' 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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They went to Irene’s till because she got a 10% discount on the food she bought so that was another saving.

It was now ten minutes to five and Irene’s parents said that they would see her outside.

They sat on a bench waiting for her to come out; when she cashed her till in she went to the staff room to collect her coat.’

Lily Thomas the manager was nowhere to be seen so Irene just went out to meet her parents. They walked along to Northumberland Square to pick up the bus home.’

“Did you speak to Carol’s mam and dad last night Irene?’

“Yes,’ her dad says she can stay for as long as she wants to.’ He wasn’t going to allow her at first.’

“How did you talk them around?’

“I think it was when I told him that there was nothing here for Carol and that he had moved from his own native country to come to Britain in search of a better way of life. “ I said that he should allow his daughter to make her own choice as his parents had done with him.’ It was then that her mother and father relented and said that if she wanted to go she could.’ How did it go in the Immigration office?’

“Fine love, Mr Surtees has told us that he does not see a problem for us all to emigrate; all the forms are filled in and have been sent off. So now we wait.’

“How long dad?’

“Two weeks he reckons; once we get confirmation we can pack and jet off to a new life.’

“I will have to give my notice tomorrow then.’

 “My dad is sorting the tickets out for us to see if they still do the ten pound pom deal.’

“What’s a pom dad?’

“It’s what the Ausies over there call us.’

They just got to the bus stop as the bus was about to leave and the conductor Arthur Gilbert from Yorkshire stopped the bus to let them on.’

“You were lucky there mind you said Arthur in his Yorkshire accent as he took the fares.’

It’s only cos’ I know Irene I stopped to let you’s on.’

Arthur the blond haired lad who looked like Mr Pastry with his walrus moustache, had come from Yorkshire five years ago after the divorce from his wife. He was now a free man he told them and was on the look out for a girl to take out.’

“Hard lines Arthur said Matty with a grin.’

“What do you mean hard lines like?

“Our Irene’s moving home.’

“I don’t mind travelling; where are you going?’


“Bloody hell that’s’ too far away for me, when you going like?’

“In two weeks time.’

“I’m going to miss your lovely smile Irene.’

“You’ll get over it Arthur said Irene with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.’

“Happen I will, happen I will. Plenty of fish in the sea you know.’

“There’s loads of big blond, muscular, well tanned Australian surfers over there Arthur so I won’t fret after you.’

“Well you can’t compete with that can you.’

“Arthur made his way up stairs and they heard him chatting to two other girls.’

“You never told us that you had an admirer Irene.’

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