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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Five years passed so quickly at Ellingham Hall; Irene was now forty two years old she had married Bobby Ross after he proposed at a New Years Eve party and she accepted.

They were married in St Lawrence’s Church in the summer of 1961, Annabelle Crosby was her maid of honour, and Betty Stephenson, Ivy Purvis Agnes Watson, and her daughter Mollie were all brides’ maids. The reception was held at the Hall where Alex Jones did the catering. He now has two Michelin Stars and is highly respected.

He has written four books and stars in a weekly television programme from the Hall every Wednesday.

All the brides’ maids wore turquoise dresses and their hair was done professionally for the very first time in their lives. Irene wore a silver silk gown with a plunging neckline. Irene wore a string of pearls and matching earrings given to her by her mother in law Jennifer. Robert Ross bought her a triumph sunbeam car after Bobby had taught her to drive. “She continued to work overseeing Ross’s Pickle Factories after she learned everything that there was to know about the business. She travels to every factory on a weekly basis to make sure that the production is running smoothly.

Mollie continued her education went to collage to study agriculture and animal husbandry. Bobby bought Mollie neighbouring land which she named “Tyne Farm” and run it with the help of Colin Sarin.

Until she met Rodney Taylor at the collage who was also studying agriculture, they now work the farm together they planned to get married next spring.

She now has three dogs, and six horses. Bobby gave her Bella which she lets out in the paddock with Kipper her mate. They grow asparagus and melons which they grow under huge poly tunnels that supply the British market with the asparagus; it is also sold to every restaurant in the British Isles and France. She grows and supplies an array of other vegetables. Mollie has a vine yard and orchard on the 600 acres of farm land.

Her mother comes over with Bobby on a Saturday and the have a meal with Betty, Ivy, Agnes, and Annabelle who now work for her with their husbands picking the vegetables and fruit.

Mollie is a multi millionaire in her own right and her wines and ciders are sold world wide.

Irene bought cottages for Betty, Ivy, Agnes, and Annabelle.

The wooden Dolly Peg that she took with her is mounted in a frame on the wall of her house as a reminder of where she started out as a fish wife.


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