' 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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“Elsie made a fried egg muffin with a few chips and added some tomato sauce on her chips. She took out a few pieces of steak from the pie and wrapped them up in a serviette for Lucy. The dog would sniff out the treat in her bag when she got home.







Going into school at nine o’clock was unheard of in Tom Davis’ case, he was hardly ever there. He knew that his first lesson was geography and that Mr Clements would help him with his research. Once the register was called by his form teacher they made their way along the corridor to their classroom for the geography lesson.

Michael Clements’ had been at the school some years now. He knew a bright student when he saw one and Tom Davis was no exception. His thirst for knowledge knew no boundaries’ and he was always the first to ask questions after he showed a short film. 

He had been top of his class for his subject, which came as no surprise to him.

Tom came straight up to him excitedly.

“Sir have you got any books on Australia that I can borrow. I’ll bring them back once I’ve read them sir, I promise.’

“I may have one or two; why do you ask?’

“Well sir I may be going to live there soon and I want to know a bit about the place.’

“As it happens I’m showing a short film on Australia this morning.’

“That’s good sir.’

 “Which part of Australia are you going to Tom?’

“It’s a place called Wagga Wagga near Canberra sir.’

“This film is about New South Wales so it will give you an idea of what to expect when you get there. When are you going?’

“It could be the end of the month sir.’

“Well you will have to inform the head so that he can give you a reference before you leave.’

“Could you not give me a reference sir; I don’t think that Mr Rowley will think favourably of me sir?’

“Yes of course Tom, I will certainly write a reference for you.’ but you must promise me this.’

“Promise what sir?’

Promise me that you will work hard with what time you have left in school and try and go onto college. You are a bright lad and you have a great future ahead of you. It would be a shame if you were to throw all that away.’

“What field do you think I should go into sir?’

“Well there are many Tom, there’s geology which is the study of rocks over time. Then there’s archaeology the study of ancient civilisations. The indigenous tribes of Australia who were the first inhabitants of Australia would be a good place to start.

They have a vast knowledge of survival as you will see in this film I’m about to show; their culture is well documented. You have to learn to respect that.’ “Anyway let’s watch the film aye.’ Could you close the curtains in the classroom for me?’

“Yes sir.’

Tom stood on a chair then pulled the black curtains along before the geography teacher switched on the Eumig super 8 projector and the reels went around.

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