Fish Wife

"FISH WIFE" It tells of two women one from Scotland the other from North Shields.Margaret Rose Garbutt, has a violent abusive husband who beats her up whilst pregnant she runs away from from Sterling and when her baby is born is forced to give her up. years later she ends up working in the kipper factory on North Shields fish quay where she meets Irene Milsip who had such a bad home life that when she was set up on a blind date met Jimmy Johnson who she marries more out of desperation than love. Jimmy is a waster and is having an affair behind Irene's back with an Irish immigrants daughter until Irene's friend finds a letter in the street. Annabelle Crosby is faced with a dilemma- does she tell her friend or let the affair go on. This is the story of hardship and struggle of two women during the 1960's and their rise to success but one thing they will never forget is their roots. FISH WIFE is a tale of love, ambition, family values, and friendship.

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It was a good drying day for washing as the three women on Liddell Street near the Fish Quay in North Shields hung out their washing with some wooden dolly pegs.

“Where’s Annabelle today asked Betty Stephenson as she shook the sheet before pegging it on the line along with her other washing?

“I divn’t na maybe hor husbands home and they’re having a bit of hanky panky.

Agnes Watson and Ivy Purvis burst out laughing.

“Chance would be a fine thing wouldn’t it said the two women.

“Wor Bobby’s forgot what it’s all a boot these days; he spends all day an neet at the bloody pub.

“Aye; wor Tommy’s the same, you would think he lived in the bloody “Wooden Doll”

 “Is there still nae work doon the yard then?

“No they didn’t get picked again by the gaffer; I swear them blokes doon there are giving him a back hander.”

“They keep saying that they gan in the pub to look for work but there’s more drinkin’ than work being found.”

“Aye and they come in tanked up with beer; then they start to argue with us cos’ his tea is all burnt.”

“Whey what do they expect?

“Here look here’s Annabelle Crosby coming up the street.”

“I wonder where she been gallivanting to said Betty as she folded her arms in a defensive manner then looked at the other two women with a sarcastic grin on her face.

“Where you been then hinney?

“Wait until you all see this; you are going to fall aboot laughing”

“Haway then Annabelle; tell us what it’s all boot?

“Annabelle put down the two bags she was carrying then asked if anyone had the kettle on.

“Come over to my hoose then said Betty.”

The women came in the back door then up the set of worn steps. It had no hand rail the windows had two pieces of plastic over the holes to keep the rain out.

“Have the council not been to fix your windows yet Betty?

“Bloody kids; with their catapults trying to knock the pigeons off the roof for their mothers so she can make a pie with them.

“I would belt their arses if I could catch them said Ivy.”

“Wouldn’t we all; thing is you go and tell their mothers and all you get is a mouth full of cheek from them and how innocent their kids are.

Betty poured out the tea from a new packet of PG Tips she had bought.

“Who’s for a ginger snap biscuit with their tea?

“I’m watching my figure said Agnes.

“Give over Aggie; we could all say that.”

“I’ve been on that new slimming bread they call Nimble.”

“Well it isn’t working Agnes; here have a biscuit and shut up whilst Annabelle tells us what she was going to tell us.”

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