The Troubles

"The Troubles " the story is set in Belfast and the North East in 1969.
Seamus Webster and his family flee the riots in Belfast and come to live on Barnstaple Road in North Shields - where he takes up work as a crane driver in Smith's Docks his wife Annie finds a job in the Co-op in Whitley Bay - Seamus is good at DIY and gets lots of work decorating or fitting out new kitchens for people. His father Michael is serving a very long sentence when he is implicated in a
bombing of an army base- his skills as a bomb maker have been passed down to his oldest son and Stephen Mcgill is on the look -out for him as a bombing campaign has begun on mainland Britain. Newcastle has been chosen as the target - can Seamus avoid getting mixed up in this. Read what happens in this tense thriller.

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“Else what?’

“I know what you and that girl from Malvern Road get up to Brenda cos’ her cousin tells me.’

“Well you mind your own.’

“Aye, and you keep out of my business as well then.’

The new came on and Liam watched as the reporter talked about the riots in Belfast.

The camera panned on a group of youths with masks over their faces who were throwing bricks towards the line of soldiers sent to defend the Shankhill Road area.

“Look there’s Micky O’Malley and Paddy Murphy in the front there.’

The soldiers retuned fire with rubber bullets and tear gas in an order to dispel the crowd. Then down the street came a water cannon. Showering the rowdy crowd and knocking them off their feet. The soldiers were met with abusive taunts and two fingered gestures. They banged dustbin lids on the ground as the soldiers broke away and chased a group of known offenders. The men ran though the housing estate into the open doors of houses and into back lanes as the soldiers chased them with rifles.

“Aren’t you glad that we are away from all of that feckin’ shit said Annie Webster as she came in through from the passage into the living room.

They just showed Mickey O’Malley and Paddy Murphy before mammy, they were throwing petrol bombs at the soldiers’ and bricks.’

“So you think that is good then do you?’

“No; I don’t but I hate the prossies as much as they do.’

“This has got nothing to do with religion it’s just the IRA stirring up trouble again.’

“We are best out of it son, let them bastards fight it out; we want no part of it.’

Brenda went into the kitchen and added the onions to the gravy then turned off the oven. They only had to wait for her father Seamus to get in from work.

 

Seamus climbed down from the crane he’d been working on then walked through the yard to the gate where he punched his card. He grabbed a lift from Andy Slater his work mate and neighbour.

“Are you still coming over later to wallpaper and paint the bairn’s room tonight?’

“Too be sure, I will be over around seven thirty.’

Andy started the engine of the Ford Capri as Seamus got in he pulled the seat belt across and buckled himself in. Albert was a bit of a speed merchant and bombed up Coach Lane onto Springs Terrace then turned sharply left. He reached Chirton before going up towards Billy Mill then onto the New York Estate. When he pulled up outside of his house Seamus jumped out. “See you in an hour then.’

Aye alreet shouted Andy as Seamus ran up the path.’

Seamus entered the house then went straight to the down stairs bathroom and washed his hands and face to remove the dust and grime. He then went into the kitchen and kissed his wife.’

“Something smells good.’

“Brenda has made your favourite.’

“Good I’m starvin’

Brenda took out the Yorkshire puddings; whilst Annie strained the cabbage and carrots. Then Annie served up the plump pork sausages with the mashed potato and chopped parsley, cabbage, carrots, and peas; then added the onion gravy on the top. There was a thick piece of Yorkshire pudding by the side of his plate this was usually eaten last to soak up the gravy with.’

“You’ve done well Brenda; you’re going to make someone a lovely wife one day.’

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