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.


7. 7

Once they had emptied and washed their pots they walked back to the cell and placed them in the corner of the room then stood outside the cell.

Two trustees pushed a trolley and served tea and something that looked like a crumpet with dried fruit in it. There was toast with no butter just jam that had been slapped on.

Albert took his then waited until Tommy went back into his cell.

“Here have this I don’t like it.’ Tommy passed him the four inch square of crumpet with dried fruit.’

“Here you can have a slice of my toast said Albert.’

“No, you’re alright you eat it; you must be hungry. I had dinner you didn’t.’

“I suggest that you eat the porridge tomorrow as the trial might drag on a bit and you may miss your dinner and supper.’

Albert explained why he was in and asked Tommy Bell what he’d done to get himself locked up.

“I robbed the post office; I was a postman and I knew which envelopes carried giro cheques. I kept them and forged the signatures and cashed them at different post offices in Sunderland. Then they got wise and they were following me around. I got caught cashing several in that day. They had me banged to rights.’

“How long do you think you’ll get?’

“Two to ten months borstal I expect said Tommy shrugging his shoulders.’

“What do you mean by that?’

“Well it means with good behaviour I could be out in ten months but if I don’t then I will have to do the full two years.’ They take off the time you’ve done on remand.’

“How long do you think I will get Tom?’

“For stealing a van, then robbery with violence you could be looking at ten years.’

“But I didn’t hit the guard and it’s my first offence.’

“It depends on the judge Albert.’ “Don’t expect any favours that’s all I’m saying.’

The lads who served teas came back around for the trays they kept the mugs and they filled two plastic water jugs with water.

It was unbearably hot. Albert chose not to wear pyjamas he kept on his underpants and a white vest as did Tommy Bell. Each cell was checked and counted off then doors were slammed shut by the screws.

The lights were kept on until ten o’clock before being turned out.’

The two young men chatted away until after eleven then went to sleep.

They would be woken at six thirty in the morning and all the kit that they had had to be neatly folded and laid out on the bunk for inspection. If it wasn’t to their satisfaction it was tossed on the floor and it had to be done again.


When the lights were switched on that morning, the cell doors opened and they awaited the command to slop out.’

Both Tommy and Albert cleaned the cell from top to bottom then folded their kit and set it out for inspection.

The screw came around checking then walked out again marking his board as he left.

They were then ordered to slop out and they could use the toilet if they wished. There was no privacy as there were no doors on the toilets. They washed and shaved then put on a clean shirt which was blue striped. A pair of black trousers and a grey jumper and a pair of plimsolls was worn to complete the prison uniform.

They stood to attention outside of the cell and waited to be told to move off to the dining hall.

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