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


23. 23

“Think not about quantity but more on quality, be patient, and also gentle or you will kill the poor butterfly.’





Sam came in from his friend’s house and asked if he could go down to the fish quay to fish for sprats.

“Yes, but change into your old clothes first and I want you back by six o’clock.’

“Alright mam I will.’

Sam ran to his room then changed into his old shorts that had a patch and a woollen jumper He went into the box in his wardrobe and took out the hand line that his brother had made for him. He picked up his coat that he used for playing out then grabbed the raffia bag that his mother used to place fish into. Then he was out the door and racing down the street to Eric’s house.

Eric was waiting at the gate and he turned and waved at his mother as they walked towards Chirton then onto North Shields town centre.

“They turned right at the Spring Garden’s pub then walked down to Coach Lane.

They carried on down to Tanners Bank where they could hear the familiar sounds of seagulls squealing as they passed the Tiger Stairs.

Turning left they ran past the “Wooden doll” then onto the quayside. The quay was full of boats and they could smell Polish Cigarettes in the air mixed with the smell of diesel and the Stink from the Guano works.

They came to a Polish fishing boat and Eric leaned over and surprised Sam by speaking Polish. “ Masz Jackies papierrosy?’ The fisherman offered him a cigarette from his packet and he took two then pointed to Sam.’

“Maja zadnych Peniedzy English he added.’

The young man laughed then threw him two shillings.

“Dziekuje jestes tak mily.’ The man waved at the two boys then carried on with his work.’

“Where did you learn to speak Polish?’

“My father’s friend Leon, he taught me some Polish.’

“You must teach me so I can learn it too.’

“Okay but lets get some mackerel for bait first.’

They walked further along the quayside where they were unloading herring and the odd mackerel dropped onto the ground and Eric quickly picked them up and placed them into Sam’s bag that he was carrying. Come on we have enough said Eric after they had picked up two dozen.’

They walked to where his brother worked and asked one of the filleter’s called “Ronnie the eel because of his greasy hair and skin if he would cut up their fish and put it in some news paper.’

“Here giz it here bonny lad He cut the two mackerel in a flash and then popped them into some paper.’


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