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.


65. 65

After the soup came there was a silver salver with a huge lobster and some prawns with a salad.

Irene took some prawns and a piece of lobster but upon smelling it asked everyone not to eat it.

“What is wrong dear can your palate not take to the richness of the fish?”

“No Jennifer the lobster and the prawns are off I’m sorry to say.”

“Don’t be silly girl do you know how much that lobster cost?

“Yes actually I do you see because I work on the quay. They sell this size lobster for a pound per pound so this one was around ten pounds and the prawns about ten shillings a pound.

You see Jennifer if some thing smells fishy it has gone off and we would not sell it to our customers. I do not know who your supplier is or your chef for that matter but if he cannot distinguish a good lobster from a bad one then I would sack him on the spot.

“Get Charles the chef in here immediately said Jennifer.” Who was furious by then?

Charles walked into the dining room from the kitchen. The little Frenchman asked what was wrong.

“Are you trying to kill us all Charles?

“Pardon madam, what do you mean? Smell the lobster and those prawns.

“Charles gave the shell fish a sniff and then shrugged his shoulders. There is nothing wrong with the lobster or the prawn’s madam.

“Please sit for a moment Charles and please indulge us by tasting one of the prawns

Charles removed the prawn from its shell then popped it into his mouth and chewed. Then the after taste hit his palate and he spat the prawn out and took a drink of water from the spare glass on the table.

“Now who supplied you with this rubbish?

“It was who we always buy from Madam, Frank Walker in Seahouses.”

 And how much did he charge you for the prawns and lobster?

“Fifty pounds for the lobster, and twenty pounds, for the prawn’s madam.

“Please bring me the receipt for all the fish that you have bought from frank Walker this year please.”

Charles Regault left the table then quickly returned with all the receipts.

Jennifer asked Irene to look at all the bills and it was clear that Frank Walker had been ripping off the Wilkinson family for years.

Now tell me Charles honestly; how much was he paying you out of the money he was ripping us off with?

“Nothing Madam, alright Charles you can collect your things and take your staff with you and when you see Frank Walker which no doubt you will; tell him I will be sending these receipts onto my lawyer. “ Now get out of my house.”

“I want to thank you Irene and I’m sorry; I misjudged you completely.”

“Now what are we going to do for dinner.”

Come mother I will take us all out for dinner at the best fish restaurant in town. It’s called the Fish Bowl and they serve fresh lobster because you chose them yourself.

 They all laughed then headed out to their cars.


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