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.


47. 47

Monday was pension, family allowance, or welfare day in North Shields the people queued outside of the post office to get their money. Betty Stephenson, Agnes Watson, and Ivy Purvis stood waiting to go in.

“Has anyone seen owt of Irene Johnson?

No, not since she went off with that rich bloke in the Rolls Royce.

“Some people always hit lucky don’t they?

“You’re telling me, they always seem to fall on their feet somehow.

“Has your man got his self a job yet?

“Whey no Betty, the lazy bugger is still in bed and I’ve woken him up three times all ready this morning.”

“Well I know what I would do with him. I would throw a pan of water over the lazy sod, that’ll get him up.”

“I might just do that but the last time I spoke out he blacked my eye.

“He what, let me deal with him said Betty, I will sort that bugger oot. The woman behind the counter took the family allowance book from Ivy Purvis she looked at her as if she was a piece of horse muck that she had trodden in. Looking over a pair of horn rimmed glasses she asked if she wanted any stamps. “Have you got any green shield stamps love cos’ I’m a little short this week.”

All the women started laughing as the woman put her nose up in the air and asked Betty for her book.

“What’s wrong love did your husband not ravage your body last night. Did he whisper in your ear “I am drunk and you are ugly; but in the morning I will be Sober?”

Everyone cracked up laughing again.

When they had all got their money they headed off to get some shopping in.

They looked into the shopping market and were looking around the clothes store

They looked at some dresses that were in the shop window.

“What about this one Betty said Agnes do you like it?

“All these dresses are made for stick insects; I’ve seen more meat on wor Bobs whippet than these bloody mannequins. I’ve never seen any woman that skinny in North Shields have you?”

“Only in the poor hoose Ivy.” The three women had head scarves on and underneath their hair were tied up in pipe cleaners ready for a Twink home perm.

Are you all going to the bingo tonight?

“Stupid question Agnes you know we all gan to the bingo on a Monday night when we get our family allowance money.”

Come on we have got to get our perm solution from Hoggies Chemists.

“How much is the robbing bugger charging us for a Twink perm now?

“Its six shillings and tuppence now Ivy.”

“I fancy going blonde like Marylyn Monroe said Agnes.”

“I could walk around naked in my hoose and my man wouldn’t notice.”

“I was thinkin’ aboot sendin’ away for those pills that are supposed to enhance your sex drive in men.

“Where did you read that like asked Ivy?

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