The Jolly Boys

Shirley Stephenson is a bored housewife who never stops day in day out, its the same humdrum existence. Bob her husband is a lazy good for nothing. who lost his leg in an industrial accident and is claiming benefit fraudulently. he keeps her short and moans because she goes to the bingo. Shirley finds the courage to file for a divorce and free herself. her life is suddenly transformed after she finds all of the compensation that Bob has been hiding from her. she orders a taxi she takes £30.000 and takes a box with some things that her gran had left her.


21. 21

“Me no, I keep myself in shape though because people assume just like you did that I’m involved.’

“So, you can take care of yourself then.’

“If I have to yes I can. I was in the Royal Marines.’

“Why did you leave?’

“I got sick of being posted to Ireland during “The Troubles” and wanted to come home.’

How long were you out there?’

“Four years in Belfast, I also did two in Gibraltar and three and a half in Germany.’

“A right action man then.’

“Sort of.’

“So, you are a hero, have you got any medals?’

“I wouldn’t go that far to say I was a hero or anything but yes, I have a few service medals.’

“What rank were you?’

“I was a sergeant.’

“Well sergeant Leck you call me later and I will be ready for you.’

Lecky took the drinks from the bar and walked back to the table.’

“Where have you been we’re gagging here, you seemed as if you were getting on well over there.’

“Yes, I’m taking her out tonight.’

“Give over she wouldn’t look at you twice.’

Lecky showed them all her phone number.’

“You dorty lucky bugger.’ Better go easy on the booze I mean you wouldn’t want to get Brewers droop would you laughed Slack Arse.’

“Never had a problem with it before.’ He took the pint and swallowed half of it.’

They all knew that Lecky was capable of drinking twenty pints and walking out of the bar just like he’d come in.’

“I hope you tell her that we are going away for two weeks mind, I don’t want anything to jeopardise this holiday.’

“It won’t.’

“Right then who’s coming to the club tonight apart from lover boy here?’

“I’ll be over said Glen.’

“Well we’ve got nowt else to do said the rest of them; They agreed to meet up at seven that night.’

“Keep us a good seat near the stage Bob.’

Glen ordered them a mini bus to take them all home as they sat and finished their drinks.







  Three weeks after applying for a place at Durham University a letter arrived telling him that there was a place for him. They wanted to meet him and his parents on the Wednesday afternoon. Kevin rang Tanya and told her the news.’

“There you are Kevin, I told you that you’d get in. I will tell Marko and Danile tomorrow. I will meet you on Wednesday; what time are you coming over?’

“Ten o’clock.’

“I have a seminar but I can get someone to take notes for me.’

“Okay I will see you then.’

Kevin put down the phone then told his mother.’ Kevin would have to inform the social security and his boss so he rang them both. His boss at Dutton Forshaw was not happy and asked when he’d be starting his University Course.

“Soon as possible I hope.’

“Well you could always come and work for us on a Saturday Kevin said Brian his boss.’

“No thanks, I’ve done enough slave labour for you.’

“Slave labour you say, we at least gave you a chance of a job here.’

You know as well as I do Brian that there never was a job at the end of the thirteen- week course. As long as the government keep paying you to employ the likes of me. Mugs like me will work their socks off trying to get a permanent job.’

Brian laughed on the other end of the phone, well when you get your degree give me a call and I’ll see what I can do for you.’

Kevin laughed back and said after what I have written in tonight’s Evening Chronicle Brian I don’t think so.’

“What do you mean?’

“I am exposing you and other Job schemes just like you who just use people as slave labour and pay them peanuts apart from breaking the law by making them work a weekend for next to nothing.’ You didn’t think I was going to let you get away with paying me just fifteen pounds for washing and polishing all of those car’s, did you?’

“Listen here you ignorant immigrant Pollack; you and your ilk are just cheap labour. You and your family will be lucky to get a job anywhere do you hear me; you print anything about me and this firm and I will take you to court and sue your arse.’

“Go ahead I have proof you see. I have copies of all documentation appertaining to work done by all of your former YTS workers and tax expenses that you’ve claimed for. By the way I was born in this country I am British; but I certainly be informing my solicitor of racial prejudice towards me and my family as well. Goodbye.’

Kevin put down the telephone with a satisfied smile; he went out to the paper shop to pick up the evening paper.

His story hit the front page “Slave Labour on YTS Schemes Exposed” was the headline.

Kevin read the article on his way home. He hoped that by exposing Dutton Forshaw and other places like it through talking with other YTS workers and migrants he could put an end to it. The government quickly defended the claims made by Kevin until others began to speak out as he had done. Soon the whole of the country was up in arms about YOP and YTS Schemes. Many refused to work and withdrew labour. There was talks in the House of Commons by Dennis Skinner the Labour party MP for Bolsover and National Executive committee member since 1978 stood up and gave a speech condemning the YTS and YOP schemes. He asked that teenagers be given training schemes that would lead to meaningful employment not more slave labour.’ He said that YTS was just a government trick to fool people that unemployment figures were being reduced.

Kevin showed his father the article and they sat and watched the news as the story escalated.

On the Wednesday Kevin had made the national news his photo graced the front pages; he was being asked to appear on national news to give his side of the story.

