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.


89. 89

“I hope that you have many years here George.’

“If you can give us a week then we will be away; we have to organise a truck to take our furniture said Tina.’

“That will be fine; Say if we came next Sunday Lunchtime would that be alright.’

“We will be gone by nine in the morning so that will be alright. We need to be on the road early to get there whilst it is still light.’

“Do you have a house already then?’

Yes we bought it as a holiday home initially but since Tina’s sister got ill then we decided it was time to sell up and move back so that she can look after her.’

Robert Looked at his watch and told them that they would have to go.’

“Well good luck in your new home said James as George made his way to the door.’

Thank you I’m sure I will.’

“I’m going to open a fish and chip shop down the road so if you ever come back here please call in. I’m sure I can rustle you up a fish supper on the house.’

“That is so kind of you George thanks.’

Robert got into the car then opened the door for George who waved at the middle aged couple before getting in. Robert swung the car around then headed down the street.


Carol Lowther was about seventy years of age she had curled grey hair and a nice complexion; she had been a good looking woman in her younger days going by the photos on the mantle piece.

Would you like to see the shop Mr Cottingham?’

“Yes if you don’t mind; I need to know how much room I have to work with.’

What are you plans if I may ask?’

“I am going to open a fish and chip shop Mrs Lowther.’

“You will do alright here with all the tourists then.’

“Did you know that there is a flat with the shop?’

“No I didn’t;

“Well there was a tenant, an artist he was who lived in it but he died and all of his furniture is still there no one claimed it. You could rent it out like I did to holiday makers or to someone local.’

They walked up the street then the old lady stopped outside the shop which was bigger than his in North Shields she opened the door and showed them around. There were two large rooms and a back yard. Perfect said George; I can do a lot with this.’

There was a doorway at the back which led up to a flight of stairs. Mrs Lowther opened the door then walked up to the top then opened the door which led into the scullery. There was a checked table cloth on a wooden table and four chairs. There was also a gas cooker a good sized sink and plenty of cupboard space. All the crockery and utensils were still there.’

The living room had an open fire, hearth, and mantle piece. There was a rug upon the floor and a brown leather sofa and two chairs. At the window was a table with a vase

There were two paintings on the wall of the harbour which were painted by the old man who lived in the house. They were very good thought William. Do you like those said Carol to George?’

“I have several of his works in my house.’

They went into the bedroom and again the walls had small oil paintings all over.

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