The House Across The Road

This is a true story about a strange old looking woman who lives on her own in North Shields- she befriends a disabled young boy.


6. 6

The old lady got up slowly from her chair then came towards me.


‘What is your name she asked in a soothing voice?


‘Terrence, I live over the road from you.


‘I know I see you going out early every morning.’


‘I have a paper round.’


‘Do you like the work Terrence?


‘It’s good in the summer months but cold in the winter.’


‘I can imagine that, well if you could just get those things for me I would appreciate it very much.

She handed me the shopping list along with a ten shilling note which I took from her then headed towards the front door.


Leave the door open so that you can let yourself back in when you return with the shopping Terrence.’


‘Alright Mrs, I won’t be long I told her as I closed the door but left it slightly ajar so I could let myself back in.


I read the note which wanted me to get her a bottle of “Sanatogen Tonic Wine from the chemist shop. She also wanted a bottle of fresh milk, some butter, boiled ham, and some mature cheddar cheese.

I handed the note to the lady in the chemist shop who looked me up and down before asking how old I was.


‘I’m ten years old I replied.’

 She took out some brown paper from below the counter then wrapped up the bottle and taped the neck of the bottle. Then she placed the bottle into a plastic carrier bag and told me to be careful not to drop the bag and gave me change.

I put the change into my pocket and headed towards Michael Murrays shop.

Once there I had to wait a while because Michael and his wife were serving paying customers. My mother bought her groceries on what we called “Tick or Credit’ in those days as my father got paid on a Friday night so all week got all our food on credit and I paid him on Saturday morning after doing my paper round.





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