"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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Walked to the car then drove off as Mrs Cummings turned with a look of hatred in her eyes.

“That was some show in there don’t you think.’

“Yes The bedding brand new, the toys that hadn’t been played with, and the kids eating as if they’d never been fed told me something I don’t know about you.’

Tomorrow we will pay an unexpected visit say at 8am in the morning then we will see.’

“I want a detailed report of all of her accounts for the last ten years.’ That’s to say expenditure set against donations from these benefactors.’

Someone’s cooking the books in there.’ Pardon the pun.’

“Yes and someone’s going to get their fingers burnt when we scrutinise those books tomorrow.’




Cassie woke up to the sound of seagulls squealing as the fishing boats down on the quayside returned. She grabbed her stuff then made for where the gut was a hive of activity. Every store had lads slashing away with filleting knives as the got though box after box of fresh fish waiting to be taken away and sold to fishmongers all over Britain. Cassie had never seen so much fish in her life as she walked around. Boat after boat unloaded their catches and they were sent directly to the market where they were sold to the highest bidder. Poppers, vans, and Lorries came and went all day long. The smell from the guano works got stronger as the bone meal fertiliser was processed.

The kipper houses had rack on rack of kippers smoking away. Not as popular as they once were, the humble kipper was sold more abroad than here in Britain.

North Shields was once the biggest herring producer in the world but now in 1969 it was the Cod fish that the fishermen hunted. The milky taste of the cod was a favourite along with the haddock in every town and city. Fried in beef dripping with chips they became the most popular take away food. Skate, Hake, and Huss were also sold but not in the same quantities as the cod and haddock. It was the nation’s cheapest staple food. It was nutritious, with omega oils in the fish and vitamin C in the potatoes.

Cassie walked up the Library Stairs then up onto Howard Street. She walked further on and saw second hand furniture and other goods in a shop. She walked in to see old grandfather clocks, three piece suites, cabinets, and welsh dressers. In another room there were cameras, reel to reel tape recorders, and projectors, Pictures of soldiers in uniform from the Scots Guard, the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the Durham Light Infantry. On the opposite wall were paintings of old cobles and sailing vessels dating back to the 1700’s. Then Cassie laughed out loud as she saw two old pensioners trying false teeth in their mouths and sifting through a mountain of old spectacles.

She then went into another room where there were full dinner services, canteens of cutlery, gramophones, and old records. Cassie wound up the gramophone and played a Paul Robeson version of “Old Man River.’ She wandered into another room and it was full to the rafters with books and encyclopaedias. She spent the rest of the afternoon going through some of them. She was fascinated by history and in one afternoon had learned so much.’

She left the shop then walked up the street. Then she saw a police car stop outside the station and the two men that had come looking for her got out. They went straight into the building and never saw her. She hurried along then crossed the road. She came to a pub on the corner called the Ballarat and crossed over again to a shop called Innes.

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