"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


79. 79

Bobby always insisted on going shopping every weekend he always made a list so that they didn’t buy things that they didn’t need. Walking around the supermarket with a shopping trolley Bobby stuck to the list rigidly. Liz tried to pick up the odd thing and place it into the trolley but Bobby would always say that they didn’t need it and it was put back on the shelves.

They would walk hand in hand with the shopping back to the house. Everyone remarked how perfect a couple that they looked. Liz still kept her job up at the library, not that she needed to work because Bobby was making a good salary from selling his own merchandise and writing columns for the magazines and the Mail on Sunday newspaper. Now he was making these video’s and it was taking him away from home for weeks at a time. It looked like the prediction that Sam Harris had made was coming true. He would be travelling the world next making videos and she would hardly see him. Tossing and turning, Elizabeth finally succumbed to sleep.

She awoke when the alarm went off and instinctively reached for Bobby who wasn’t there. She sat on the edge of the bed wiping the sleep from her eyes she slipped on her brown fur lined moccasins. She thought that Bobby would call her before she left for work so she hurried to get washed and fixed her hair and applied some make up. She ate a slice of toast and drank a cup of tea. She waited until 8 a.m. before leaving the house Bobby had not called and she felt sad. Walking to the bus stop she saw Mr. Stan Dawson her neighbour.

“Good morning Elizabeth are you alright?

Yes, yes I’m fine she lied.’

“Are you getting enough sleep dear, you look tired?

“I had a restless night, I be fine when I get a couple of cups of strong coffee down me.’

Stan went for his newspaper every morning he was retired now. He was a former Shipyard welder. He had seen the rapid decline of the shipping industry over the years.

“You look after yourself Elizabeth.’

“Thank you, Mr. Dawson, ‘

Elizabeth said goodbye then crossed the road and hurried to the bus stop. She hadn’t long to wait because she had a bus timetable on the wall in the kitchen that Bobby had placed on a pin board and she knew exactly when the buses were due. There was a woman with a young girl in a school uniform standing waiting at the stop. She was carrying a leather satchel. Elizabeth noticed the three crowns on the badge which told her that this girl went to Kings School in Tynemouth.

Elizabeth smiled at the woman and the girl but was ignored. They boarded the bus and sat down at the front. Elizabeth went upstairs and sat right at the front which gave her a panoramic view of the coast as the bus went along. She noticed the sea along Tynemouth Long Sands. The sea was choppy and the tide was out. Men and women walked their dogs along the beach. She had just let her dog out into the back garden because she didn’t want to leave the house in case Bobby rang. The bus went past the Plaza and on the other side of the road Tynemouth Boating Lake.

She remembered her mother telling her how she had gone to the roller rink in the basement and the dance hall upstairs. Her mother had told her that the dome in the ceiling was made of glass and that you could look up at the stars as you danced. She told her that the windows were blackened out during WW2 to deter the German bombers. She had said that because of this the Plaza had lost its romantic look. Looking at the old grey stoned building it had been left to fall into disrepair. It was still a landmark as was the Grand Hotel and the Priory Castle. The bus turned onto Hotspur Street and the bell sounded to let some passengers off.

When the bus reached Holy Savior’s The woman and the young girl with the satchel part company. The woman made her way to Tynemouth Railway Station whilst the girl walked to the school on her own.

Elizabeth Rose thought that she didn’t know why people like her ignored her when they were no better than herself. Yes, her daughter attended a private school, something she never did because her mother always said “You cannot put knowledge in what’s not there to begin with.’ In her case this was true she was not brain box but the woman had to go to work the same as her. She may have been dressed better than her. Her hair had been cut and styled by professionals. She wore gold Jewellry which maybe have given her a better appearance. Maybe her attire confirmed that she was indeed middle class, not working class like herself. Elizabeth thought that even so this person was no better than her, in fact Elizabeth thought that she had a better nature than this woman because she was not a materialistic person. She cared for others and had an empathy like her mother for the poor or for those less fortunate than herself. The bus carried on past Knots Flats and the Mariners Home; then the smell from the Guyana works on the Fish quay emanated through the bus windows as the bus went past Northumberland Park. Somewhere that Rose had taken her as a child. She missed Rose and hoped that she would return soon. She felt more for Rose than her own mother, mainly because her mother’s life was all about her career as a nurse

Her father she now detested. She blamed her mother for not seeing what had gone on right under her own nose. She wondered if Deborah Jane had suffered at the hands of her stepfather.

