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.


63. 63

“Hello I’m Jennifer Wilkinson, Bobby’s mother. Robert will be here in a moment. He got a phone call I’m sorry.

Hello Mrs Wilkinson, I’m Irene Johnson.”

Please come through dear.”

Irene looked at her in the blue dress and the diamond necklace and earrings that sparkled every time she moved her head. There was a huge diamond cluster on her finger and a diamond bracelet on her wrist.

Irene’s earrings cost two pounds, three shillings and tuppence from Woolworths.

“So Irene; Bobby tells me that you are a manager in a fish factory.

“Yes; I work in a kipper factory Mrs Wilkinson.”

“Do you like the work there?

“Well some has to do the work Mrs Wilkinson or you would have no kippers to eat for breakfast would you?


“How long have you actually known my son then?

“Just over a week I think but it is my belief that you could live your whole life with someone and not really know them.

“So miss Johnson do you think that you know my son?

“Pretty much so yes; and its Ms I’m a widow.”

“You didn’t tell me Bobby; I’m sorry Irene; was your husband killed in the army or something?

“No he fell off a dye works roof trying to pinch some lead.”

Bobby interrupted his mother and asked her not to interrogate Irene.

“I’m sorry son; I was just trying to get to know Irene.” Do you know you are only the second girl that Bobby has ever brought home?

“No I didn’t.”

“He married the first and she tried to take him to the cleaners.”

“I have no interest in Bobby’s money Mrs Wilkinson. “ What you’ve never had you never miss.”

“Can I ask how you met your husband?

“I was working in a shoe shop when Robert came in for a pair of brogues.”

“So you too were not born into money then?

Irene had hit a raw nerve and Bobby’s mother changed the subject.

“Do you have children then Irene?

 “Yes I have a thirteen year old daughter; in fact she will be fourteen in a few weeks.”

“Is she a rebellious teenager?

“No Mrs Wilkinson; when she gets out of hand I gave her arse a good spanking and then she knows her place.”

“I see that you are a no nonsense mother.”

“I allow my daughter the freedom to discover the real world and I have told her that if she wants something in this world then she has got to work hard for it.”


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