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.


24. 24

officer’s took him into a room where there was a wooden frame. He was made to strip to the waist and then his hands and feet were secured to the frame. He was blind folded so he never knew who would be dealing out the punishment. The birch rod was made from several lengths of twigs from the birch tree that were cut the same length and were lashed together. Each stoke was counted out and delivered with such severe force that it opened up wounds in the person receiving the punishment’s back they were scarred for life.

By the time the guards had got to eight strokes Alan Stoneman was near passing out.

The blood from his wounds ran down his back and down his legs as the guard carried on until the twelve strokes had been carried out. Then only two guards took the prisoner away and placed him in a cell on his own. Alan had several cuts on his back that would need stitches. The prison medic came an hour later Alan was lying on his stomach as the medic inserted over one hundred stitches to his wounds.

He was then paraded throughout the prison so that others would see what had been done as a warning to anyone who committed a serious crime of violence.

Alan went back to his cell in silence he was left in the cell alone whilst the others were all out on work detail. Alan winced as he lay on his bunk face down as it was too painful to lie down any other way.

When the two the prisoners saw him they looked in horror at the mess they had made on his back. Alan Stoneman would carry the scars on his back as a stark reminder of the time he served in Everthorpe nick.

It took nearly three days before the pain left him. The first night was one of the worst nights he’d ever had in his life. The sweat poured from his brow as a fever took hold. The others in the cells reported sick so they could get Aspirin to give to the young lad to ease his pain. By the third day the fever had abated and Alan was able to sit up and eat a little hot soup. He’d been unable to eat at all before that.

He was able to wear a shirt after the fifth day and the wounds began to heal.

The stitches were left in ten days before they were removed leaving him with large red scars on his back. A week after his birching Stoneman began his induction. They scrubbed the long corridors right throughout the prison for a whole week which caused their knees to swell up like balloons and their hands to blister from holding the wooden scrubbing brushes. The ones who scrubbed in the morning got to buff the floors in the afternoon giving them a bit of a rest bite.

Sometimes the farm detail would be forced to walk in when they had just finished. It meant the whole process had to be done again.


The second week was spent in the kitchens scrubbing out pots, pans, plates, and utensils. Meanwhile, trying to dodge being arse raped by the lifers. The third week the lads were put on shit detail. Prisoners were assigned to shovel up faeces thrown out of the cell windows at night.’ Alan, Billy, Albert, and Danny, endured the stink until the  final week of induction was spent cleaning up shit from the farm and to put down fresh straw for the pigs and cows. They learned how to milk cows and run a farm.’ They worked on the land. They also learned how to drive a tractor, picking, and planting out crops. Many lads once released went on to work on various farms around the country. Billy Royale said that was what he was going to do when he got back home. On the Friday of his fourth week he was told that he’d be released that weekend. He d completed his ten months and would be released on licence. He was told that if he were to reoffend within two years he would be brought back to serve out the rest of his sentence and then do the sentence that would be imposed for the other crime he had committed.

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