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.


49. 49

Ivy took a frying pan down and dropped a piece of lard in the pan then swirled it around until it had melted before adding the bacon.

“Where’s the HP Brown sauce Ivy?

“It’s in the pantry isn’t it?

“There’s none in here; there’s only red sauce on the shelf.”

“Agnes go around and get some brown sauce from yours.”

“But my hair is still wet.”

“You’re only going next door not over to South Shields on the ferry.”

Agnes put on her coat and then her head scarf.

“Christ Agnes you’re not setting out to the South Pole you know.

“Why didn’t you go then, you only live two bloody doors away?

 “Because I asked first Agnes.”

Agnes left the house and left the sneck on the door so that she could let herself back in.

The bacon sizzled away in the pan as Ivy turned it over the smell of the bacon cooking were making Betty’s mouth salivate; she wished Agnes would hurry up. She didn’t like her bacon done crispy.”

Agnes returned with the brown sauce as Ivy put a large slice in each piece of Hovis  bread.

The sauce was running down Betty’s chin so she took a packet of tissues and wiped it clean.

“Oh this is better than sex.”

“What kind of sex you havin’ like?

“I caught my man kneeling by the bed the other night; I asked him what he was doing on his knees. I thought he had lost half a crown under the bed until he told me he was praying for guidance.” Guidance, I said lay doon and pray for stiffness; I will guide it myself.”

Ivy and Agnes nearly choked on the bacon sandwich as they burst out into fits of laughter.


When the girls had all finished Betty washed Ivy’s dishes then put them on the draining board.

“Right I’m going in and I’m going to have a bath said Agnes I will see you all tonight outside at 6.30pm.

“Here that Ivy, PM is it is that post-menstrual or pre –menstrual?

“Funny bugger; see you both later.”

“I better go too Ivy, thanks for the sandwich its Agnes’s turn next time.”

“See you later Betty.”

“Not if I see you first; Betty let herself out then went two doors up and opened the door and went inside.


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