The Skin Shop

The story which is semi autobiographical tells the story of Ralph Mason Growing up in Collingwood Terrace in North Shields in 1948. it is a story of Hardship, poverty, love, and friendship just after the Second World War. Some names have been changed and I have used some poetic licence to bring the story to back to life as some of the places talked about in this story are no longer with us. "The Skin Shop is one boys journey into manhood.


24. 24

 They had to get the owner to come with the keys to open the door of the slate yard to allow the ambulance to get in.

The lacerations were deep and there was a lot of blood on the ground as the two ambulance men placed Terry onto the stretcher and then put him into the Bedford ambulance and sped away.

“The Police arrived and they asked the boys what Terry was doing on the roof.

“He was only getting our football officer said John. It went over into the Skin Shop.

“Is he alright?’

“His leg is broken for sure son and he has cut himself pretty badly. Do you know where his mother lives?’

“I know said Ralph’

“Go and tell her for me will you son; tell her he’s been taken to the infirmary.

Ralph was in tears as he ran for all he was worth To Mrs Lanes house.

He got there and banged very hard on the door and never stopped until Terry’s father answered.

“What the hell said Frank Lane as he saw Ralph at the door?

“The look of shock was all over Ralph’s face.

“What’s happened?

“It’s Terry he’s fell through the roof of the slate yard. They took him to Tynemouth infirmary Mr Lane.’

Wait here said Frank as he raced up the passage and grabbed his coat and hat from the door and at the same time told Minnie his wife. She got up from her chair and grabbed her coat. They then ran down the passage and out onto the street. Ralphie was surprised at how fast Frank could run and he followed him and his wife to Coach Lane. They carried on running and never stopped until they reached the infirmary. They went to accident and emergency.’

“You brought a little lad in about fifteen minutes ago he fell through a roof.’

“Are you his parents?’

“Yes we are can we see him.’

“We’ve taken him into theatre can I take some details down please. Is the boy allergic to anything?’


“How old is he?’

“Terry is just seven said Minnie.’ She gave his date of birth and medical history.

“Please wait in here said the receptionist. If I can get any information I will let you know.’

Frank and Minnie paced the floor of the waiting area for news. Ralph was also worried about his friend.

 It was three hours later when a doctor returned.

“Is he alive asked his mother?’

“He has a fractured skull, a broken leg, and some serious lacerations to both legs but he is stable.’

“Can we see him doctor.’

“Yes,’ but only for a few moments.

They followed the doctor down the corridor until he turned and then stopped outside a private room.

Terry was bandaged up like a mummy from head to foot. He had a scratch on his cheek. Both arms were bandaged as well as his head and the rest of his body. He was still unconscious but he was alive.

Ralph saw how concerned his parents were as he looked down at his friend.’

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