' 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.


17. 17

“Good thinking Batman: said Tom referring to the words spoken by Burt Ward who played Robin the boy wonder in the television series with Adam West as Batman.

You know son you are a very clever lad; you have more brains than I ever had at your age. “You could be anything you wanted to be if you only stuck in at school. I mean you could go onto college and then take a degree. Wouldn’t you like that?’

No dad I already know what I want to do.’

 “You do; what?’

“I’m going to own my own fishing boat.’


“It is a hard life a fisherman’s you know; it’s far easier and cleaner working in a bank or in a hospital.’

“There’s no adventure working in a bank or hospital dad.’

“A lot of men have been lost at sea you know.’

“I know that but that’s what I want to do.’

“I’ve already spoken with my granda about it and he’s going to help me get started.’

“It takes a hell of a lot of money to buy a boat you know.’

“Granda and I have seen an old coble in Cullercoats; its lay there for years. “ He’s going to ask if he can buy it then we are going to restore it. Then we are going to go long lining together. We can also put out crab and lobster pots. There’s a lot of money to be made from fishing dad. I could supply fish to every fish and chip shop in North Shields. There’s always a call for fresh fish.’ Granda is going to teach me how to fish, just like his father taught him when he was young.’

“Your granda wanted me to get a boat when I left school but I had no interest in fishing in those days. I still don’t, I never like the smell of the place.’

“You don’t have to come tonight you know dad.’ I understand. Why don’t you and mam go out tonight?’

“Aye we might it’s been a while since we went out together.’ Are you sure you don’t mind.’

“Yes dad I’m sure.’

Matty picked up the bucket as Tom sorted out his fishing tackle box and his rods ready for his granda coming. His granda knew a plumber called Dennis McDonald who worked for the council he would drop him some lead piping in so he could make his own sinkers with. They would need a couple tonight as the chances of the line snagging on the rocky out crops was a distinct possibility.

His granda pulled up in the light blue Ford Cortina and came into the house to say hello.

“Are you ready Tom?’

“Yes granda.’

“Your nanna has made plenty of food and I have a big thermos full of coffee.’

“Granda can you and nana come for dinner tomorrow; we are having roast beef, roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings.’

“Sounds nice; what time do you want us to come Jenifer?’

“You can come when you like; I will have dinner ready about twelve.’

“Alright then we will be here about eleven thirty then.’

John Davis who got called Jack turned and was out the door as Tom walked to the car carrying his coneflex beach casting rod and a spinning rod.

His grandfather carried the wooden box he had made him and put it into the boot along with his. It was made of thick ply wood that his granda had acquired from the shipyard from a mate and some old rope for the handle. The box was painted green inside and out and his granda had painted his name on it and both back and front had a 

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