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.


9. 9

After dropping the sprats off for Mrs Villaverde they all walked through the passage and into the scullery.

Their father was up reading the Evening Chronicle and drinking a cup of tea.

“Hi dad they all said.”

“Hello; and where the hell of you been?

“Mam said we could go fishing for sprats.”

“Oh she did; did she. “ Have you got home work to do?

“No dad.

 “Right then line up there and give me the seven times table.”

Billy started them off and they recited the table like they had learned in school. It was like a song as they begun One seven is seven; two sevens are fourteen and carried on until the full table was done.

Good now go and wash in the sink there and get to bed.

“Yes dad.”


  Billy ran the tap then took off his shirt before washing his hands and face, the others followed. “Now clean your teeth said their father.”

They grabbed their toothbrushes from the mug on the window ledge stuck some toothpaste on the brush then proceeded in brushing.

Lets have a look said their father as he checked each of them over to make sure that there were no tide marks on their necks.

“Did you wash your ears John?

“Yes dad John lied.”

 “You could plant cabbages in them lad; was them again.”

“But dad, John protested until a hand came over and welted him across the face.

“Don’t answer me back; just do as I tell you.

“John fought back his tears as Billy and Alan were inspected.

“Right off to bed and no talking or I will belt the lot of you.

They headed down the passage and into the bed.


Their mother had gone over to Mrs Taw’s house to perm her hair for her.

It was after nine o’clock when she returned and Albert had his coat on.

“Where are you going?

“I’m going to the club for a pint.”

 “But you just got back Albert.”

“Sorry love but I cannot sit in here all night I’m only going for an hour.

“Your not playing cards until yon time I hope?

“Don’t wait up he said as he shut the door behind him.

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