Four young boys are accused with robbery. one of them with murder, Hanging in Britain was still prevalent at that time. Can one of them escape the hangman's noose?'
Ruby White the petite honey blonde who works in a chemist shop spends her lunch break reading poetry in the local library. it is there that she meets Richard Llewellyn Shaw a writer and poet from Wales who has come to the North East to write a book. A relationship develops even though he is eight years her senior.
Then there is Jessie Longworth who has been saddled with looking after her father who is in the early stages of dementia. She is unable to cope with looking after her father, and her family and asks her brother Edward if he will take her father for a while. Joe Corder is an ex-dock worker. He worked hard all his life and gives his son his savings to help him start his own business. He meets Elizabeth who comes from a well to do family who all look down on Jessie and her father. She will not have him in her home.


17. 17

Ruby White the nineteen year old who worked in a chemist shop. She mainly dealt with prescriptions handed in by pensioners. Ruby spent a lot of her time in the library in North Shields reading poetry and novels. She didn’t really make the most of herself preferring to dress in plain clothes belonging to her older sister Connie who was somewhat taller than her and bigger busted. The skirts she wore were taken in at the back and the hems had to be taken up several inches because they practically touched the ground. Connie who was five feet eleven inches tall and ten stone in weight made her sister Ruby look like a dwarf in comparison; at only five feet two and seven stone Ruby white was indeed small. The petite honey blonde girl with freckles, had eyes like a bush baby. She hid a smile between her hands nervously when anyone remarked how pretty she looked.

She served Mrs Ecclestone with her syrup of figs then sat in the shop reading her latest novel by Beverly Clearly called “Fifteen.’ The story was about a girl in California who dreams of having a boyfriend and is surprised when a boy asks her out. Ruby so wanted a boyfriend, she’d never had one ever. All the boys from Chatton Street where she lived were older than her or married. She never saw many young lads coming into the chemist shop for anything and when they did they bought chewing gum and then couldn’t wait to get out of the shop. She knew what they had really come in for but most of them were hoping to be served by a man not some ginger haired, freckled faced misfit.

Monday morning’s were always the busiest after many of the elderly women had gone to see the doctor for some complaint or other. They stood in the shop talking about their lumbago or chesty coughs that they had. A lot of them smoked so no wonder they all had hacking coughs thought Ruby. She wrapped the medicine bottles up in a bag after Mr Dennison had put up the medication. Pills of all different colours went into brown coloured bottles with sticky labels on them telling them the dosage and how many they should take. Women’s things were placed into brown paper bags.

She remembered how she thought she was dying in the classroom one afternoon when blood rushed down her legs. All the girls made fun of her at Percymain School. And it was only when Mrs Henderson her form teacher explained what was going on that she knew what was happening to her down there.

She came home crying and shouted at her mother for not telling her what a period was. Her mother Carol was a staunch catholic woman who attended the church with regularity. She tried to get Connie and Ruby to go too but they both hated it. Ruby did go to the Salvation Army on Howard Street a few times but it was only because there was a boy called Andrew Chorley went. His parents moved to Kent. Andrew was no longer seen in the hall anymore so Ruby stopped going.

She looked at the Timex watch on her wrist it was five past twelve. She put on her coat and ran out of the shop to the library where she sneaked out a sandwich and ate it as she looked for another book to read. It didn’t take Ruby long to read a book because once the morning rush was over there was only the odd mother who would come in for formula milk for their babies. The rest of the afternoon she more or less had to herself. Wednesday afternoon she got off but had to work a half day on Saturday.

She would spend the whole afternoon in the library reading on a Wednesday rather than go home.

It was whilst she was there one Wednesday that the strangest thing happened. A man spoke to her.

She was reading a selection of poems by William Blake.’

“I see you’re reading Blake, do you like him?’

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