' 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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fact she had Down’s syndrome was her eyes. “Come in Margaret said Eileen. Iris is in her room just go up. It’s the second door on the right.’

“Thank you Mrs Deyton.’

Margaret went up the stairs then went to the room where iris’s mother had told her. She knocked gently on the door then went inside.

Hello Iris, are you not ready yet?’

“I jumped in the bath; you know working at the home with all those old people with incontinence I feel dirty.’ Sit on the bed I won’t be long drying my hair.’

“You were right about how small your room is.’

“If I get that job tomorrow I’m looking for a flat.’

“What about us, I mean if you move away somewhere we will hardly see each other.’

“I want you to share the flat with me Margaret; I mean if that’s what you want.’

“Really; you want me to move in with you.’

“Yes; I mean we could share the bills and food. We can fix the place up the way we want it.’

Margaret ran towards Iris who was now standing up with the hair dryer in one hand and a brush in the other and threw her arms around her an kissed her on the mouth.

Iris dropped the things she was holding onto the floor and kissed Margaret back.

It felt right for both of them and they laughed afterwards.

“We must wait until we both have new jobs before we go looking for a place together. 

“If we go where no one knows us we can be ourselves.’

“What like a proper couple?’

“Yes,’ would you like that?’

“Yes, I would more than anything.’

“Good, let’s hope that we both get a job tomorrow.’

Iris put on her make up then added some soft pink lipstick and put on a Levi jacket.’

Ready, let’s go.’

“Mam we are away.’ I won’t be late but I have my key so don’t wait up.’

“Alright love said Eileen as she came to the passage. Have a good time both of you and let’s hope there’s some nice young lads there tonight.’

Iris and Margaret looked at one another and giggled.

They walked up the street then onto Denbigh. They walked straight down then crossed the road which would take them to Howdon train station. They passed the park and the school before turning right and walking to the station.

“Where too ladies said the man in the ticket booth.’

“Two to Whitley bay please said Iris as she paid the man.’

They went through the turnstile then onto the platform the train wasn’t due for ten minutes so they sat down and waited. People on the other side of the tracks were waiting to go to Newcastle. It was a warm night and Iris took off her jacket. She was wearing a red tie dye tee shirt which was low cut and the top of Iris’s chest was showing. Iris didn’t have large breasts but hers were well rounded and firm; she never felt the need to wear a bra. Margaret linked into her arm as they sat talking about the flat and how they were going to decorate it.

“What will your mother say when you tell her Margaret?’

“She will have kitten’s I expect but she’ll get over it.’

“Where would you like to live then Margaret?’

“Somewhere near the coast would be nice. Well we are going to Whitley bay so we can have a look.’

“Will we have time?’

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