Muriel.’
“Thank you Abigail.’
Muriel nearly broke into a run then remembered what she had been taught to do by her aunt she stopped herself then walked casually up the stairs to her room.’
Muriel brushed her long hair in the mirror in her room she tied it back with a blue ribbon before placing the money into her small handbag that had nothing of value in it. She took some money of her own to by stamps and stationary with.’
Muriel came down the stairs with her coat and hat on.
Abigail was waiting for her as they got into the car.
Tomkins had already been informed of where they were to go and also to keep a look out for thieves.’
Tomkins drove past Longford Road, they went past a tram heading towards Coventry City. There were children playing in the roads and Muriel wondered why they weren’t at school but Abigail told her that it was the school holiday and that was why she was not at school either. The streets had gas lamps and there were a lot of horse and carts in the city. Then Muriel saw a man on a funny contraption it was like a bicycle but the man wasn’t peddling. It had a motor and it made a strange put, put, sound as it went along.
Like North Shields there were many public houses and one in particular caught her eye. It was called the Peeping Tom.’ her mother used to call someone called Charlie Musgrove that because he would climb the walls of peoples back yards and peep in the windows whilst they were having a bath.
Old Mrs Kimber said she saw him one night looking through her window at her daughter as she bathed next to the fire. She opened the front door then went round to the back lane very quietly then beat him on the head with the end of an old poss stick.
He was covered in blood and bruises as Millie Kimber beat him around her back yard.
He was later arrested and received six months in Durham Prison.
Abigail told Muriel about the Great Fair that came every summer and in turn Muriel told her about the Hoppings in Newcastle and the Spanish City in Whitley Bay and all the arcades around the sea front. Muriel told her about Tynemouth Longsands and the fishing boats that came into North Shields and the herring girls who gutted the herring all day.
“I should like to visit one day Muriel.’
“Yes; that would be nice.’
The car stopped outside of “Brundles.’ clothes store. Tomkins got out and opened the door for them Muriel got out the helped Abigail. They pushed the revolving door and went inside. The store was huge There were mannequins wearing all the latest in fashion for ladies. One of the shop assistants came over and asked if she could help.
“We would like to try on all the latest dresses that you have. My Cousin has a lot of money to spend.’
“Certainly Miss would you like to follow me to our fitting rooms.’
The assistant who was called Christine Smith led her up a flight of stairs where there were some dark brown curtains. She peered inside then came for Muriel who went behind the curtains. For the next hour Muriel tried on several dresses and Abigail either shook her head or nodded approval.