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


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Joe tried to avert his eyes but his was inexplicably drawn to her form. Alina was perfect in every way. Her long legs and shapely hips excited him and he could see her rounded breasts as she tested the water with her hand.

“It is hot enough now Joo.”

“Thank you Alina.





“Goede nacht Joo.”

“Good night Alina” said Joe as he unbuttoned his shirt and took off his shoes and socks

The seagulls flying over the rooftop woke Joe up instinctively he looked at the clock beside the bed. It was six o’clock so he got up. He washed and shaved in cold water then dried himself off before putting on his socks and boots. He cleaned out the grate with ashes then placed some coal on the fire and blazed it up with a piece of newspaper and a shovel; then filled up the kettle and placed it on the stove to heat up.

Alina was ready after just changing Helen then set to work on the children’s breakfast

before they would get up for school.

“Good morning said Joe; I am going down to the boat.”

“Goedemorgen Joo.” You go fishing Ja?

“No, I’m going to fit a new engine so I maybe gone all day because we have to build a house for the engine and somewhere for to sit into then fix the propeller to the shaft and that will propel the boat. It will mean I will be home a lot sooner instead of having use the sail to get home.”

“I see; I will bring you food later.”

“Peter my friend will be helping me so could you make something for him too?

“Ja, I make lot.

“Thank you.”

“You eat breakfast?

No I am just going to take a flask of tea and eat one of your cheese pasties that you made yesterday.

“You like Kaasbroodjes?

“Yes they are very nice.”

“Joe put on his work shirt then his old coat and his woollen sailors hat he placed the tea flask that he’d just made into his haversack then waved good bye to Alina.

“Ein goede dag verder.” Zie je later.


“I say have a nice day; see you later.”

“Zie je later, Alina.”

Alina smiled as she watched walk down the street to the beach.

Many people were on their way to work and were in a hurry. He nodded and said good morning as he passed them then crossed the road.

He walked down the bank to his boat. He opened the shed then took out his tools and a saw bench that he would need. Using all hi strength he pulled the boat onto a specially adapted frame so he and peter could not only work inside the boat but outside too.

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