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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The teachers couldn’t do anything with them; even putting some of them on detention didn’t work. A meeting was called and the teachers discussed the crisis.

If these protests continued then the LEA would have to be informed. Brian Beanie addressed the school and tried to explain his reasons for making these rules but the children would not be swayed they carried on their protests. The school dinning hall was wrecked when one lunch time a girl was escorted out of the hall for not conforming. June Murphy Came in with her skirt six inches above the knee and wearing hooped earrings and make up. Her argument was that she was on her lunch break and entitled to wear whatever she wanted during the recess. Mr Beanie who the children now named “The Old Fart” stated whilst they were on the school premises the rules applied. Then the children retaliated by saying if they had to wear a school uniform and no make up then all school teachers should do the same. They claimed that some teachers were unkempt and that a lot of the women wore bad make up as well as hooped earrings and hippy clothes. “What is deemed sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander they claimed?’

 Brian Beanie had to agree with some of them. He called another meeting and suggested that both the male and female staff wear the school uniform. At nine o’clock the next morning there was a walk out by all of his staff and the union was called. The Newspapers had a field day as they talked to both students and certain teachers who wished to remain anonymous.

By Friday Of the second week the LEA stepped in to try and resolve the situation and informed Mr Beanie if he didn’t change his mind on the new ruling then steps would have to be taken to resolve the situation. Brian Beanie was sacked as headmaster of St Anslems two days later after he refused. However Mr Beanie took his case to tribunal and won a substantial payout for unfair dismissal. The children were allowed to wear their own clothes if they were six formers and the girls could wear make up and hooped earrings as they were deemed to be young adults. The new headmaster Mr Stephen Aldrich had a young approach and said that the children were just expressing themselves. It wasn’t long before nearly all the kids wore hairstyles they liked and carried the haversacks with their favourite pop idols on them or CND slogans.

Mr Stephen Aldrich made it a fairer system where equal amounts or boys and girls mixed together instead of being segregated to one side of the room and boys on the other. A school outing once a year was organised by the headmaster and a foreign trip if pupils could afford it.

Stephen Aldrich was a former cub and scout leader; his fairness and attitude gained him popularity amongst the children and he asked for two representatives from the sixth form, one girl, and one boy to meet with him every month to discuss ways that would improve the profile of the school. This was also proving a hit with the children as now they had a voice. Aldrich took on board all the comments and acted upon them. He modernised the school and made it less informal. Soon Stephen Aldrich had the highest achievers in the whole borough and St Anslems won the best School award in 1971.


Janice Porterfield saw Liam walking out of the school gates with Danny Fawcett.

“Wait up she shouted and hurried along to join them. “ Can I have a word with you Liam?’

“Yes, to be sure;’ “what is it?’

Jan looked at Danny who then said he would see them later and ran on ahead.

“What’s wrong?’  

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