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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I told her that I was looking for a house keeper and I had a spare room she could use if she wished because she was having some problems with the landlord. I gave her my address and left not expecting to see her again and later that night there was a knock at the door and there was your mother standing like a beautiful angel before me.

I didn’t expect your mam to stay after she told me that her work as a fish wife had taken her all over the country. Then she told me about you and how she missed you so much. She cried because she loved you so much. I felt that I had to help and I managed to track you down and here we are now.”

“So you haven’t known my mother all that long and you got married.

“Yes, I love your mother very much; I guess it was love a first sight.

“That’s so romantic; “that doesn’t happen very often.”

“Not in my experience; after my wife and children were killed by a German bomb that obliterated the house, I never thought I would be able to live let alone love another woman.

“How old were your children?

“William and Becky were both two year old and Emily my late wife was only twenty two.

“Do you miss them?

“Yes and not a day goes’ by that I don’t think about them but I think the Lord above sent your mother to me.”

George got up from the bed then went to see his wife; there was the water in his eyes and he brushed them away before going into the scullery.

“Does it work then asked Rose?

“Yes it works just fine love; I said that we would go to North Shields tomorrow.” I can meet you for lunch if you are going to work?

“I must George, I owe you so much.”

“Rose you are my wife, you owe me nothing at all.

“I would rather you wait until we get the shop opened but if you feel the need to go to work then by all means go.”

Cathy will only be here until Sunday teatime when we have to take her back to the train station.

“I know but it is only until twelve George; I will meet you in the Mission Hall at twelve fifteen.

“Alright then; Cathy wants to go to the record shop; I want to show her around North Shields first.

 Would you tell Cathy that tea is ready darling?

“Yes, George walked up to Cathy’s room and knocked on the door the popped his head around and told her that tea was being put out.

“I won’t be a minute George.

George sat down at the back and Cathy came in and sat down at the small wooden table. She picked up her bone handled knife and fork and began to cut into he ham then took some salad from the bowl.

There are more chips in the oven love if you want some.

“Thanks mam, I love my chips.”

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