' 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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The Jumbo jet landed in Singapore to refuel the Davis family had been travelling for 22 hours Matty told his wife that he was paggered, he had tried to sleep but couldn’t.

However his wife and the others had all managed to get a few hours. Maybe it was because he had drank several cups of coffee that he was unable to sleep. The plane was on the tarmac of Singapore airport for just under an hour as safety checks were carried out. Everyone was allowed off the plane whilst it was being refuelled just to stretch their legs and have a walk around the departure lounge. Many took advantage of the bar and had a few drinks before getting back on the plane. They had sat through two movies on the plane; one which did not interest him or Tom was “The Way We Were,’ with Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand. He much preferred “High Plains Drifter.’ with Clint Eastwood. But the next film they showed would create history. A young Chinese man burst onto the screen doing what was called Kung Fu. It was a Chinese form of martial art. His name was Bruce Lee and he had broken the shaolin code by revealing the ancient art. The film was called “Enter the Dragon” and everyone on that aircraft was absolutely mesmerised by the skill and speed of this man. They hadn’t seen nothing like it. In the movie Lee was sent to infiltrate a drug lord on a remote island where women were being kidnapped and kept as sex slaves.

They were heavily drugged. Han the evil drug lord and his henchmen Bolo and O’Harra run a brutal karate tournament on the island fortress. Braithwaite (Geoffrey Weeks) a government official contacts Lee who has been invited to compete in the tournament by Han and asks him to gather information about Han and the goings on there. It co -starred John Saxon (Roper) and Jim Kelly (Williams) who have also been invited.  Several murder’s take place during the tournament. Jim Kelly being one of them.

Han askes both Roper and Lee to join him when they both learn of the goings on. Both refuse. They join forces to kill the evil Han. The fight in the hall of mirrors is one of the best pieces of unarmed combat ever shown on screen. The evil Han who has lost a hand uses a claw and then an iron fist to fight Lee. The film was a masterpiece and everyone on the plane including Matty applauded. Bruce Lee would go on to become a legend making only four movies before his untimely death at the age of only thirty two. But what a legacy he left behind. Many would try and copy the great man but none even came close. His speed and skill were a phenomenon. The likes never to be seen again. He was the Muhammad Ali of the Kung Fu world.

After the movie many of the people on the plane wanted to take up martial arts.

They all had witnessed something that would live long in the memory.


By the time the Captain announced that the aircraft was making its decent on Canberra they had all been on the plane over twenty eight hours. They looked out of the windows of the plane as they looked out at what would soon be their new home.

The landing was smooth and they now had to wait for their luggage. Matty and Tom went to the carousel where the luggage from all of the passengers went around.

Once they had got all of their cases they then had to go through immigration which took another hour. When they were cleared they then had a 391 mile journey by Liberty coach to Wagga Wagga. Matty was exhausted by this time and he slept for several hours. One thing was apparent was the heat. It was like walking out into a furnace. Luckily Matty had the sense to buy them all sun glasses and hats to protect them from the sun’s rays. Even through the windows of the coach their skin seemed to burn. Jenifer quickly took out sun cream from her hand luggage and they all applied it to exposed parts of their bodies. It was now twenty past ten in the morning here in 

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