The Netmaker

"The Netmaker" the story follows four families who are all linked in some way to the Wilkinsons Lemonade Factory that was bombed during WW2. This is a tribute to the 107 people who lost their lives on 3rd May 1941


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The School was opened in 1936 by Lord Clifford who Clifford’s fort was named after. The observatory was painted black and the lights obscured to stop ships using it as a navigational aid after the light house was built. Ralph Gardner was born in Ponteland in the 17th Century and was a brewer and shipbuilder. Who actually opposed Oliver Cromwell’s dissolution of Parliament and was jailed several times.

There still stands a monument to him which is better known as “The Needle on a grass verge at Chirton.


Sam bent down and pulled up his grey socks, he was still wearing a pair of grey short trousers from Queen Victoria Junior School because his mother hadn’t got round to seeing the Rag and Bone Man who came around buying and selling old clothes. Jimmy Stagg, or Staggie’ to everyone who knew him had a horse and cart and would shout “Any Owld Rigs as he trotted through the streets of North Shields. He had made enough to buy himself a shop where he bought and sold numerous house hold goods.

Same often wondered why he was called a “Rag and Bone Man for, when there wasn’t a bone in sight on his cart.

“One person’s rigs is another mans treasure.’ he would say. He never could say the word rags for some unknown reason. He was like a bloke who would shout for “Ronnie Gill” outside of North Shields Train Station. It was years later when Sam found out he was actually saying “Chronicle.’

“Staggie had a black horse called “Bucket and when asked why he was called “Bucket he told the canny folk of Shields that it was because the horse dropped a bucket load every time it had a shite.


Sam saw other parents walking their kids down to the school some were being dragged because they didn’t want to go. Sam wasn’t fond of school either and couldn’t wait until he was thirteen when he could either leave or go to the grammar school. His former teacher Arthur Harrison had told him to sick in as he had an aptitude for knowledge. He pulled his grey tank top down which had maroon coloured diamond pattern on it. His Aunt Sarah had knitted it for him at Christmas; she was very good to him and he would often go and play with his cousin Billy in Cedarwood Avenue when he was finished on his milk round.

Kevin Brand drove the milk float around and when he was finished, Sam would help himself to a pint of milk and a bottle of fresh orange juice. It was an early start each morning but he earned 12/s 6d (73p) per week which helped his mother out.

The money his father sent home from the army wasn’t enough to see them through and Emily worked in the Lemonade Factory six days a week which paid her just over five pounds. Since J.J had gone to war with the Royal Fusiliers Emily had been left to bring up her two sons alone. J.J didn’t come home on leave that often and there was talk of an invasion because the Gerrie’s had invaded Poland and taken France.


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