The Devil's Waiting Room

The Devil's Waiting Room is biographical journey through my eyes as a 10 year old boy centred around the summer of 1969 in the fishing port of North Shields on the banks of the River Tyne. Racism was still very strong and open and had an iron grip on the town during perpetual time for change. Outside we ran. At home we persevered. And late at night, I would hear my father cry... More

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Published: June 23, 2011
Words: 41,160
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458082763
About berry burgess

Few people, least of all myself, would have thought that after nearly 30 years in the advertising business I would end up owning my own design agency Armadillo Creative on the very playground I ran on when I was an innocent child the Fish Quay in North Shields.

The River Tyne has witnessed many changes through the years: from the demise of the once proud fishing fleets and the mighty Swan Hunters to the erection of designer Quayside luxury apartments and the influx of new style progressive businesses and developments. The Devils Waiting Room started out as playful meanderings through one summer in 1969, the last summer before the ‘gang’ broke up and went off in different directions to secondary schools.

It was time of innocence and change. Racism was very strong and had an iron grip on Shields, and coming from one of the few coloured families in the town that isolation and undercurrent was a major factor in my childhood. The late sixties was a time for change, and when you’re young and three-foot-odd it seems too big and of no relevance to pocket money and comics.
Where are my friends now? Who knows? Many may have left the area for good. When I was 15 I ran away from my foster parents and went to London; but something dragged me back to North Shields a few day later. That magnet has kept me here ever since, and I’m proud of my small town.
I still live in North Shields with my beautiful and understanding wife Judi, and I have two children although not that small; Rachel who is a Director at Armadillo and keeps me on a short leash, and my son Lewis who from being a cute innocent bundle of fun, since becoming a teenager now just engages in a dialogue of grunts and snorts in-between sequences of Gears of War and Call of Duty. Both grew up in my childhood playground but neither ran with such freedom or the wind on their faces like I did many years ago. For that I am blessed.

Few people, least of all myself, would have thought that after nearly 30 years in the advertising business I would end up owning my own design agency Armadillo Creative on the very playground I ran on when I was an innocent child the Fish Quay in North Shields.
The River Tyne has witnessed many changes through the years: from the demise of the once proud fishing fleets and the mighty Swan Hunters to the erection of designer Quayside luxury apartments and the influx of new style progressive businesses and developments. The Devils Waiting Room started out as playful meanderings through one summer in 1969, the last summer before the ‘gang’ broke up and went off in different directions to secondary schools.

It was time of innocence and change. Racism was very strong and had an iron grip on Shields, and coming from one of the few coloured families in the town that isolation and undercurrent was a major factor in my childhood. The late sixties was a time for change, and when you’re young and three-foot-odd it seems too big and of no relevance to pocket money and comics.
Where are my friends now? Who knows? Many may have left the area for good. When I was 15 I ran away from my foster parents and went to London; but something dragged me back to North Shields a few day later. That magnet has kept me here ever since, and I’m proud of my small town.
I still live in North Shields with my beautiful and understanding wife Judi, and I have two children although not that small; Rachel who is a Director at Armadillo and keeps me on a short leash, and my son Lewis who from being a cute innocent bundle of fun, since becoming a teenager now just engages in a dialogue of grunts and snorts in-between sequences of Gears of War and Call of Duty. Both grew up in my childhood playground but neither ran with such freedom or the wind on their faces like I did many years ago. For that I am blessed.

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