The Skin Shop

The story which is semi autobiographical tells the story of Ralph Mason Growing up in Collingwood Terrace in North Shields in 1948. it is a story of Hardship, poverty, love, and friendship just after the Second World War. Some names have been changed and I have used some poetic licence to bring the story to back to life as some of the places talked about in this story are no longer with us. "The Skin Shop is one boys journey into manhood. i


25. 25

“Don’t worry Terry everything is going to be alright son.’

They were then asked to leave the room shortly after that. Minnie was crying as they all left.

There’s nothing you can do here Mrs Lane you’d be better off going home and coming back in the morning. If you have a contact number we will ring you.’

Frank gave them their number then they were about to leave when Charlie Flashman approached.

“Is the boy alright? I’m sorry Mrs Lane, I thought he was a burglar. The Slate Yard is not pressing charges.’

“He’s stable they say; they are keeping us informed.’

“I will call in tomorrow Mr Lane after my shift. Please follow me and we will drive you home.’

“Thank you officer said Frank.’

Ralph came home after being dropped off by the police he went straight into the living room and told his mother and father.

“Is he alright son said his parents with concern.’

He’s covered from head to foot in bandages.’

“Can I go and see him tomorrow?’

“Yes of course, I will get you something to give him.

“I have my Marvel comics and a couple of football magazines that I can take him to read.

That’s good son, I’m sure he will appreciate it.’

There’s some bread in the kitchen if you want to make yourself a sandwich.’

“No thanks mam I’m just going to bed. Is our John in?’

“Yes he’s reading in your room.’

Ralph went into the bedroom and told his brother about what had happened to Terry his friend.

“We got the ball back after you left.’ That old bat Mrs Jennings came out shouting and balling again so I left her a present.

“What.’ you gave that old cow a present?’

“Aye,’ there’s a loose air brick on the wall of her outside toilet we pulled it free then dropped in some rotting fish that someone had thrown in the bin down the lane. It will sink every time she goes in there and the flies will scare the shit out of her. Wait until she has to get the plumber out. They will think that the smell is coming from her not the fish.’

Ralph had to laugh and he took hold of his pillow and put it over his head to muffle the sound of his laughter.

Just think; every time she goes in there for a dump she will be bombarded by flies.’

“Stop it John, my side are aching with laughing.’

“What are you doing tomorrow?’

“I think we are going down the quay to do some fishing are you coming.’

“I’ve got to go see Terry first but I will afterwards; will you be digging some bait down at the Black Middens?’

“Yes, I expect unless we can get some given to us.’

“You could ask Uncle Billy he will give you some fresh mackerel to use.’

“Worm is better though.’

“Aye, but the mackerel is a good second best.’ The flatties like it.’

“I caught a three pounder down off the steps last month.’

“Dad filleted it for me and he said it was a good eating fish.’ 

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