' 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.


60. 60

Rose saw Margaret as she was driving into the estate and Margaret waved.

Rose slowed down then came to a halt.’

“Hello you two; Jump in and I will take you to the chippy then drop you off home.’

“It’s alright you know Rose, I can get the bus home.’

“Don’t be daft, get in.’

Rose drove them to Broadbent’s on Tynemouth Road she got out of the car and went into the chip shop then came out with suppers for the three of them. Shall we take them home or should we eat them out here.

“Out here is better mam said Margaret.’

“I agree said Rose, there’s something about fish and chips in newspaper and eaten outside that makes them more enjoyable don’t you think Iris.’

“Yes; it’s the same when you go to the Burn fun fair when they are serving the hotdogs, burgers, and onions. It’s that smell isn’t it?’

“Yes and I love the smell of candy floss too.’

They drove down to the burn then got out and sat at the bottom on a bench near the Rose Inn. The warm night sky and full moon lit up the green grass which stretched all the way up towards the bridge. Looking over the road towards Haggies Ropes they could see another bridge with its arches used by the trains. The music from inside the Rose could be heard as the pub was in full swing.’

There’s nothing like it is there said Rose; it’s so peaceful here.’ My father said there was a cottage where we are sitting now and there was another just across the road. It was Just before the cemetery and St Peter’s School. I cannot remember it because I was just a baby when they were demolished. My father said that all this was farmlands when he was a boy. “We seem to be building more and more houses and losing all the green belt we once had.

“I’m going out with Iris tomorrow night mam Margaret proclaimed.’

“That’s nice, where are you going?’

There’s a busker’s night on at Rockcliff Arms in Whitley Bay; I thought we could go there as I know how Margaret likes her music.’

“Well as long as she isn’t too late back because she has work in the morning.’

“I have to go to work as well; so we will be back before twelve Rose.’

“That’s fine then.’

“Mother stop it; I’m a woman now you don’t have to go on like I’m only twelve or something’

“I was just saying, you shouldn’t be late because you have to be up for work Margaret.’

 Rose collected all the empty papers from their suppers and she placed them into a nearby bin, and then used a handkerchief in her bag to wipe her hands with.’

“Right then lets get you home Iris.’  

Iris got into the back of the car then Margaret got into the front with her mother.

The drive to Iris’s house took less than ten minutes and Margaret got out and gave Iris a kiss on the cheek. They both said goodnight then pulled away as Iris stood on the front step waving.

Iris let herself in then hung up her coat.’

“Is that you love said her father.’

“Yes, dad.’

“Have you had a good night?’

Yes; it was; we took Margaret’s dog Patch for a walk and her mother took us for fish and chips.’

“There’s some tea in the pot if you want a cup.’ said her mother.’

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