The phycological scars left by the actions of her father would remain all of her life. She felt dirty, so dirty that no amount of bathing would cleanse her body. She had not told Bobby, she felt that her sex life had been blighted because she could not let herself go properly. The picture of her father staring at her would come into her mind. It was still there, teasing and tormenting her. Sometimes she wished he would just die. This went against everything she thought and cared about but she couldn’t help herself for the thoughts that came into her head every day. There was just no escaping it.

After the 301- yellow double decker bus pulled into Northumberland Square Elizabeth looked down towards Howard Street around the square the spring flowers had started to bloom. Mixed coloured crocus,’ snowdrops, and the bright yellow daffodils graced the borders of the square.

Standing proud was the statue of the Wooden dolly, the woman carrying a creel on her back, a long dress and a shift and a head scarf epitomised the fisher women of North Shields. Hard working women those lives reflected those living in abject poverty. The mice that ran about her was evidence of this. The multitude of pigeons and seagulls fought over scraps of food either dropped by careless people who couldn’t be bothered to put their litter in the bins situated only a few feet away or the corn and bird seed spread by the good natured. Sparrows and Starlings gathered in large groups all fighting for a share of the bounty before them.

A fresh number of passengers boarded and the bus having spent five minutes in the terminal pulled away. The bus carried on past the road where she was born heading towards Billy Mill it turned left past the old Rex Cinema now turned into a bingo hall. Computer games and video had rendered the Cinemas near outdated. Many saw it cheaper to buy a take away Indian curry or Chinese and watch a video from a rental shop than venture to a picture house. It was like the end of an era because at one time everyone went to the cinema. The bus headed towards the Quadrant then onto Wallsend Road. It went past where Rose used to live and past St Joseph’s school and church. The Pineapple pub was closed now but it would soon be filled with unemployed men who had been put on the dole by Margaret Thatcher and the Tory Government. The youths dressed in shell suits and training shoes either wandered around in groups or rode around on BMX bicycles. On and off the pavements and threatened to knock down elderly people who couldn’t get out of their way.

They were a driver’s nightmare because no one knew when they would just pull out in front of them. the bus pulled in by the Redburn pub that had once been a vicarage. More people making their way to work got onto the bus and the drivers changed. Once the conductor and driver boarded the driver sat into the seat and then started the bus it pulled away then went around the roundabout by the Percy Main Club then onto Tynemouth Road and into Wallsend. Many got off and walked down to Swan Hunter’s Ship Yard. The yard was nearly on its knees and at the point of closure. Calls for help to keep the yard open fell upon the deaf ears of the government. 

Like other yards Thatcher’s privatisation machine had closed them down putting millions out of work and on the scrap heap. Driving through Wallsend the place was like some parts of North Shields it was in dire need of refurbishment. Some of the shops were closed and boarded up, mainly because the councils were charging that much in rent the retailers could not afford to run them. The housing was dilapidated and had not changed since WW2. A Large influx of cash from the government was needed badly, not only to help the lowly shop keeper but the council so that it could build new housing. The bus sped on towards Byker it was much the same story there too. There was talk about redevelopment along the quayside in Newcastle and along the coastline. It was a long time in coming.

The bus carried on into Newcastle, stopping outside of New Bridge Street (West) Elizabeth got off and crossed the road and then walked into the library building she took the lift to the third floor then went to the room where the staff left their coats and hung it up along with her bag then joined her colleague Joanne on the desk. There were the usual crowd of local historians who gathered every morning to scan the archives. Reels of old newspapers dating as far back as the early 18th Century were looked at through a screen similar to an old projector. 

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