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.


66. 66

Lawrence Fairbrother wore the same brown corduroy jacket that he had when he first started St Anslems; he now had leather patches sewn on the elbows where they had worn with age. His once black wavy hair was now just wisps of grey fluff at the sides and he combed it over to try and conceal his bald pate and it blew open like a cat flap in the wind. He lacquered it in an effort to hold it in place. To compliment his lack of thatch on his head he wore a large walrus moustache.

Fairbrother called out the names of both the girls and the boys in turn. He got to a young black boy called Butters.’

“Have you had a brother in this school Butters?’

“Yes sir our Ray was in your class sir.’

“Yes, I remember him alright.’ I hope that you prove to be a better student than he was.’

“So what’s your name lad?’

“Simon Butters sir.’

“Not simple Simon I hope.’

“The class burst out laughing.’


The class were stunned into silence.’

“Right Butters come here.

“Give these books out; one book between two.’

Butters went around each desk throwing a book at everyone when he had finished, he sat back down next to Joanne Millsip.

There were twenty two pupils in the class but only eight girls. The brightest pupil of the girls was Alice Kiers who excelled in most subjects.

Lawrence Fairbrother knew that he had a task on his hands whipping these

 Lot of no hoper’s into shape. He had had a similar scenario every year. He never failed to educate his class, even though his methods seemed a little old fashioned.

The dunce of the class was Jeffery Braine who ironically had none really; he was the class joker and more often than not played truant. He had to be watched like a hawk because at the first opportunity he would leg it out of school then head down into North Shields and go on a shoplifting spree. He was very tall and broad for his age and got away most of the time because people thought that he looked older than his years. Plus he would not wear the obligatory school uniform.’

“Braine, come to my desk.’

The lad slid out of his seat and walked slowly towards Fairbrother’s desk.’

“Hurry up lad we haven’t got all day.’

Braine ignored him and just carried on.’

Stand out there Braine said the teacher as he addressed the rest of the class.’

“Now class two, what we have here is a failure to conform.’

Braine here thinks that it is alright for him to come into my classroom looking like some hobo’ I mean look at him. “Did you wash this morning?’

“Yes sir.’

“Well you certainly missed those ears of yours; you could plant a bag of potatoes in the muck in them.’

Again the class laughed and Braine’s eyes narrowed. The teacher had made him look a complete fool in front of the whole classroom.’

“Did you wash this morning sir?’

“Yes I most certainly did.’

“Funny that sir, because there’s a funny smell just where you are standing; you know like you’ve done a wee in your pants.’

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