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.


76. 76

Mollie thanked Bobby for allowing her on the farm then climbed into the back of Bentley.” Irene kissed Bobby and told him that she would ring. Bobby gave her a hundred pounds and told her to pay off all of her debts.


When the Bentley pulled into the street everyone came out to see who it was; they were quite shocked to see Irene dressed to the nines.

She waved to Michael the chauffeur as he left then turned the key of the door and went into the house. Irene looked around at all the old furniture and the dirty rug on the floor. The one small wooden table and the Arm chair by the fire place. Washing that she had hung over the fire place was dry so she went into the bedroom and undressed and hung up her clothes in the wardrobe. She fell like Cinderella as she put back on her old dress and apron then changed her shoes to a pair of slippers.

She filled the kettle to make herself a cup of tea. This was the first time she had made tea in a week and it felt strange. “Mollie, take those things off and put on your dungarees.”

“But mam I want to show my friends.”

“Come here I want to tell you something.”

Mollie came into the kitchen and sat on the wooden chair.”

“Listen to me Mollie if you go out in that dress the people around here will rip it to shreds because they will be jealous of what you have; that is why I have asked you to change.”

“Don’t brag about working on the farm either; remember these people have nothing and so did we until a week ago. Never forget where you come from ever, do you here me?

“Yes mam; I won’t.

“Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door and when Mollie answered, Betty, Ivy, and Agnes asked if her mother was in.

Mam Betty’s here with Ivy and Agnes.”

“Ask them to come in Mollie.”

 Betty was first through the door followed by the other two.

“Whey hello stranger said Betty and where have you been all week then.

Irene was going to tell them when Betty asked if she had the kettle on.

“Yes I was just going to make some tea.”

 “Great we will all have one and put three sugars in mine will you.”

“Irene smiled and thought that she had definitely been brought down to earth with a bump.” When the tea was made the girls sat in the scullery.

“Got any biscuits Irene; you cannot have a cuppa without a biscuit to dunk into your tea.

Irene opened the biscuit barrel and left it on the table.

“Oh lovely said Ivy, I love these one’s from Woolworths; you know the ones that come in different boxes and you can fill a bag up.”

Actually these ones came from the broken ones they sell for a tanner.”

“Whey we ahl know that lass; we was just tryin’to be funny is all.

“Right now tell us all aboot your trip.”

“Mam can I go; out I’ve changed.

“Yes but don’t go far.”

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