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.


28. 28

“I’ve watch my brothers kick a ball about in the back lane near our house.’

“I’m going to have to take you to a game Agnes.’

The train pulled in at Newcastle and Norman helped Agnes get down and carried her case. Our train isn’t for another hour; would you care to join me for a cup of coffee?’

“Make that a cup of tea and you have a deal.’

“Okay it’s a deal.’ Norman led Agnes to the café near the bridge that would take them to platform four where they would meet the train.

He pulled out a chair for her and she sat down. He went to the counter and ordered a pot of tea and brought some Bourbon creams as well and brought them over and sat down.

“Shall I be mother he laughed as he poured out the tea after giving it a stir? He held a tea strainer over the cups as he poured out the tea like an expert.’

“I would like to know how many women you’ve invited to join you for a cup of tea.’

“Oh hundreds he laughed but I’ve only ever asked one to come to a football game.’

“She looked at him then smiled broadly.’

“When do you get leave again?’

About a month from now but I’m off to Austria with a friend skiing.

So you are a big skiing fan then?’

“No; my friend’s father invited me; I’ve never skied in my life.’

“You are in for a real treat then. I was in St Moritz covering the winter Olympics.

“You get around then?’

“You have to if you want the big stories.’

“Who were the most notable performances of the games then?’

“Well our pairs ice skaters were Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott did well and the French skier Henri Oreiller.’

“So what about the weekend; do they allow you off the base.’

“Yes, but we have to be back each night before twelve.’

“Okay then I will pick you up and take you to the Tottenham Hotspur game against Newcastle United.’

“Alright you’re on said Agnes; what time?’

Well they kick off at 3pm so we have to be there before that.’


I’ll pick you up at lunch time we could go somewhere for a bite to eat or we could just get something in the ground.’

“Whatever you like Norman.’

“Well we could go to dinner after if you haven’t got sick of me by then.’

“Well we will have to see said Agnes picking up a chocolate bourbon biscuit and taking a bite.’

“You are not making this easy for me are you?’

“You’re doing alright so far.’

“Well that’s something; I’m going to have to pull out all the stops here to make an impression.’

“Tell me have you had many dates before.’

“Oh yes, said Agnes with smile.’ They queue up at the base to ask me out.’

“So do you have a steady boyfriend?’

“No, I’m still window shopping Norman she said as she picked up her cup and saucer and took a sip.’

They saw the train pull in and Norman picked up her case and they made their way over the foot bridge.

 “Do you have a seat booked?’

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