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 will be leaving at 8.30am mind. “Thanks’ okay I will be ready.”

“When they got in Rose put on the television and Armchair Theatre was just beginning. George put on the kettle and made some Ovaltine for everyone he heated some milk in a sauce pan to add to the mugs before topping them up with water.

He brought the biscuit barrel on a tray with the drinks and placed it onto the coffee table.

“Thanks’ love said Rose as she reached for a custard cream.”

 “Are there any bourbon creams in the barrel George? George found one then passed it to Cathy.

“I think I’m going to bed to read; good night Cathy; good night Rose He said as he kissed her then went to his room and closed the door behind him.”



The phone rang in Bobby Ross’s house; Bobby answered it and asked Irene for the number and said when the pips went in the phone booth to put down the receiver and that he would call back.

“I cannot speak long Bobby I’m meeting friends at the bingo tonight; she didn’t tell him she was using his money to pay for her friends to get in.” She asked him what he was doing and he told her that he’d not long come out of the shower. He had been up to the factory all afternoon and the smell of vinegar gets into your clothes and skin.

“Where is Mollie then?

“She is playing with a neighbour’s girl who will look after her until nine fifteen for me when I will be back.”

“I went to the rent office and gave them notice today and paid them what I owed.

I hand the keys in on Friday afternoon so if you can come and pick us up Bobby I would appreciate it. If I’m not in my house, I will be two doors up waiting.

We will have to get her enrolled at a school you know.

“Mollie will have a private tutor who will teach her for four hours each day so she can still work on the farm with Colin.”

“This is what she wants to do I know but where will her friends come from?

There are plenty girls her age that go to the barn dances and in the school holidays she can invite her friends from the street. “You think of everything Bobby Ross.

“I miss you already and cannot wait until Friday when we all will be together. I want to show you the world that you have never seen. When the schools break up for the summer we can take Mollie if she wants to and go to America. It will only be for a few days whilst I check on my factory out there in Philadelphia and you can do some shopping.

“You spoil me you know that?

“Yes but I enjoy it.”

Look I’ve got to go; I will call you tomorrow alright.”

“Okay Irene; until to morrow then; bye


Irene hung up the receiver then pushed open the door of the phone booth and made her way to the Borough Bingo Hall.

The girls were waiting outside as Irene turned up.”

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