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

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“Are you kidding it’s the RAF we are talking about here you know.’

“Well you just upgraded to first class come with me.’

“Agnes followed Norman to the front of the train.’ What are they going to say when they check my warrant pass?’

“It’s taken care of just relax you are my guest; I paid for a seat on my own with a table so that I could do my writing.’

“Won’t I be stopping you from your work?’

“No, I’ll copy my notes when I get back; it won’t take me long.’

Norman walked to the back of the carriage then let Agnes sit down before he slid on the other seat so he was facing her.’

“Being a newspaper boss’s son has its advantages then.’

“Yes, it’s the only way to travel.’

“You slummed it in second class coming to Newcastle.’

“Yes,’ that’s because I saw the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever seen in another cabin.’

Agnes felt herself blush and tried hide it.’

“Sorry did I embarrass you Agnes,’

“It’s because I’m not used to compliments Norman; I’m used to my commanding officer giving me orders.’

“I see.’ I meant every word.’

“Come on Norman I bet you have lots of women throwing themselves at you.’

“None that are five feet seven inches tall in uniform; weigh about ninety eight pounds have, the most stunning looks and the biggest blue eyes that I ever saw.’

“You flatter me; actually I weigh one hundred and twelve pounds and I’m five eight in my stocking feet.’

“Wow that’s amazing.’

“How tall are you then Norman?’

“Go on then have a guess.’

“I reckon you are about six feet three and weigh about one hundred and seventy five pounds.’

You got my height spot on but I weigh a measly one hundred and sixty pounds. “I was built for speed. I used to be able to sprint the one hundred yards in just over ten seconds.

I was never any good at running at school; but I did play netball. I was a goal shooter for Ralph Gardner Secondary Modern.

My teacher in Hamlet’s Prep school wanted me to play football he said I would make a good winger. I had no interest in playing football but I enjoyed watching the team compete.’

“So did you go to private school?’

“Yes,’ I was a boarder.’

“You lived at the school?’

“Yes, I only went home in the holidays both my parents were working.’

“What does your mother do?

“She is a novelist.’

“Has she had many books published?’

Yes she writes under the name G. R Rosenberg.

“Is that a made up name?’

“No my mother is Jewish; she was an evacuee during the war. She was in Poland when the Germans invaded.’

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