' 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.


14. 14

Irene walked calmly to her office then knocked on the door.

“Come in.’

“Irene went inside and Lily was standing smoking a cigarette looking down on the shop floor as the rest of the staff were cashing up and getting ready to leave. “ Where has all the food gone Miss Davis; her face was now red with anger and her eyes narrowed as she waited for an explanation.

“What food Mrs Thomas?’

“Don’t try and come the innocent with me girl; you know exactly what food.’ All the food I told you to bag this afternoon.’ “Where is it?’

“Oh the waste you mean; I thought that it all had to go to the old folk’s home and was to be left outside.’

It was… I mean it does; did you put it into the skip?’

“No I left it outside like you said; has someone taken it?’

“I hope not she said nervously that food is not meant for the general public.’

“Has someone not put it all into the skip; maybe we should go and check.’

“No,’ that won’t be necessary Miss Davis I’ve already checked; you can go.’

“In future we will have to be more careful.’

“Yes Mrs Thomas, I will. She fought back the urge to laugh.

“Goodnight Mrs Thomas; I will see you on Monday.’

Irene walked out of her manager’s office with a big grin on her face; she put on her coat then left the shop.

Lily Thomas went to the place where she would normally collect her other goods from and when she found all that gone too she ran to the tills and checked each till roll. There it was, on till number five. Every item that she had hidden away had been sold. It was all gone and Lily had nothing that she could now use for the funeral that coming Monday.’

 “All of her staff had now left the store and she was now furious.

When she was sure everyone had gone she helped herself to all the things that she would need to cover the catering for the funeral. Using frozen Chicken drumsticks, sausage rolls, and frozen mince, she took several fresh loaves from the shelves and some margarine, eggs, and flour.   Her husband was still waiting in the back of the store as she came out with a trolley overflowing with food. Here don’t just stand there give me a hand with this she told her husband. Edward Thomas got out of the car and opened the boot then he began to place everything into the back of it.

They no sooner had got it all into the car and were driving away with it when they were stopped by a police car.

“Excuse me madam, could you tell me why you have just driven out of the back of Presto’s supermarket?’

“It’s alright officer said Lily; I’m the manageress of Presto’s Supermarket.’

“Are you indeed. Well then you won’t mind opening the boot of your car then will you.’

“Yes, no problem officer’ the food in there goes to the old folk’s home near our church.’ We supply the old folk’s home with food that is going out of date, it is our company policy to help the less fortunate.’

“Does it now; and who pays for all of this food may I ask. It’s out of date but still perfectly edible.’

“I see so haven’t purchased this food?’

No,’ officer it is usually food that is put into a skip.’

The officer picked up some of the tins and checked the dates on them before asking how long is the food usually deemed unfit to eat.’ 

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