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


24. 24

They both came over for Joe’s wedding and then again for George’s, now all three of the brothers were married.

Emily Rose moved into the cottage where she fixed the place up because it had never had the woman’s touch for many years.

Joe painted the outside of the cottage white and built an inside toilet.

In 1930 their first child was born Joe called her Marina she was beautiful just like her mother. Joe took her down to the beach where he worked on his new boat which he called Emily Rose. His son George Alan Donnelley was born two years later in the July. Joe would take Marina out in his boat after he taught her to swim. She loved the sea but George had no interest at first until George took him fishing off the lifeboat launcher.

He caught his first mackerel when he was four on a hand line using silver foil.

From then on George wanted to go out with his sister Marina on the boat to fish.

It was in the December of 1936 when Emily Rose announced that she was expecting her third child.

Joe wrote and told his brothers the news. Alan wrote him back saying that both Catherine and Mary Jane were both expecting too. Joe said this was going to be a big event with three children.”


Joe and Emily Rose were at the picture house in Tynemouth one evening they now sat in the stalls to watch the movies and even listened to the Pathe News reels but they still held hands. It was there that the reality hit them as they watched a German Chancellor called Adolf Hitler drumming up support for the Nazi Party.

“They are going to have to watch him said Joe. The way he’s talking; he will start another war.”

“Don’t be silly Joe there won’t be another war with Germany after the last one.”

“This man is a dictator I tell you.”

“Shut up Joe and watch the picture; what is it called?

“It’s called San Francisco starring Clark Gable; who is devilishly handsome.

“He’s got big ears though don’t you think.”

Emily dug him in the ribs then said he’s not as handsome as you though Joe.”

Joe leaned over and kissed his wife. A man tapped him on the shoulder and said “If you want to do your courting go to the back seats.”

Joe whispered in the man’s ear, we are married and I still love her as much today as I did six years ago. Do you still love your’s?

“The thin bald man looked at his wife and smiled.

“Do you think I should grow a Moustache joked Joe.”

“No thanks I like my men clean shaven thank you.”

“Joe squeezed Emily’s hand.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...