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.


87. 87

“Eleven months.’

“That sounds as though they are asking too much tell them I will give them four hundred cash.’

Robert Black picked up the black telephone on his desk and dialled the number.’

“Hello, is that Mr Matthews?’

Hello, Robert back here from Stourbridge’s Estate agency here; you have a property that is up for sale I believe’

Yes, came the voice have you got an interested client?’

“Yes but not at the asking price I’m afraid; however, he is prepared to offer you four hundred pounds cash if we can complete the sale today.’

“Can I call you back I will need to discuss this with my wife first.’

Yes of course, do you have our number?’

Yes,’ I have it.’

Okay then we await your answer.’

Robert gave him the answer then asked if he should ring the shop.’

Yes, let him sweat for a bit.’

Robert rang the Shop owner who was a retired old lady who had managed the shop for over thirty years.’

“Offer her two hundred cash if she sells today.’

Again Robert did as he was asked.’

Mrs Carol Lowther answered the phone and Robert made her the offer.’

Hello Mr Black would your client pay two hundred and twenty cash?’

 William heard the offer then shook his head; he knew the old lady was tempted.’

“I’m sorry Mrs Lowther two hundred is the cash offer.’

“There was a long pause before the lady relented and accepted the cash offer.’

“Tell her I will get the money to her tonight.’

Twenty minutes later Mr James Matthews rang back.’

“Hello,’ Stourbridge Estate Agency here.’

“It’s James Matthews here you rang earlier about the cottage.’

“Yes, have you come to a decision?’

“My wife and I will accept your clients offer.’

Robert put up his thumb and George punched the air with delight.’

“Right if you can give me half an hour I will go to the bank and withdraw the money.’

“Better still I will drive you there and we can go straight on to Seahouses to view both properties.’ “We will of course require a small fee.’

“I expected that;

“Give me a moment until I get the deeds for both properties Mr Cottingham.’

When Robert returned he had all the paperwork and he got George to sign papers and the bill for the transaction.’

They drove to the Lloyds bank in the town centre and George approached the bank manager.

Hello I was wondering if you can help me; I need to make a rather large withdrawal today; would that be possible.’

“How much are we talking about Sir?’

“I need six hundred ad fifty pounds.’

“Do you have your bank book with you Sir?’

William went into the inside pocket of his jacket then pulled out the black book and handed it over to the bank manager.’

“Just take a seat Mr Cottingham he said after reading his name from the inside of the book.

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