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Coming of Age / Fictional Drama
from the 'Tales from Old South Shields' series
Blitz PAMS is set in 1941 in South Shields, a small town on the estuary of the River Tyne facing Germany across the North Sea. The German Blitzkrieg has begun and as the first bombs hit the town, the Police send out a call for young cyclists, to be known as Police Auxiliary Messengers, (PAMS) to spring into action when phone lines go down.
Mossie Hamed, a sixteen-year-old Arab grocery delivery boy, volunteers. Through his eye view of bombs falling in darkness we learn how this experience changed the lives of him and his ‘marras’ and how these teenage lads – and a girl – fumbled their way through the first sexual encounters of their lives knowing that one more German bomb could end their existence.
The writing style is vibrant, littered with dialect words and phrases which add flavour and delivers Geordie common sense and humour as plain English never could. The meaning is obvious in spite of the dialect and the action roars along with tales of heroism, tragedy and outright dishonesty.
As much a social history as a work of fiction, it is nevertheless worthy of people’s attention.
© Jen Black