50 yrs ago,in 1970,a shifted ti Stakeford,and a had aalriddy been living in wi me Angel Mother in Law,for 2 years..doon at Grange Park.
So a was oot o touch wi Bedlington itself.
We had a Chinese Takeaway starting up next door ti the Lord Barrington,on Gleggie's corner.
A think it was caaled The Monsoon,but stand to be corrected on that one.
A was famished one neet and went up ti hae a luk in ti see wat a cud get.
A was faced wi 2000 choices of Chicken this and that....wi Beansproots..etc etc!
A settled for an English mixed grill.
A waited aboot 20 mins,taaking ti the young Chinese kid aback o the coonta.
He was the loviest natured kid ye cud ever wish ti meet.
His Brother Jimmy Lee,painted this huge picture of a Leopard in the Jungle...it was like a photo..hangin' on thi waal above the serving hatch..it was aboot 6 feet by 4 feet high,and magnificent!
He said do you llike paintings?..I show you some more what my Brotha Jimmy has done..
He pulled a stack of Artist sized drawing pads...like 2 feet by 18 inches or maybe bigger..they were all of big Cats..amazing.
A got me mixed grill on a foil dish,it was that big a had ti carry it wi both hands stretched oot,and me arms were aching by the time aa got doon yem...aboot 200 yards.
Mind,that,was what aa caaled ...a dinner!!
As years went by they moved,and new owners came in...then aal the cats in the neighbourhood went missing...including two of ours...[at different times].
Whey rumours flew thick and fast,and it was reported that they were raided and there were cats and rats in the fridges!
The rumours came oot aboot every Chinese restaurant that ever opened!!...after that..the poor guys had a really hard time ti get a decent reputation.
It's unthinkable nooadays,but even the Kam Tong was raided and closed doon for the same accusations,in the early 1960's,it was the first time I ever stepped into a place like that ,and only cos we had been playing at the Big Club in Blyth,and me Marra's in the group suggested it.
Aa was green as grass..nivvor been owa the plate-ends in me life,so a was that famished,a had Chicken and chips,just that..[nowt else!]...but ordered a second lot after finishing the forst lot.
Me group Marras thowt a was a greedy sod,but aa was,and still aam,used ti having a big plateful of tetties ,baigie,cabbage,carrots,peas,and broccoli,wi meat and yorksha puddings...!!
This Chinese Chicken meal wadn't o fed me little Black Jess..that's hoo a ahad ti hae a second helpin' !!
Me aad Marra at Bates Pit,was a Butcher by trade,afore gaan doon thi pits..[a knew a few gud tradesmen who went doon the black hole for better pay in the aad days..],and he telt me that the only difference between a Cat,and a Rabbit,was the shape and size of their Kidneys,and both could be flavoured and cooked ti taste like Chicken.
Whey aav had me share of Rabbits in me lifetime,and aal tek sum convincing that ye cud possibly cook a rabbit ti taste like Chicken..but theor yi gaan!
Aam back again folks!,canna cum on like a used ti,me Wife isn't weel at aal,and aam full on caring for her,just gud ti put me oar in again...!!!
Stay Safe folks..Cheers! Bill.