The Street Urchin

The Street Urchin is set in North shields and tells of young Billy Phelps a promising young footballer- his father is a trawlerman and has no time for his children or his wife when he meets a Norwegian girl and begins an affair.
The impact of the the marriage break up and triumph over adversity are told in this heartwarming story.


12. 12

It was Billy who woke his father as he got up for school he grabbed the bags before taking his brothers to Queen Victoria Junior school. At the bottom end of the school the girls would play as the school wasn’t mixed. He was in Mr Allen’s class. Carl Allen a quiet spoken man with a modern approach to teaching. Carl was brought up in Ponteland by a middle class family. He studied at Newcastle University before qualifying as a teacher. Queen Victoria was his first post. After ten years in the job he realised how hopeless the situation was here. Most of the staff was old school and the children were not showing any interest. Carl suggested changes in a staff meeting held by the schools headmistress Mrs Doreen Laws Hart. He was laughed at by some of the older teachers but Doreen was young like him and embraced new ideas.

 He brought in music and he played a mean guitar as well which the kids loved as he liked rock and roll and sang a lot of stuff from Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis

Once he had the children’s attention through the music he could reach them with other ideas. The results were staggering and Doreen asked the others to use the same techniques as Carl but the elder members of staff weren’t impresses and a few of them resigned. Doreen brought in more young blood and those with similar ideas as Carl. She made him her deputy head.


It was during the Christmas of 1960 that the staff all went out for a drink; the party was in full swing with the live band playing some modern music. Carl asked Doreen if she would like to dance and was surprised when she gladly accepted.

She hadn’t danced with a man since the death of her husband who died of cancer three years before.

She was really enjoying the closeness between Carl and herself; she felt warmth that she had never felt for a long time. She knew the twenty six year old teacher was some five years her junior but she couldn’t help herself Carl made her feel young again.

They sat at the table and chatted away until it was time to go.

Can I drop you anywhere Carl asked?

“Well I was going to call a taxi but since you’re offering it would be lovely thank you.

Carl put on his corduroy jacket then opened the door for Doreen so that she could get into the seat of his new red coloured triumph spitfire car.

Doreen told Carl that she lived in Queens Crescent in Whitley bay. Turning the ignition the car started up and he looked in his mirror before driving off.

Driving from Gosforth where the part was being held he got onto the A1 motor way

 Which lead him onto the Coast Road?

“What will you are doing over the Christmas holiday’s then Carl?

“Well I shall be visiting my parents; it’s always a big thing with my mother who likes my sister Amanda and me to come along for a family gathering.

“Where does your sister live.

“She moved to Harrogate four years ago.”

“Is she married? 

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