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.


64. 64

“Where is your daughter now?

“She is helping out on Bobby’s farm; you know mucking out stables and feeding the animals. “ You see my daughter already knows what she wants.”

“What would that be?

“She wants to be a farmer; and she will succeed because she is hard working like her mother.”

“Just then Robert came into the room and apologised to Irene he kissed her on both cheeks and was very charming.

“Would you like a drink Irene?

“Thank you Mr Wilkinson, I will have a spritzer if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all and please call me Robert there’s no need for formalities here is there Jennifer?

“No dear.”

 “So Bobby how is business then?

“Let’s not talk business when we have guests. I came home to see you not talk shop.”

“I only ask out of concern son.”

 “I know but I don’t have to worry about money mother; I have it in abundance.”

“You can never have enough money son.”

“I totally disagree with you Jennifer; money can breed greed and greed can end up destroying you.”

 “I agree with you Irene said Robert; which caused a scornful look from his wife.”

“Would you rather live like a pauper then dear said Jennifer?

“I would rather be a pauper and happy; rather than rich and miserable said Irene.”

“Well said Irene said Bobby.”

“Yes, but when you’re happy and rich, it’s wonderful said Jennifer.”

“Shall we go through to the dining room now Jennifer; I’m sure Irene and Bobby are both hungry.


Walking into the dining room one of the servants took her high heels and she sat at the table in bare feet. Bobby removed his shoes and so did Robert; but Jennifer kept her shoes on. The room was large like the rest of the house. In the centre of the room was an oak table that was highly polished and opposite an open fire on the mantle piece were two lamps at either side and in the middle two photos in gilt frames one of Bobby in his teens and another as he is today. There were six chairs around the table and above the mantle was an oil painting of a landscape. The table sat on a Chinese rug that must have been twenty feet long there were a variety of pot plants in the room and two near the patio windows that looked out onto the lawn and flower beds. There were drapes either side of the patio doors and the white ceiling had a cornice around it. The walls were painted rose pink opposite the fireplace there were family oil paintings. There was one of Jennifer in her youth in a 1920’s styled dress and bonnet.

She was very pretty and Irene could see why Robert had fallen in love with her.

The soup arrived and was served to them. Irene looked at Bobby who picked up the soup spoon and Irene followed his lead. The soup was asparagus which Irene had never tasted before and she liked.


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