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.


21. 21

Looking at the clock on the mantle piece for the umpteenth time Jimmy got up and threw more coal on the fire from the coal bucket then placed a shovel on the grate with a piece of newspaper until the coals caught and the fire was blazing. The smell of burnt newspaper filled the room as he removed the sheet of paper then put the shovel into the coal bucket. He turned on the television to watch Danger man with Patrick McGoohan. Shortly after there was a knock at the door and Katie was standing there.

“Come in lass it’s freezing out here.

Jimmy put the kettle on to make tea.

It’s nice and warm in here; can I take off my coat.

“Aye just hang it on the door.”

“It’s a canny place your mate has here; how did he get it? Single people wait years on the council list to get a house.”

“It was his mother and fathers house; they left it to him in their will.”

“Lucky bugger; we ought to get our names down on the council list for a house.”

“Would you move in with me then if we got a house; said Jimmy as he handed her a cup of tea and a Blue Riband biscuit.

“Posh biscuits as well I think I got in with the wrong man.”

Oh you think so do you Jimmy playfully patted her on the behind.

“Jimmy Johnson you naughty boy I think you should come over here and spank me properly.

 “What about the baby?

“I’ve already checked; we can still make love for a bit yet. That’s if you want to?

“Of course I do.

“Come into my parlour then Mr Johnson.”

After they had made love; Katie said that she had to get back as her father told her not to be late.

“When will I see you again?

“I will try to get out again tomorrow if not it will be next Saturday night when my father goes to the King Street Club.”

“Hold on I will walk you back its dark and there maybe people lurking about.”

“Come on then Sir Galahad take me home.

As they came out of Albert’s house two men stood talking and having smoke.

Jimmy paid no heed to them as he walked Katie home.


For two months Katie was a regular visitor to Jimmy’s friend’s house until one evening when Jimmy had walked Katie back who was now heavily pregnant.

He was on his way back when he felt the presence of two men walking behind him the footsteps started to get quicker so Jimmy increased his speed he turned off on Church Way, then broke into a run his shoes echoed as he ran down the bank. He ran up the Tiger Stairs then past D& K Humphrey’s Dye Works where he hid around the corner. His breath was coming out in huge streams of smoke in the cold night air.

The two men split up then one of them crossed the road and ran up the stairs close to where he was. Jimmy shimmied up a drain pipe and made his way across the rooftop but he dislodged a slate and it crashed to the ground near to where one of the men was. He’s up on the roof, the man shouted in an Irish accent.


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