' 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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The bus to take Margaret and Iris to work was early it was a good job that they were at the bus stop in time. They sat at the front together as the conductor took their fare.

“Where do you think they will put us asked Margaret nervously?’

“Anywhere I expect they will try us in all the areas like the café, the deli counter, check out, and the clothing department.’

“Don’t forget the electrical goods.’

“I would think they will split us up, so don’t be surprised if we are working in different places and not together.’

“I will see you for lunch in the café whatever happens won’t I.’

“Yes, of course.’

The journey on the Forest Hall bus dropped them off outside Asda twenty five minutes later.’

They reported to the manageress who gave them a green uniform each and a name plate to put on. “Today I am going to place you on the Delicatessen Iris, and you Margaret will work in the café. Once we establish where you work best that will be your permanent post here at Asda.’

“If you go there you will meet who you will be working with. I’ve already informed them that you will be working with them today.’

Off the girls went and both of them were given hats to wear. Hair had to be clipped up with pins to stop it from going in the food.

Iris was working with Florence Gray, she was a lovely woman in her early thirties who quickly showed her how to use the scales and how to handle raw and cooked meats.

Margaret was working with alongside two other’s Karen Knox ran the café and Lorraine Lennox. Both women were a bit wary of Margaret at first. She spent most of the day serving meals and clearing tables. There were some dishes to wash and Margaret didn’t mind she just got on with it. When lunch time came Margaret asked if she could have her lunch with her friend.

They sat together eating a quiche salad and a baked potato which they got a discount on. They talked about their new duties whilst they ate and Iris said that working on the deli counter was okay.

“The time in here has flown Iris, it’s been nonstop all morning.’

They were only allowed a half hour for lunch so it was back to work for them both. During the course of their first week they had tried just about every job in the store.

Iris was told that she would work on the tills and Margaret in the clothing department.’ This was handy for her because she got to see all the latest offers coming in and the sales goods where they got the first choice to buy them before they were put out on the shop floor.’

Margaret bought Iris a nice top as a gift and she bought herself a blouse and a nice pair of flared trousers. When they got their first pay packets they placed the money on the table and worked out what they needed to put away for rent, heating, and light. There was a box for clothes and another for treats like going out to the pictures and food. Everything seemed to be working out for them. They were both happy living together and Iris was teaching Margaret how to cook and bake. Once a week they went to see their parents and had dinner. Then of a weekend they went out somewhere together which they loved doing. They were both saving up for driving lessons and hoped to buy a car so they could take a drive out to the country. Iris talked of going over to Amsterdam by the ferry and driving through Europe.

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