' 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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He didn’t fancy bringing the car today after the row he’d had with Marina. He thought better to walk off his anger and frustration. Walking along North Shields to his house he passed several people he knew who all spoke to him. By the time he’d spoken with them it was nearly quarter to six when he finally got in. Marina had gone but had left him another note. He read it quickly and felt sorry for shouting at her earlier. She apologised and said that she loved and missed him too but there was nothing she could do apart from speak to the ward manager which she planned to do that evening.

She had left his dinner in the oven and as usual he took it out with a pair of oven gloves then set it down onto the table.

Tonight Marina had made him a fish pie and there was some French beans in a pan.

He plated his food then took out his ledger and all the receipts and began his calculations.




The car pulled up outside of Iris’s house. It was 9.30 a.m. on Saturday morning. They had half an hour to get to the new super market on Benton Road.

Her mother wished her luck as she went out the door. She knew that she had to tell her mother and father that she was moving into a flat with Margaret when she came back. That was providing she could land this job.

“Morning Iris, said Rose Stewart.’

 Morning Rose and how are you Margaret.’

I’m fine Iris; I hope that we get a job today.’

“Be confident Margaret; you must show them that you can do this job.’

Rose drove away and headed onto the Coast Road past the “Three Sisters 14 storey flats’ then up towards Wallsend they turned off at station road then drove past the Powder Monkey, then they passed the new housing estate next to the farm and turned right. Asda was a big shopping precinct on the right so Rose took the right exit and drove to the main entrance. Both Margaret and Iris got out and Rose was going to come with her daughter until Margaret stopped her and told her just to do some shopping and that she would go by herself to her interview.

“Are you sure Margaret?’

“Yes mam, I don’t need you to hold my hand anymore.’

Both girls went through the automatic doors then approached a woman who was on the shop floor.

“Hello could you direct us to Mrs Dundas please we have an interview at ten o’clock.

If you’d like to follow me I will take you to Mrs Dundas’s office; I’m Brenda Main I work in the clothing department. The two of them followed the woman through the store and then through an exit there was a flight of stairs which led to a small corridor. The woman stopped outside of the second door then knocked and went inside.

“I have two girls outside Mrs Dundas; they’ve come for an interview.’

“Show them in Brenda would you.’

Brenda went back out and asked the two girls to go in.

Margaret looked very nervous and let Iris go in first.

“Good morning I’m Jenny Dundas, I’m the manager of this store.’

Good morning the two girls voiced together.

“Please take a seat.

The two girls sat down.

“Have you brought your P60 with you?’

“Yes, we both have them.’

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