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.


58. 58

The crowds were dispersing from the ground as both sets of football fans made their way out of White Hart Lane. Two goals from George Robledo and one from Wor Jackie had secured a Newcastle United 3-0 victory.

“Did you enjoy the game then ladies; asked Norman as they made their way to his car that was parked a few streets away. Jenny made her excuses and thanked Norman for taking her to the match before taking a bus back to the base.

“Yes thank you Norman; I didn’t expect to be that close up to the players.’

“Would you care to have dinner with me tonight?’

“If you’re not busy; I would love to have dinner with you.’

“I know a nice restaurant where we can get some lovely food.’

“Now you know what I’m like about going overboard with money.’ As long as it is somewhere that serves us good home cooked food I’m happy said Agnes.’

“You know women like you Agnes are a rare breed.’

“I just appreciate people who run a good family business with home cooking on the menu. I am not your fancy food type of person.’

“Yes, it is nice to splash out for a special occasion but not all the time.’

“Well this is a special occasion; it is our first real date.’

If you want to impress me take me to a good café that serves up mince and dumplings, liver and onions, some home made soup and jam sponge and custard.’

“Do you know what, you are my type of girl alright?’

Norman crossed the road and they walked about two hundred yards when they came to a small café.’

“This is the place said Norman as he opened the door to the café.

“Inside there were some locals chatting away.’ Agnes looked up at the board which said soup of the day; Mince and dumplings, Jam sponge and custard 1/- and 3d. (7 1/2p). Agnes laughed as Norman went to order then he came back and sat down.’

“I ordered a large pot of tea for us is that alright.’

“Yes its fine.’

The tea came out served by an attractive young lady and she smiled at Norman as she told him that the soup wouldn’t be long.’

To be honest I’m really hungry said Agnes; I only had a slice of toast this morning.’

“No wonders you’re so slim then.’

“I do have my moments when I can eat I can tell you.’

The girl returned with two bowls of vegetable soup and some freshly baked bread rolls.

“Thank you said Agnes as the soup was put down to her.’ she picked up a bread roll then broke a piece off then dipped it into the soup after putting a little pepper on it.

“Wow, this is nice said Agnes as she spooned the soup into her mouth.

“I’m glad that it meets your approval.’

“Well if the soup is anything to go by then the mince and dumplings is going to be fine.’

“So tell me what have you done with yourself all week?’

“Well I’ve been reposted to a flight lieutenant called Samuel J Lawton.’

“He’s really nice for an old man’ he was injured during the war and he walks with a limp.’

“Have you fallen for his charm then?’

“No, don’t be silly he’s old enough to be my father; plus he’s married with a daughter.’

Agnes had finished her soup and pushed away the bowl and picked up the serviette and wiped her mouth.

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