' 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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Rose slammed the door before he could say any more. Then she went upstairs with a black bag and dumped all of his clothes and belongings into it. Not that he had much then came back down stairs with them and threw them outside. She breathed a huge sigh of relief then put on the kettle and made herself a nice cup of tea. Rose had stood up for herself for the very first time and it felt good.

Margaret came down stairs shortly after and said: “I see he’s gone then.’

Rose looked at Margaret and they both laughed.

“I’m proud of you Margaret do you know that; you have made me a stronger woman.’

“I’m proud of you too mam for standing up to Tim like that. I don’t think he expected you to be so aggressive.’

“Did you hear all of that?’

“Yes I did, and I had a good laugh when you called him a tortoise dick mam.’

“Come on have a cup of tea with me then I will drive you to Iris’s house.’




When Norman Hagarth got up his wife had cooked breakfast for them both. He kissed her neck and held her from behind before sitting down to the breakfast table. He poured out the coffee from the percolator then poured in some cream and sugar.

He made a bacon sandwich and poured some HP brown sauce on it then took a bite.’

“You cannot beat a full English breakfast.’

“Well don’t expect one every morning Norman; you have to watch your waistline.’

“Yes, but this is much better than a bowl of Kellogg’s Cornflakes.’ Norman forked his poached eggs until they began to run then used his toast to mop up the yellow yolk.’

“You do enjoy your food don’t you?’

 “I do when you make it love.’ “Will you be home early again tonight Marina?’

“I don’t know; it depends if they have cover.’

“I thought we were going to get back to some kind of normality around here.’

“I don’t mind you doing a couple of late nights Marina but not six nights a week.’

“I know Norman, I will have a word alright.’

“Put your foot down and tell them that you’re not prepared to work all these hours. Tell them it’s ruining a good marriage.’

“I’ll try okay Mr Grumpy.’

Norman got up then put his plate into the sink, finished up the rest of his coffee then kissed his wife goodbye as he put on his coat and headed out to his car with the carrier bag full of money that he’d brought home to check the accounts of.’

He checked his mirror before pulling away and headed towards Peart’s news agency.

He’d slipped the carrier bag under the passenger seat out of sight before setting off.

He didn’t want to put temptation in the way of anyone. He got out at the shop then locked the car before going inside.

“Morning Charley, have you got my papers for me.’

“Aye, said the elderly man who had worn a cap ever since he’d known him. He never took it off. Norman wondered if he went to bed in it as well; it seemed to be glued to his head. Norman paid him for the week. Then gave the old man a wink as he left. Norman open the car door and threw the papers onto the passenger seat.

Then started the car and drove away.’

Brian was waiting outside when he got there.’

“Have you shit the bed or summock?’

“No, I haven’t been home; I stayed at this bird’s house last night.’

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