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


60. 60

“Alright what is being screened?’

“ Don’t know but we can soon find out.’

“Does anyone know what is on at the Asoldo this evening asked Norman?’

“The young girl behind the counter told him that a film called Miranda was on with Glynis Johns, and Googie Withers. It’s about a mermaid.’ “Mind the main feature is better it’s called “Oliver Twist’ with Alec Guiness, Robert Newton, and Kay Walsh.’

“Thank you Kate said Norman reading her name tag.’

“You’re welcome.’

Norman paid the bill and left a 2/- tip.

You will never be a rich man giving your money away like that said Agnes.’

Thank you Sir; please come again said Kate as Norman held open the door so Agnes could walk out.’

“Actually I have saved a lot of money tonight.’

“How’s that?’

“Well I was planning on taking you to the most expensive restaurant in London tonight so actually I saved money.’

“Do you always have an answer for everything Norman?’

“You have to in my line of work Agnes or you get left behind all the other bulls who are trying to muscle in and scoop the best stories.’

“Is that what you call all the other newspaper reporters?’

“Yes, it’s a term we reporters use.’

“So how big a bull are you then.’

“Ooh massive he laughed.’ There’s no room in the newspaper world for old news.’ “You have got to be where it is at.’

“I see.’

They crossed the street to the cinema after parking the car and went through the revolving door.

Two tickets up stairs please said Norman.’

“Why don’t we just sit down stairs; it’s far cheaper.’

“I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke; my father smokes big cigars sent over from Havana they stink and so would our clothes if we sat amongst them down there; plus the view is better from up stairs.’

“Alright Norman, if you say so.’

The usherette led them to their seats and it was the first time she had been upstairs in a picture house in her life. It felt really good to be hob knobbing it with the rich folks of London town.

The Pathe news reels started and Agnes watched intently. Suddenly there was Norman interviewing Reginald MacDonald Buchanan on the screen.’

“Look you’re famous she said as everyone up stairs looked over to where Norman was sitting.’

“He smiled embarrassingly.’

“Sorry Norman I didn’t mean to…

“It’s fine really Agnes; I get sick of seeing myself.’

“You mean you are always on the Pathe News?’

“Just about; I mean I am a newsman Agnes.’

“I know that but I didn’t expect to see you on the news.’

“Like I said you have to stay ahead of the game or you get left behind.’

“I can see why your father has been so successful; he isn’t afraid to send you out there to get all the latest stories.’

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