' 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.


8. 8

“Answer me this man; how can you move forward if you cannot first step back and think to yourself how did it all go wrong.’

“Okay, okay I see your point and I will talk with her tomorrow.’

It’s the only way forward for you my friend.’

“Here pass me that joint I think I need a blast of it; It might help me see things more clearly.’




 Jenifer had left money for Tom and Irene to go to the chippy so that they could get a fish and some chips between them. She waited impatiently for her friend to arrive when the door banged it wasn’t her, it was Irene.’

“Why didn’t you take your key?’

“I forgot didn’t I, don’t start mam I’ve had a bad day.’

“What’s up love?’

“It’s that cow Lily Thomas; she told me if I was late again she would give me the sack.’ Who does she think she is?’ You’d think she owned bloody “Presto’s Store.’

She’s always checking’ up on me; she never say’s owt to that Maria Higgins from Silkey’s Lane.’

“Her father’s the secretary of Chirton Club isn’t he; that’ll be why.’ she won’t want to fall out wi him in case her husband Billy loses his job on the committee.’

“Bloody arse licker.’ “It’s yes Mrs Thomas and no Mrs Thomas but when she’s on her break she calls her worse that shit mam.’

“Well you know what to do don’t you.’


Just play the same game as Maria; don’t worry you will see your day wi her.’ she will slip up somewhere down the line.’

“She take’s all the cheap food home you know and leaves hardly owt for us.’

“Do they sell it off like?’

“Aye mam, it’s usually hidden away in one of the chilled cabinets; she has her stash of it and we are not allowed to touch it.’ There were four cooked chickens left, some ham and peas pudding; yogurts and some tin stuff last night. She took the bloody lot. The greedy cow even took eight loaves of bread and she got it all for under thirty bob.’ “It was nearly a week’s groceries you know mam.’ “That’s not all either her husband comes in his car and picks her up around the back of the store and they throw out bacon, steaks, joints of meat, and sausage just because there’s only a few days left on the sell by dates – I counted eight carrier bags full yesterday.’

“Well tomorrow its our turn; meet me around the back and fill up a few bags for me I will bring them home, then just before closing I’ll come back again. “ You show me where her stash is kept and I will go and raid it.’

“What if she says out?’

“You leave Lily Thomas to me, I’ll deal wi her.’

“From now on we are going to be eating like Kings and Queens in this house.’

“Have you seen our Tom?’

“I bet he’s playing the wag again.’

“He better not; your father warned him last week if we have to go up to that school again there’ll be hell on.’

“We had to go and see that Mr Rowley at Ralph Gardner. He thinks he’s something doesn’t he.’

“I never liked him when I was in his English class. Stuck up little queer he is.’

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