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.


83. 83

“Ready then lasses lets see if we can win a few bob tonight.”

Irene spread the six books each that she had bought them each on the table;

“Bloody hell Irene; are you flush pet that must have cost a bomb.

“Don’t worry about it girls, it may be a while before I’m back; this will make up for the times when I’m not here.”

“Ivy be a love and go and get us some crisps and nuts will you said Agnes.

“Here said Irene, take this and get us all a beer as well.

Ivy took the note that Irene had given her then went to the bar inside.

“So when are you leaving said Betty.

“I’m handing the keys in on Friday so if there’s anything you want from the house come around and get it.”

“Are you not taking anything with you?

Just a few clothes so everything else is yours to dispose of. I will get a loan of wor Harry’s cart and he can load it up for us it will take a few journeys but if you don’t mind Irene we will take it all off your hands.

“Please come on Thursday morning for the table’s chairs, carpet, wardrobe, and chest of draws. Who wants the cooker?

“I will have that said Ivy.”

“Can I have your washer and ringer then asked Betty? 

“Of course; the council will only take it away.

The buckets brushes and any thing else you can all have plus any clothes that I will leave in the wardrobe. You can take mollies clothes as well for your kids and if you do not want them take them to the rag and bone man you might get a few bob for them.

“Don’t take every thing away with you lass; take something that will always remind you of where you came from.”

“I will do that Betty.”

“We are going to miss you Irene.”

“Yes we will;

“Stop it all of you before I change my mind; sup your beer now all of you.

They raised their glasses to Irene and wished her good fortune as John Bainbridge came onto the stage to play the first six games in the book.


Later that evening, Irene picked up a dolly peg and placed it into her bag as a reminder of the life she once had.

She hoped and prayed that she would never change but it was inevitable that she would.

Would she be able to associate herself with her friends again?

That she did not know and would they see her in the same light as they had tonight and all the years that they had been friends. She had known them since infant school when Betty stuck up for her when she was being bullied by Iris Lowther.

Ivy and Agnes were in her class. They would copy Irene’s answers because she was very bright.

They went to high school together until Iris passed her eleven plus examination then went to Preston High School.


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