' 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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What made it extra special was when he sang “The first cut is the deepest” and he pointed to Margaret and then told her to come nearer the stage and she was lifted on. He placed his arms around her as he sang and she joined in. It was a moment she would remember for the rest of her life. He gave her a scarf he was wearing and kissed her cheek. Afterwards she was led off the stage and back to where she was standing with Iris.’

“Did you see that?’ I got to sing with Rod Stewart, just wait until I tell my mother.’

Rod closed the show with “Tonight’s the night.” When the Faces all took a bow.’

Did you get a photo with me on stage Iris?’

“I used nearly all the film in the camera.’

“Oh great we can get them developed tomorrow at Boot’s the chemist’s.

After doing “Memphis Tennessee after an encore the crowd started to disperse, it took them a good fifteen minutes to get outside they walked up the road to the Civic Hall where Rose said she would meet them to take them home. They told Rose how she got onto the stage and that Iris had captured it all on film.

“You lucky girl said her mother.’

“I got his scarf he was wearing too mam look.’ Iris showed her the Celtic scarf he was wearing that night.’

“Keep hold of that, it’s got to be worth a few bob in years to come.’

“I’m never going to sell it mam, it’s going on my bedroom wall of our flat isn’t it Iris.’

“Without a doubt.’

  “You will take care of her Iris won’t you said Rose as they drove down the Coast Road.’

 “Yes Rose,’ but Margaret will be fine honestly.’

“You know how I worry about her.’

 “Yes I do, you’re the same as my mother.’

“Can we get some fish and chips mam, there’s a chippy on the left here.’

 Rose indicated left then reached the junction at Station Road before crossing over and stopping outside the Golden Chippy owned by Nigel Huscroft. The dark haired young lad lived in Holy Cross, not far from them. Rose knew Nigel and his father Michael who was a local councillor.

“Hello Rose, hi Margaret; what can I get you.’

Cod and chips three times please, could you wrap them separately please Nigel.’

“No problem, would you like batter on them all?’

“Yes please.’

Nigel placed the fish neatly onto some grease proof paper then scooped a huge pile of chips onto each then wrapped them expertly and placed them into a plastic bag and handed them over to Rose.’

 Thanks Nigel.’ She handed him a fiver then waited for change.’

“Enjoy your supper Rose.’

Rose closed the door then handed the carrier bag to Margaret. It was just after 11pm and Rose drove to her house.’


When Friday night came around Margaret was excited she had packed all of her clothes that she was taking with her. She bagged all of the other clothes she would never wear again and told her mother to take them to the charity shop. She couldn’t wait for her mother to take her to Iris’s house to pick her up with her things.

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