' The Ragman's Serenade tells the story of four families- one from North Shields and the other three from Wallsend. It is a story of relationships- The Davis family are up to their eyes in debt - The Stewart family have a daughter who has downs syndrome– The hagarths who’s husband owns a bookmakers shop and his wife is a midwife at the RVI- and the Higginbottom's have a father with the on set of Alzheimer's. How do they cope - read this fascinating story i'm sure you will enjoy.


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When Iris returned from North Shields and her shopping trip her mother asked her what she had bought and Iris took pleasure in showing her mother what she had bought from Shepherds of Gateshead.’

“Isn’t that place expensive Iris?

“I got these in the sale they had on mam.’

“Oh well, then that’s good.’  I was just telling your dad that you can have some blankets that you can have they are still brand new and we haven’t used them.’

“Thanks mam that will be great.’

“I will see what else I can dig out that you can have.’ Are you staying for tea or are you going out?’

“Margaret and I are going to the City Hall tonight mam we will most likely get something when we come out.’

“Who are you going to see anyway?’

“Rod Stewart, Margaret managed to get good tickets near the front.’

  “That’s nice,’ will you be late back love.’

“No we will get a taxi back unless Rose comes and picks us up.’ She worries about her too much mam.’

“Well you cannot blame her Iris she is a venerable adult.’

“She’s not daft mam and she can look after herself I can tell you that much.’

“I know Iris but mums worry all the same, it doesn’t matter how old you get you know; we are still your parents and care about you.’

“Point taken mother; look I’m going to have a bath then get myself ready. Is the water hot?’

“It should be,’

 Iris went to the bathroom then placed the plug into the hole then ran the hot tap.



Margaret got in and her mother asked her to sit down whilst she had words with her.’

Mam I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I am an adult now; you cannot force me to stay here.’

No -one is forcing you Margaret.’

“Yes you are you are, you are trying to say that I don’t know what I am doing and that I’ve only known Iris five minutes. The same could be said for you mam. I mean Tim doesn’t really care for us does he. He is on a good thing really.’

“How is that?’

Well mam you cannot see it but I can, he comes here and gets all of his meals and his washing done. He gets what he want’s mother but what about you?’

“What about me Margaret?’

“Well I know that you don’t love him that’s for sure.’

“He certainly doesn’t love you and to be honest he hates being seen with me.’ He’s ashamed of us mother and the sooner you realise that the better. In fact the best thing you could do is pack his gear and tell him to sod off.’

“What will I do then if you leave Margaret I will have no-one I will be on my own?’

“What! So you would put up with his crap just because you are lonely?’ that is no reason for you and him to stay together and it is worse than you and my dad.’

“Tell me that you love him and I will say no more.’

“Do you love Iris?’

Yes, I’m in love with her.’

“But how can you when you’ve only know each other a short time.’

Because I feel it mother and I know Iris feels the same.’

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