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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Shirley Rafferty took money for the last number draw. Who ever shouted house on both the first and last flyers if you had that number marked off on the big card then you would win £20 for the first and £30 the last.

The club was all about making money and at the top of the stairs there was Phil Hunter waiting with a card with a hundred numbers sixty pounds was paid out to the winner and the club kept forty. Everyone had a couple of goes. Then there was the key draw seller Chris Keith who went around all night selling tickets at 50p each what ever was taken went into the box it was added to the money already in there if it hadn’t been won. The idea was if you got a winning ticket there was twelve keys and each time that the box wasn’t opened by a particular key it went down until there was only three keys left to choose from. It was then that the club made a lot of money because people bought six or ten tickets each in the hope of winning the big prize on offer. Five hundred pounds was a lot of money and the club would keep some of the excess to set the next jackpot but also cream some of profit as well.

The club squeezed every penny out of punters who walked through the door. The beer was only 40p per pint so you could have a good night out on a tenner for drinks and then another tenner spent on bingo and raffles.

The club held over 350 punters which meant that the club was making over £10.000 pounds on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. The bandits took in another £5.000 each night so the club was able to afford to pay the turns and heating lighting and still make a tidy profit.

Ralph Mason knew Jimmy Watson the club secretary who had been an ex police sergeant and he allowed him back stage. Ralph went through the main office that used to be another pool room with a small bar until fighting broke out and they found that drugs were being brought into the club. Jimmy closed down the room and hired it out as a warehouse for the shop down stairs that paid the club rent for the shop as well as the room.

Ralph walked quietly through the warehouse then out into the corridor he knew where the dressing room was and knocked on the door. Billy Lort was expecting a call from Ralph opened the door and quickly let Ralph in.

Billy had changed ready to go on in about fifteen minutes; he was sweating with the heat and wiped his brow with a towel he’d brought with him.

“What have you got for me Bill?’

“There’s something big going down Ralph.’

“When?’

“Soon; the target is in Newcastle somewhere, I haven’t got the details yet.’

“What they plan to set bombs off in the town centre at Christmas time; the heartless

bastards.’

“The gear is coming in next week; we are picking it up in my van at the Black Middens in the early hours on Friday morning. It will be kept in my garage at the apartment.’

“Okay, who are the using,’

“They have located Seamus Webster who can rig up the bombs.’

“Is that Michael Webster’s son?’

“Aye it is, now he left Belfast to get away from the troubles; you may have a chance with him.’

“Where does he work?’

“He’s on the cranes in Smiths Docks; “I will go down there and speak to him.’

“You’ve done well Billy keep me posted if you hear any more.’

“Listen I have more.’

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