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.


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The boys were so excited about the prospect of getting the fishing rods that’s all they talked about on the way home.

Billy told them that he would keep the two shilling and sixpence that he had picked up off the floor in the pictures and he would add it to the other money he had been saving.

“This will buy us some lead weights and bigger hooks that we can get from Stan Swans sports shop.

 Any other money given to you by anyone you give to me right and I will put it away for us.

“Okay Billy.”

They took the stairs home this time because they weren’t getting any chips tonight even though they were hungry and the smell of the fish shop was emminating down the street. When they got in Billy asked if he could take his fish to Mrs Villaverdie’s house.

“Go on then Billy but come straight back I’m running your bath.”

Billy raced over to Denise Villaverde’s house and knocked on the door.

Denise answered and asked Billy in.

“I cannot stay long Mrs Villaverde I just brought you this fish I caught today.

It’s a big plaice.

“Oh lovely Billy I’m partial to a bit of plaice.” She went in her purse and gave Billy a shilling.

“Thanks Mrs Villaverde. “ Now if you catch anymore like that I will give you another shilling.”

“I will don’t worry, got to go as my mam’s running me a bath.

“Okay Billy bye.

“Bugger off, bugger off, said the budgie.”

“Billy laughed as he ran back over the road.

His mother put the three of them in the bath together and shampooed their hair and then scrubbed the fishy smell from their bodies.

 Then they all got out and dried themselves and put on their pyjamas.

Their mother made them all a mug of Ovaltine and gave them some broken biscuits then they were marched off to bed.

Billy whispered to Alan and John that he’d got another shilling from Mrs Villaverde

He had nearly five shillings.

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