The Black Middens

A story of love and struggle to bring up three children during the war years.
Joe Donnelly, a coble fisherman from cullercoats meets the girl of his dreams when Emily Rose Higgins crashes into him on her bicycle whilst out with her sister Mary Jane. Joe and his brother George, a captain in the British Army ask the two girls out to a dance at the plaza in Tynemouth and they both fall in love. Alan Donnelly the youngest of the brothers is in the Northumberland Fusiliers. it is not long before they all get married. Emily Rose has two children but there are complications during the birth of her third child and she dies leaving Joe to bring up Marina, George, and Helen the newborn child.
After some attempts to try and hire a nanny come house keeper Joe hires a dutch girl called Alina Classen whose parents were both killed by the Germans in the first world war.
Not speaking much English Alina works very hard and teaches the children to speak Dutch and they in turn teach her English. What dev


20. 20

The Ken Colyer and his jazzmen took to the stage and the music began.

Alan was onto his third pint already.”

The club was filling up now and people were coming over to wish him luck.

His school friends began to tell George and Joe how he unscrewed the door off his classroom whilst the teacher was out then closed it; when Mr Cummings opened the door he went flying.

The whole class got kept in for two hours after school and made to do lines.

Then they ate all of his grapes that he grew in the green house along with his tomatoes.

He canned the whole class but no one would split on Alan especially when his big brother Joe was in a class below him but was six feet tall and fourteen stone.

“Not even the teachers would say anything to your Joe.”

“I never got into any trouble at school said Joe.

“Can you remember crushing twenty laxative tablets into Mrs Yager’s coffee?

Aye that was a laugh because she crapped her knickers.”

“It was really funny said John Petrie who was in Alan’s class. To begin with she started farting then she stood up to write something on the blackboard and there was a shit trail running down her leg. Then she got cramp and her bowels voided on the floor.

I think she was off school for three weeks.

“No wonders she got the name “Shitty Leg Yager.”

“The lads roared with laughter.”

“What about the itching powder in Miss Nesmith’s costume?

“Yes I remember her running into the changing room and stripping off naked as we all climbed on the roof outside to look in.”

“You were incorrigible said George.

They drank another pint then went over the road to the Queens Head.

They got to the bar and all twelve of his class mates bought him a whiskey and it was poured into one glass.

“There you go mate get that down you; in one mind.”

“Alan took a deep breath then swallowed the full glass of whiskey.”

Ten minutes later Alan was drunk; his eyes stared into space and he just kept on smiling at everyone but was oblivious to the conversation going on.

When time was called they took hold of Alan and walked him out the door back to the club where they had another pint before it closed.

“Right lets go down the bank onto the beach said the lads as they carried the legless victim down to Cullercoats bay where the removed all of his clothes and tied him to one of the boats.

“See you in the morning they said as they all left; laughing their heads off down the road.

“Should we untie him?

“No said George; leave him for an hour or two to sober up.”

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