The story focuses on three families. The Kinnear's, The Millsap's, and the Owen's. All different. They live very different lifestyles. Albert Kinnear the Librarian, who's parents came from Swindon but live in Pinetree Gardens, his father Jack is an engineer. He is a keen gardener and Pigeon fancier. Albert meets the daughter of Charlie and Elizabeth Millsap. They live on Kenton Road, in a bought property. He also is a pigeon man who has wangled his way into a chairman's job. he is a welder down the docks. No one is good enough for their daughter and they resent the relationship between Laura and Albert. Then there is William Owen(Willick) a roofing builder who lives in Cedarwood Avenue with two son's and a daughter. Alan is a jack the lad; he will sleep with any woman given the chance. Harry the youngest is a joiner and the brains in the family. Evelyn his daughter is twenty five and her father is pushing her to meet a man and get married so he can have grandchildren.


83. 83

Two women chatted away whilst smoking a player’s number six. By ten o’clock the pub was heaving with many standing as you couldn’t get a seat anywhere. The lounge was full as well as the bar. There was a thick mushroom cloud of smoke as people lit up one after the other. The noise was so loud with people talking and the jukebox playing to now full capacity you couldn’t hear yourself think. Alan loved it, being amongst the big boys he called it. You witnessed all kinds of life in the Gardner’s arms. The rich, the very rich and the most unscrupulous people that ever walked Gods earth. There was always someone on the make or on the bum and tonight was no exception as “Tucker Crowe” sidled over and tried to initiate a conversation. Tucker Crowe was a binman. He went around the streets collecting other people’s rubbish, he had worn the same donkey jacket for thirty years and his flat cap he wore on his head to cover his bald pate was caked in sweat and ash dust from the coal fires. There were still a lot of houses in the town centre and the Ridges that weren’t converted to gas fires yet much to his behest. The council had not gotten around to doing them. They were going around street by street fitting new gas boilers and new fires in the homes. Little did the folk of North Shields realise that it was going to cost them in the long run. They looked alright with a nice wooden surround instead of a tiled mantelpiece. Many were happy with the new inside toilets and bathrooms too. For years they had been compelled to using an outside “netty” as it was called and to bathe in a tin bath. Now they could spend a penny in luxury and wallow in the bath for hours if they wanted amongst the Sailor Boy bubble bath and Radox bath salts. It was the small comforts that pleased them.

They never took anything for granted. The council however didn’t wait long to put rents up as well as the rates to recoup the money it had cost them to install the new fireplaces, and bathroom suites.

“They should have realised that there was no such thing as a free lunch said Alan.’

“When the doors of the Gardner’s Arms were locked the party really got started. Plate pies, sausage rolls, and sandwiches came out.  Alan got up and got some for him and Vic because if you left your seat it was quickly snatched up. Tucker Crowe was stuffing food into his jacket pocket. He was eating as he was going around then returned to where Alan and Vic were and tried to cadge a cigarette then a free pint.’

Alan told him to “piss off” and go bum off someone else.’

Christine Matheson and Pauline Robson came over with a tray of drinks then sat beside Alan. Pauline sat on the end next to Vic and they chatted away as Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel belted out “Come up and see me and make me smile”

“Has Bob gone home then?’

“Aye he’ll be snoring like a bloody pig by now.’

Alan laughed then looked at Christine then said “well you won’t be getting much sleep tonight once I’m through wi you I tell you that.’

“Promises, promises aye Pauline.’

“My mate Vic here will show you a thing or two in the bedroom. I’ve seen him in action.’

“Well let’s hope he’s not all gob then.’

“Wait until he shows you what he can do wi his tongue; he’ll have you beggin’ for mercy.’

“I can’t wait what time are we leavin.’

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