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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Joo I must tell you I have never been with a man before.”

Joe led her to his bedroom then closed the door. Joe unbuttoned Alina’s night dress and it fell to the floor her skin was tanned, he picked her up as if she was a doll and laid her on the bed then undressed and lay beside her. He took his time and explored her body.

Oh Joo, I have longed for this moment to be with you.”

She gave herself to him completely and it was nothing like what she feared. It was beautiful. Joe was such a gentle lover for a big man and she thought that she would never take him; but she did. They made love over and over in endless passion. After wards

“They fell asleep in each others arms.”







Alina got up at six o’clock slipping her night dress back on she went to the toilet then checked on Helen who was still sleeping.

“Are you going fishing Joo, asked Alina as Joe walked into the scullery?

 “I must Alina; I haven’t fished for over a week and we need money.”

“You have money saved Ja?

“Yes, but people need to eat; there is a war on and people are living by means of ration books. Fish is one of the things that are not.” “I know we bought a lot of food before the war started Alina, but it will not last forever.”

“Who knows how long this war will last.

“I make breakfast before you leave;

“I don’t have time Alina I have to get out on the high tide now.”

“Please take some Bitterballen that I made yesterday; they have beef inside.”

“Alina pack him some food and put it into his haversack and made Joe a flask of tea.

“I see you later ja?

“Yes you will; he kissed her gently then went out of the back door.

Alina woke Marina and George then got Helen up too. Helen was now using her potty and went to it herself. She made the children some oatmeal then made sure they were ready for school.

“Have you done your homework Marina?

“Yes Alina I helped George with his too.”

“I think we are having fish tonight; your father goes fishing.”

“Daddy is home now?

“Yes he did not get home until late so you were all asleep.”

“Your father will be home tonight and we will eat when he comes in.”

Alina’s English was getting better now with help from Marina and the children were all pretty fluent in Dutch too. Even Helen was being taught both English and Dutch.

She would even ask for things in Dutch.

Alina made a point of always having a time where the children had to speak Dutch so that they never forgot.

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