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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“How old will the child be now?

“Cathy will be seven in October. I have a birthday card for her from every birthday she has had and a present but I do not know where she is.

George put an arm around Rose to comfort her then told her that he would do everything in his power to find Cathy and bring her back here.

“Do you have a picture of her George asked?

“Yes, this was the last picture I have of Cathy; it was taken in St Ninian’s Park in Stirling”

Rose took out the photo that had been taken with an Instamatic camera the black and white photo showed a young black girl playing on the swings smiling as her mother pushed the swing behind her.

“Are you surprised that my child is black George?

“Your daughter is beautiful Rose who could not love her no matter of her colour.

I met Gerald Garbutt when we were both in school and he was fine at first then we started seeing each other regularly when I was fifteen. I have never known another man other than Gerald. When I found out I was pregnant Gerald then started to become abusive that’s when he beat me so severely and I ended up in hospital and nearly lost the child.

“Where is Gerald now?

“From what his mates told me he went to live with his father in Jamaica.

“Well that’s good, we do not want him around do we?

“No but how am I going to get my daughter back.”

Do not worry yourself Rose I will take care of this I promise. Now I’m going to make you a cup of Ovaltine and then it’s bed for you and me both.

“First thing in the morning I will be on the phone.

“It is Saturday tomorrow George and I have work at the Kipper Factory.

“Please stop crying Rose I said I will take care of it and I will.”

“George took out a clean handkerchief and gave it to Rose he then put on a pan with some milk and spooned Ovaltine from the large orange coloured tin.

When the milk was boiled he added it to the mug and spooned some sugar into the mug and gave it a good stir.

“There you are now Rose; take this to bed with you and I will see you in the morning.”

“Rose thanked George then headed to her room.


Two crows woke George as they sat on the church roof over the road they were fighting over some bread that had been put out. He got up and went to the toilet then quickly washed and dressed before putting the kettle on. He could hear Rose stirring so he got another cup out.

“Morning George I’m sorry I over slept; I told you I didn’t drink.”

“No hang over I hope he smiled.

“No I’m fine now; what time is it?

“It’s 5.30 am.”

I will just get a quick wash and I will be with you. She took her work clothes into the bathroom.

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