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.


17. 17

Billy went into the house popped the bag of biscuits on the table in the scullery then went to the back garden where his mother was hanging out washing.

“Mam I got some biscuits from Woolworths they are in the scullery.”

“Okay son but you had better get back to school before you’re late. Bring Alan and John home tonight because I’ve got to perm Hannah Victoria’s hair later.

“Right mam, see you later.

Billy ran out of the gate then up the street, he didn’t stop until he reached the school gates. He took a minute or two to get his breath back before heading to his classroom.

Carl Allen made light of Billy’s lateness by saying; “Nice of you to join us William.”

“Sorry Sir I had to go home; I did run back though.

“Take a seat William and open your history book on page twelve. Today we are learning how the battle of Hastings was won by William the Conqueror.




Albert had been on the Misty Dawn since ten o’clock both he and Alvin Willis were trying out the pump that seemed as if it was making a funny noise. It turned out to be a split in the hose which could be replaced cheaply enough.

Albert walked up to Irving and Sons where he picked up a length of rubber tubing to fit. He took the old one with him so he could gauge the size.

When he returned Alvin set about securing it with a jubilee clip.

 “We will have to sail late tonight instead of Saturday because there is a weather front coming our way and I want to get out to the fishing grounds.”

“Well I had better get to the Dolphin then before the lads get tanked up.

“Right, I will drop you off on my way to get the stores that we need.

They climbed up the metal railings and back onto the dockside Albert got into his Bedford van with Alvin; He sped off down the road; trying to avoid the poppers carrying boxes of fish and filleter’s as they set about their work.

Albert dropped Alvin off and then went to the local co-op store to buy the things they would need for the trip.


Alvin walked into the Dolphin and the lads were sitting at their usual table.

“Get the round in Al’ they shouted.”

“We are off tonight lads, there’s bad weather coming so the skipper has asked me to get you all now.”

“I had a date lined up tonight said Mick Armstrong,”

“Date by arse laughed Tommy Cottingham, who with your hand?

“No it was with Pauline Thirkle who lives in Dockray Square.”

“What number shouted one of the lads from the other table I’ll go in your place?

“Bugger off Paul said Mick with a scowl.”

“Come on then lets be having you  then; go home and get your gear and I will see you on the dockside at six o’clock.”


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