' 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.


13. 13

They all had reduced to sell labels on them and she knew that no one would find them where she had hidden them. She went over to the deli counter and asked if there were any cooked chickens that needed to be sold off.

Derek Jackson told the manager that there were eight of them and that she could have four of them as he was taking the others home.

“Lily said nothing knowing four chickens would be more than enough to cover her little business. She could use all of the chicken and other food for the Chirton Club with food for weddings and funerals. She baked corned beef and onion, ham and egg tarts, mince and onion pies and sausage rolls. Each party netted her thirty pounds. That was nearly a week’s wages. She was able to save quite a lot and go on two holidays a year to Benidorm with her husband. Tonight though, Lily would have nothing to take home.’

When Jenifer got home her husband and son had placed all the tin stuff on the table.

Over one hundred tins of food lay before them. Both Tom and his father had not seen as much food in their whole lives.

All of it had nearly two months to consume it on the labels. She used every available cupboard space to store it then she filled up the top shelves in the fridge with all the fresh meats, the bacon and sausage were placed into the freezer along with five lumps of beef. Three legs of pork, lamb chops, liver, and kidney would go into an old chest freezer given to them.

“Look at how long that bugger has been taking this food and getting away with it said Jenifer to her husband.’ Well we are onto her now and it will be us that are cashing in not her.’

 By the time Jenifer Davis had stored boxes of cornflakes and other cereals, flour, and cake mixes it was time to go back to the store. Tom gave his mother a backer on his bike all the way to North Shields. She was able to sit comfortably on the top of the box at the back of the bike as her son peddled. When they got there it was fifteen minutes to go before closing. She ran down to the aisle with a trolley that her daughter had pointed out and placed everything that Lily Thomas had squirreled away. Then she raced back to the check out. The whole lot of goods cost her less than three pounds and there was enough food to last a week she even took the eight loaves of bread that they were selling off. Tom gave her a hand and he placed the food into both back and front boxes of his bike then he cycled back with his mam on the back. Both he and his mother couldn’t stop laughing as he peddled back home. “I would love to see that bugger’s face when she finds out all her food is gone said Jenifer as he turned up the street to her house.

Lily Thomas went out into the back of the store near the skips later that afternoon looking for the shopping bags. Her husband pulled up in the car as he usually did and Lily had to tell him that the food was gone. She unlocked the skip and peered inside to discover that there was nothing there.’ Where the bloody hell has all the food gone?’

“Maybe someone came in and stole it Lily. It was all bagged up, anyone with a mind could have seen it and done off with it.’

“The thieving little bastards; if I catch them I will call the bloody police.’

“Hold on Lily don’t do that; they would ask too many questions, I mean we don’t want to draw attention to our little operation here do we. There will be other foods that we can get surely.’

“You wait here Eddie, I’ll get all the staff out then we can see what we can get to cover our loss.’

Lily was furious as she stormed back into the store. She got onto the microphone and summoned Irene to her office.’ 

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