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.


7. 7

Standing at the door with a suitcase was Rose; I thought I would take you up on your kind offer.

“Come in Rose; here take a seat I will make you some tea. When Alice told me about you I went back to the Golden Fleece Hotel and was about to leave when the landlord let himself in and tried to force himself upon me.” “I resisted so he backhanded me across the face.”

She turned to show a bruise on her cheek then began to cry.”

 George went to her and put his arms around her and held her for a short time. It was the first time that George had held a woman in his arms in fifteen years the closeness of it felt good.

Then he released her and asked how she got away.

“I screamed and the woman in the next room came in and stayed with me.” He tried to say that I owed him money for rent.” Any way I got away and walked around asking people when your street was and here I am foot sore and wary.”

George filled the kettle in the scullery then emptied the tea pot before spooning in some PG tips.

He took out two cups and saucers from the cupboards then placed them onto a wicker tray that he had made whilst he was recuperating in hospital.

He took out a packet of Custard Creams and put some on a plate as the kettle whistled away he filled the pot then covered it with a tea cosy.

He placed the tea strainer, sugar and some milk in a stainless steel milk jug then brought them into the kitchen.

“Here you are he said as poured her a cup then handed it to her.

“Thank you Geordie you are so kind.”

“I was looking out of your window here and noticed the chestnut trees and it reminded me of when I was young.” We had this big oak tree in the Kirk Yard and there was a rope tied to one of the branches; we would stand on a high wall and jump for the rope and swing on it.”

“So you were a bit of a tom boy then?

 “With five brothers at home it was inevitable.”

 “So tell me about your family Rose; I would like to meet them.”

After my mother and father were killed two of my brothers Jim, and Andrew went to New York in America. Willie, John, and Robert went to work in Australia. I haven’t seen or heard from them in nearly seven years.

“I’m sorry Rose.”

“My Grandmother brought us all up.

“Well she done a damn good job can I say.”

“Tell me Geordie what happened with your family I see you have a photo on the sideboard.

A German bomb obliterated our house on Clive Street; it killed my wife Emily and my son and daughter who were twins.

How old were your children?

 “William and Becky were both two years old.”

“So tragic Geordie; I bet you miss them all?

“Yes I do very much.”


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