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.


11. 11

When she finished she hung up the rubber apron then got her bag and ran all the way home.

Irene paced the floor waiting for Jimmy to return home from work.

 She had made her daughter Millie’s tea then sent her to bed by 7.30pm.

Jimmy called into “The Crane” where he met Katie Flynn he bought her a bottle of stout then sat down.

“When are you going to tell her then Jimmy said Katie?

“Keep your voice down woman; we don’t want the world and his uncle knowing our business do we.”

I’m three months pregnant Jimmy what do you expect; I’ve got to tell my father soon as they suspect already.” “You know when the sweat is dripping off you and you are wearing more clothes and a heavy coat on in the bloody height of summer for god sake.”

“Jimmy took a large gulp from the glass of brown ale.”

“I’ll tell her tonight when I get in alright?

“That’s what you have been saying for the last three months now; look at me Jimmy; I cannot go on like this.”

“I said I will tell her and I will; just don’t go on at me will you, I get enough of that at home.”

Jimmy finished his beer then got up he looked around and went to kiss her on the lips but she turned away from him.

Jimmy headed out of The Crane then alone the Nater’s Bank then onto Liddell Street.

He took a deep breath before going into the house.


“Hello Love; I had to work a half shift and….

“Don’t you hello love me; you dirty bastard.”

“What are you going on about woman?

“I know all about you Jimmy Johnson and that tart that you have been having it away with.


“Don’t you lie to me, you swine; you see every bugger knows about you and Katie Flynn.” Everyone but me that is; I have been made a right fool of at work today.

“Its lies, all lies love I swear.”

 “Explain this then as she threw the letter from Annabelle Crosby in his face.

“The realisation registered on his face as he saw the letter that she had written.

Katie must have dropped it he thought.

“I was going to tell you; but I couldn’t, the time wasn’t right and their never seemed to be a time when I could tell you Irene.”

“You are nothing but a coward and a whore monger to boot; now get you things and get out of my house.”

“Come on pet, don’t be like that I’m sure that we can sort this out.

“Get out before I call my brother Alan and he will beat seven kinds of shite out of you.

Jimmy went to his room and packed a small case then stormed out of the house.

He headed up to the “Ballarat” where he knew his friend Albert Robinson would be.


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