He appeared with his parents on the Good Morning program with Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley.’ Stephan told history how he’d come from Crackow looking for work. He told them that he was not lazy and of all the other decorating jobs he had done to support his family

When Kevin went for interview at Durham University they congratulated him for defending the rights of others. They said that he had a good head on his shoulders and asked if he would like to do a degree course in Journalism. Kevin refused saying he wanted to be an engineer. He was gladly accepted for a scholarship and was informed that he would start the following week. His parents met Tanya who they liked immediately.

From his appearance with his son on television offers of full time work came thick and fast and Stephan was offered a job at Parson’s a well- known engineering firm which he gracefully accepted. He was now earning a good salary and they applied for a mortgage for a house in Preston Grange. The house on Malvern Road was fully modernised.  It had a double garage and three good sized bedrooms. Stephan was given a New Vauxhall Viva by a dealer who had seen him on television.

Another car firm Renault, gave a car to his son to help him commute from Durham to his new home.

Stephan was asked to write about his experiences of coming to live in England and he published a book called “The Good Immigrant” he was well known in the neighbourhood and everyone respected him. He still took time to help others with their cars but did not need to do decorating jobs anymore.

He had two wonderful neighbours who invited him and Anna to parties and barbeques.

Kevin settled nicely into the flat with Marko and Danilo and was enjoying university life.

He was offered employment after he finished his degree from the Bechtel Corporation in the United States. They had seen him on television and liked his drive his passion to succeed. “We need people like you here said the director Jordan Macey after coming to meet the young lad.

“Don’t worry about anything Kevin, Jordan Macey told him. An apartment, company car and a good salary await you.’ Kevin couldn’t believe how much his life had changed in such a short time. He was made head of the student’s union at the University and he dealt with matters in a fair and democratic way which all the students liked.


The Phone rang in Micky Moats living room. He picked it up and answered. It was Molly she sounded pretty sheepish on the phone as she told him that she couldn’t make it for dinner that evening as she’d been called into work.

“There’s no need to lie to me Molly, I know what’s going on he said.’

“What do you mean?’

Micky paused and composed himself then said: “I saw you last night, I came back for the bag I’d left and decided to go to the fish and chip shop for supper on my way home.’

“I don’t know what you are on about Mick honestly;’ said Molly there was guilt in the sound of her voice that Mick picked up on. “I went straight home.’

“Look Molly, I saw you and a bloke up a back lane as I walked up towards the coast road. Mick told her that he’d called in at her house on his way back to the pub in case she had taken the meat home with her but there was no answer.’

“I, I went straight to bed, I was tired.’

“Mick laughed and placated you must have got home pretty quickly and were in bed before the lights were out then.’ “Look Molly what you do after work has got nothing to do with me but don’t make a fool out of me.’ “No -one has been hurt here so let’s just call it quits aye.’ Micky put down the phone before Molly could say another word.

Mick felt he’d been used, but also relieved that he’d found out sooner rather than later.  The following Thursday at the quiz he found out that Molly had changed her shift. It didn’t bother him that she was not there but he had to explain it to his team mates. It was only “Strut,” who revelled in the fact that he’d told him what she was like even though he refused to believe him. As luck would have it that evening he got talking to a new team called” The Early Birds”

They were a team of five young girls who were new to pub quizzes and had decided to give it a go. One of the women who was very smartly dressed tapped Mick on the shoulder and asked him for an answer to one of the questions. He found out that her name was Claire Douglas and she was single. Her friends Paula Robinson, Emily Watson, Pat Devlin, and Christine Charters were all from Benwell in Newcastle. They chatted away half of the evening and Bob seemed to be getting on famously with Paula. Little Legs too with Emily who was only just over four feet tall which made Rob look pretty tall in comparison. Drop Gob got on with Pat as well so it was a successful evening.

Christine Charters made most of the conversation with “Strut.”  By the end of the night they had all agreed to go out again on the Saturday Evening together. Nothing expensive just a drink at the club. The night got better and better as the five men seemed to get to know the ladies more intimately.

Mick Moat asked the girls to join their quiz team and they all agreed saying that they needed all the help that they could get. Before long the five couples were all going out on a regular basis. Molly Richardson returned to her normal Thursday night shift. She clocked Mick with his new woman and smiled, she was happy for him but felt a little resentment knowing that she’d passed up a good man. The man she had went with that night soon disappeared and she was left on her own. She came to the table and cleared the glasses looking at Mick before nervously saying hello.’

“Hello said Mick how you doing?’

“Not too bad; you know me Mick, just one of life’s stupid fools.’ I keep falling for the wrong men.’

“One day you’ll meet someone nice.’

“I thought I had and I blew it she said as she left the table.’

Claire looked at Mick and he explained that he’d been out on a date with Molly but it hadn’t worked out.’

Bob explained to Paula that he’d booked a holiday with his darts team and would be missing for two weeks, Paula was alright about it having not long come back from a girl’s holiday to Benidorm. The ten of them seemed to do well in the quiz especially when the girls all knew the answers to the soap questions. None of the lads watched any of them so were pleased when the girls came up with the answers.




Gary Sanderson had agreed to let out his bungalow fully furnished to another friend from his regiment who was still enlisted and would only be using the place on leave. Gordon Philips a former light middleweight boxer could have turned professional having reached the final of the ABA championships and was narrowly beaten on points by the heavy hitting Rod Douglas. Gordon was 

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