The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


9. 9

Molly rinsed the empty glasses out then turned out the lights she grabbed her coat and hand bag then said “come on then let’s go clubbing.’



They walked along North Shields seeing people going for busses and others walking home with their wives.’

They reached the club and went up the stairs. They paid to get in then made their way to a table. There was some music playing and the lights reflected from the glitter ball on the ceiling. Albert brought four bottles of tonic over and two glasses and the bottle of Gordon’s Gin was carefully opened and the glasses filled half way then topped up with tonic water.

They both took a sip and then smiled.’

Albert had bought a packet of KP nuts and opened them and left them on the table so they could help themselves.

The Rolling Stones were playing Get off My Cloud” and the girls got up to dance; they put their hand bags on the floor and began to gyrate to the music.

Stan said “if she moves like that on top me tonight I’m going to be a happy man.’

“Me as well mate.’

They played all the latest hits from the top British bands and some American artists. The Who, the Fortunes, Hedgehopper’s anonymous who sang Its Good News Week. Wilson Picket sang “In the Midnight hour and 1-2-3, by Len Barry. When Elvis did “Tell Me Why”

The dance floor filled up.’ 

The girls returned and sat down as “Hang on Sloopy” began to play they finished their drinks and refilled them when no one was looking under the table. They were now giggling to themselves so Stan knew that they were obviously talking about them.’

“So then Albert, how’s the business doing?’

“It’s ticking over nicely as usual no complaints really. Stan here is starting later today as he is giving up the boats aren’t you mate.’

“Aye I’ve had enough of high seas.’

“You wouldn’t get me out there for a pension said Iris.’

“It’s something you never get used to I think.’

“Well if you two have an early start we had better get home hadn’t we Iris.’

“The two girls laughed again and excused themselves after draining their glasses. See you outside said Molly.’

“Got to go to the bog myself said Stan as the two girls made there way to the ladies.

“I’d better go an aal because you can guarantee I will get outside and my kidneys will be working overtime.

The two men went to the heads which reeked as they stood holding their breath as they urinated.’

“Christ you would think that they would put something down to kill the stink in here said Stan as he washed his hands.

Albert was drying his hands on a blue coloured paper towel and handed two to Stan.

They rolled them up into a ball then fired them at the bin near by.

They got outside just as the girls were walking down the stairs. They had reapplied make up and lipstick as they took the arms of both men and headed towards the flats on Coach Lane.

It was quarter to one in the morning and the streets were deserted only the odd house light was on as they looked around.

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