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.


59. 59

“Yes, I know but you won didn’t you so you know the rules Ivy; who ever wins gets the beers in.

“That’s only going to leave me with thirty bob after I’ve paid for the beers.

You will have seventeen and a tanner with the change out of the crisps and nuts.

“Stop your moaning and get to the bar woman. “ She has to make a drama out of a crisis.”

In the second half the line prize went up to ten pounds and the houses twenty pounds.

The last game was the national game and it paid out £300 on 45 numbers or more. If you got it in fewer than forty five the prize was a £1000.

Ivy came back with a tray with the three bottles and crisps and nuts each.

The girls poured out the beers as John Bainbridge came back on stage and announced a few birthdays in the room and a ruby wedding anniversary. Every one applauded then they got down to the serious business.

The four page book quickly disappeared and they had won diddly Squat.

The national game was linked to other bingo halls in the area. John waited for a signal to start then the game got underway. Betty was marking well and needed only one number for twenty pounds.

“Unlucky for some thirteen.

“Here shouted Betty; it wasn’t unlucky for me.”

Her ticket was check and verified

“That’s six pounds ten shillings each and ten bob in the bandit on the way out.

The game carried on and Betty again wanted one number.

“Come on you swine said Betty as she waited for number seventy six. The caller got past forty five numbers and someone from another hall shouted house. The girls finished their beer and took the remained of crisps and nuts with them as the mass exodus of people headed for the door way. They made there way to betty’s favourite  bandit an they put five shillings into it with nothing back then on her last shilling she pulled the lever and Boosh! Out came five pounds in coins. Betty shared the money out and they carried on playing with the ten shillings left; again she was down to her last two shillings then won another five pound. “Right do we play on or go home?

“Play they all voiced. Betty put six coins into the machine and on her seventh she hit the jackpot and won twenty pounds.

“Well worth coming out tonight girls; come on We will go to the Berwick Arms for a quick one.

Betty shared out the money again then told Ivy to get the drinks in. Ivy thought about complaining but thought better of it she had over two weeks wages in her purse and her man would see none of it because she would hide it; she got the money changed at the bar into to blue fivers then took out the insole of her shoe and in the fivers went. She then replaced the insole and put her shoe back on. Both Betty and Agnes did the same.

“Now ladies I will meet you in town tomorrow outside the rent office on Howard Street at twenty past nine the rent office opens at nine thirty so we can pay the rent then we can go for a bacon sandwich at Micky Brown’s café on Saville Street.

“Not a word about Betty’s win mind because if you do and my man finds out, I will get my eye blacked again said Ivy.



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