NOBODY’S CHILD

"Nobody's Child" Cassie is an eleven year old girl who has been in a children's home since she was four years old. Very bright, Cassie excels in most subjects and can play Brahms and Mozart on the piano at the age of only six. Because of her age nobody wants to adopt her. Mrs Cummings the manager of Auton House is a wicked woman who treats Cassie and the rest in her charge badly and beats her with regularity. One day she is sent to clean out the toilet and bathroom and Mrs Cummings comes along to inspect them. Running a white glove over everything and looking for dirt. When she doesn't find any she then reaches up on the door - Cassie is only three feet six inches tall and was unable to reach up to the top of the door and Mrs Cummings sets about her with a cane. She beats her so badly that Cassie runs at her forcing her back where she hits her head on a wash basin. Cassie in her panic rushes out and runs away.- It is there that she meets Don a ex docker who takes pity on the girl - rea

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Sitting on the banks of the Jarrow Slacks gazing out over towards Wallsend shipyard Don Delap watched as the ship was being worked on. The sparks flew up from the welding torches and the men banged away with hammers at the red hot rivets. It all seemed like a normal day to Don as the tide began to turn. The sky turned from a beautiful shade of red to grey as the dawn broke. The River Tyne began to lick against the many sets of tyres left by the local anglers who guarded them as if it were gold from Fort Knox because they were a habitat of the peeler crab. Each day the tyres were harvested by the lads who had placed the tyres there and if anyone was caught stealing from them they were given a good kicking. The crabs once collected were either frozen or used. Each angler used around a dozen of the green back crabs whose shells had been discarded by the crab to grow another shell. It was then that crab was vunerable to predators because they had no protection. The cod loved to eat them and in the winter months when there s a frost on the ground and the temperatures dropped to minus five; it was then that the cod in the North Sea came into shore where the water was warmer in search of food. The Angler’s had to dodge the shoals of whiting who came in and stripped  size 2’o hooks in seconds. The incessant tap, tap, tap on the thirteen feet rod tip was a dead give away. A cod bite was completely different; it was normally just a big bang as the cod just opened it huge mouth and swallowed the bait. Then the cod would dive to the bottom to avoid capture. The Angler had to be quick off the mark to stop the fish from taking him into a snag so he would reel in for all he was worth; keeping the rod tip upright to stop the fish reaching bottom.

The mud slacks were an array of old bits of wood and discarded shopping trolleys that had been thrown in by kids who came down to the Tyne Tunnel to play. These days the tunnel was rarely used. At one time there were queues of people who commuted to work via the moving staircase which was opened in 1969. Many rode through on their bicycles in heavy work boots, Jackets, and a flat cap on their head. Many were mine workers others toiled in the docks and steel works.

Don thought back to the time when his Grand father George Edward Delap Marched from the streets of Jarrow to London to protest about unemployment.

 

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