"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


17. 17

Don waved as he pedalled up the street then turned up towards the park at Howdon which led onto Tynemouth road. He then crossed over onto Denbigh Avenue then up onto Coniston Road. This led him to the Willington High School and he freewheeled down the bank then up towards the Jolly Bowman pub where he turned right past Wicks DIY store. Don was very fit with all the cycling he did.


His friends in the bingo hall all had cars and asked him why he didn’t buy himself a little run around. Don told them that he enjoyed the wind in his hair and the exercise.

 He brought his bike inside and locked it. These days people couldn’t be trusted; there was always someone who would take what didn’t belong to them.

Don went the changing room and hung up his coat and hat then washed his hands.

He took up his position ready for the afternoon session coming in where he would swipe cards and help members less able to get electronic boards. Many members were now using them instead of the books as it done away with tickets and bingo dabbers. You just had to type in your membership card number and then your date of birth the tickets you had purchased would come up on the screen and you could either use the little implement or put the machine on auto where it marked the cards for you. All you had to do when the number you were waiting for flashed was shout house and then press the claim button. There was ten staff in the bingo hall that had a stage a ground floor and two other levels. Bingo was big business these days where people of all descriptions could come for a social evening. Young and old sat along side one another. They ordered food from the cafeteria and drinks from the extensive bar. The club sent regular members vouchers offering them either free books or six extra touch pad tickets. At birthdays they gave you free bingo and a box of chocolates. It was a real friendly atmosphere and Don liked his job. He got to know lots of people who came in the club and was only too glad to help anyone. A lot of disabled people found that the bingo offered them a great social outlet so there would be people who would need help with wheelchairs and seating arrangements. The staff was always at hand to help them anyone. At the back of the hall was an arcade with slot machines where people could win large sums of money. At the same token you could loose too. You had to have a fine balance and only play with what you could afford to lose. Some members were hardened gamblers who spent huge amounts every night in the hope of winning a big one. Some of the link games paid out thousands of pounds. Others gambled with their rent money or money to feed their children trying to get themselves out of a debt hole that they found themselves in. More often than not they found themselves deeper in it.

The regulars had their own seats and every night they made sure that they were there early to get them and the same touch pad that they may have won on. Each one was numbered so they would spend at least ten minutes searching for the number that they liked.

Don and the staff walked around the hall with one hundred pounds in coins and if anyone put up their hand for change they had to get to them quickly as the member may lose out on a chance to win big money. The in house games on the boards where you played two games for five shillings were played from 6 pm for the first chance games then back on until 6.45 pm when the main event games were played. Each main session lasted half an hour then the table board games were played with six link up games to win big prizes. Gala Bingo halls from all over the British Isles took part in them and the chance of winning was as rare as rocky horse manure but people still tried. The lure of winning five or ten thousand pounds was all the inducement that 

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