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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Ellingham Hall stood in 30 acres of land the four cottages behind had an atrium with a glass front where you could sit and look out at the extensive walled garden. There were two lakes that were used by guests who came to fish for the thirty pound carp, and pike up to twenty pounds. The smaller lake had bream, perch, roach, and tench that the lakes were stocked with. Each cottage had four bedrooms with on suit bathrooms and four poster beds the estate had an orchard and vineyards that produced enough wine each year to pay for the up keep of the property. The apples, pears, and soft fruits like cherries, and plums were made into jam and sold locally. Each guest paid £500 per week to fish the two lakes all food was supplied and drinks could be bought from the bar cheaper than the bars outside of the area. Bobby was making money every way he could. He made the building work for him not the other way around. He paid two chefs and had service and cleaning staff that looked after the place. He had four gardeners that supplied the table with fresh fruit, vegetables, and salad. A pond expert took care of the fish and the reed beds. He brought in wild deer and pheasant and grouse so that in the winter months the buildings were utilised. Even with all the staff to pay Bobby was making five million pounds a year net profit from Japanese and American tourists.


Bobby’s parents lived in the main building and had nothing to do but his mother was a stickler for detail made sure everyone including the manager did their jobs.

Bobby pulled in and parked the car in the car parking area reserved for him and his family.

This is like a castle said Irene as she looked at the property. Bobby took her by the hand in the new outfit her had bought. The bags of shopping were brought in by the servants and taken up to the room where Bobby and she would be staying.

“Have you seen the size of that four poster bed, it’s huge.”

There a swimming pool in the bathroom Bobby.

Bobby laughed, that’s the hot bath.

 “What? It would take an hour just to fill it.

“It’s a hot tub Irene where you turn on the fans and it hydrates the water. “ I will show you later.”

Irene hung her clothes in the fitted wardrobes. “This house is amazing; I have never seen anything like it.”

“You will get used to it and will say in a few months “I wonder what all the fuss was about.”

“Never Bobby; I grew up having to bathe in a galvanised tin bath.”

“Lets go down my parents are expecting us.”

“Do I look alright?”

“You look spectacularly beautiful.”

“I’m scared Bobby in case they do not like me.”

“They will love you Irene; just be yourself.”

Irene walked steadily down the staircase which had a red carpet that your feet just sunk into. The hallway and the rooms were all walnut floors and highly polished she took off her heels and carried them in her hand.



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