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.


47. 47

“Yes,’ I’m sorry I do things on impulse.’

The waiter brought the first course and they didn’t talk for a while. The good thing was Dennis didn’t feel pressured into saying anything.’

“You chose well Dennis, this is delicious.’

“Just wait until you try the pasta.’

“Have you been to Italy then?’

“Yes, I went and done the tour of Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Pisa.’ “I felt I had to get away when my wife died so I could get myself together.’

“So it has taken you six years to get over your wife’s passing; you must have loved her very much.’

“Yes we were very close and I miss her terribly, but life must go on and I’m sure if the situation had been reversed I would have told my wife to find love again.’

“Would you like more wine?’

“Yes thank you.’

Dennis poured the wine as the waiter removed the empty salad plates.

“I will bring the main course in a moment said Gino; I bring more wine yes.’

Dennis looked at Julia and she nodded.’

“Why not Gino a few glasses of wine won’t hurt us. We can always take a taxi home.’



Walking into the main entrance Billy Lort asked if they could open the back door so he could bring his gear in.

Hud the bar steward of over twenty years came out and opened the door for him then he went to the van and began to unload his stuff. He threw several cables over his shoulder then brought in his mike stand.

He went to the stage where he knew where all the sockets were and plugged in the wires he would need. He had his songs down on the latest computer technology which he had mixed all of the songs onto a floppy disc and would be played in sequence. Billy had even recorded a walk on voice so that he could set the computer away and at 7.30pm his intro would be played and then his first song. “Gonna make you a Star” by David Essex. Billy was the main singer tonight so he would do a two hour spot. There would be a break whilst the bingo was one and so they could do the key draw. Then at ten o’clock he would finish off his act. He would get £50 .00 tonight cash so it was good money. The room started filling up and Joe Dodd went around with a couple of domino cards as people queued up at the bar. Sandra Hearn and Leslie Nicholson were serving the customers.

Leslie was annoyed at having to come in and serve. Saturday night was usually her night off and her three friends June Patterson her sister Ann and Denise Villeverdie would all sit together on the left hand side near the dance floor.

There wasn’t much room to dance on the maple polished parquet flooring. The club used to be a cinema at one time and the old Legion as it was known was on Archer Street in Howdon. It moved into what was the old Lyric cinema in 1965. The cinema was converted into a social club. They changed its name to the Howdon Social club but people still called it by its old name, the Legion. The club got packed out on a weekend so you had to get in early for a seat. By seven o’clock the women were queuing out in the passage next to the committee room for bingo tickets. Bob Colquhoun and John Sharkey tried to get as many tickets sold before the first flyer went off at 8pm on the dot. Everything had to work like clockwork in the club and they had to be no errors. All the money had to be accounted for and Allan Forster who was the club treasurer checked and then rechecked the figures. 

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