' The Ragman's Serenade tells the story of four families- one from North Shields and the other three from Wallsend. It is a story of relationships- The Davis family are up to their eyes in debt - The Stewart family have a daughter who has downs syndrome– The hagarths who’s husband owns a bookmakers shop and his wife is a midwife at the RVI- and the Higginbottom's have a father with the on set of Alzheimer's. How do they cope - read this fascinating story i'm sure you will enjoy.


121. 121

“Give me a minute and I’ll see if I can scrape the money together for you.’

“Well I’m sitting in the front over there. Don’t disappear Alfie I know where you live.’

Alfie made a hasty retreat into the right hand corner of the room just as the bingo was starting. He set down the drinks then began to play.

He seemed to be marking well and was glad when he shouted for a full house.’ The committee man came over and checked his ticket giving him ten pounds.

He looked at the money in his hand then went over to Norman’s table. He was just about to hand over the tenner went he was approached by two other men. “What about that money you owe us Alfie.’ We’ve been waiting for weeks for you to pay us back.’

“Next week lads, I’ll pay you next week.’  Norman grabbed the ten pound note out of Alfies hand. “Then told Alfie never to ask him again for credit. Alfie was renowned for borrowing off blokes in the bookmakers in Shields. He would say “I‘ve been given a good thing, lend me a tenner and I’ll double your money.’ Of course many fell for it and it took them months to get the money back. He made the mistake of borrowing money from a relative of local hard man Joe Block. Alfie was walking home one night after a session in the White Hart. A car pulled alongside of him and asked him the time. Alfie went to look at his watch and his arm was grabbed and then two men got out and bundled him into the car. He was driven to Howdon Lane and ploated. They told him he had just seven days to get £20.00 or they would break his arms. Just to show him that they weren’t joking, they snapped his index finger like a twig. Alfie had to borrow the money from his brother in order to settle the debt.

When the evening came to a close he and Barry Hodges left the club and made their way over to the car park where Alan was waiting. On the way home they discussed the changes that would affect them all.

Norman was disappointed that Marina wasn’t in when he got home her undid his tie and removed his jacket. He ate another piece of his wife’s pie with a cup of tea before going to bed. He knew that he shouldn’t have eaten pastry late on as it gave him galloping heartburn but the pie was too tempting.

He finished his tax returns before going to bed. He undressed then hung up his suit before sliding under the covers he placed his arms where his wife normally slept

Cursing that she was not here with him. Last night had been so nice to have her beside him in the bed with him. They had made love with such a passion that he wanted more.

Soon his eyes became heavy with the accumulation of beer and food and he began to snore loudly.



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