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


9. 9

The winkles were given in newspaper made into the shape of a cone then lightly salted. They gave to a pin so that you could eat them.

When they were finished Joe and George left and told the girls not to forget about their date.


Later that evening George showed up at the dance but Joe was nowhere to be seen and Emily Rose was annoyed with herself for coming. That was until George told the girls that Joe was out fishing with his father and that he wouldn’t get to the dance until eight o’clock.

“Emily Rose liked the thought of someone going out to sea; it was honest work she thought. Emily wasn’t very tall she was only five feet two inches in her boots and when she looked upon the size of Joe Donnelly and his mop of black curly hair and sparkling emerald green eyes her heart skipped a beat. Emily Rose was very pretty with a slim waistline. Her auburn hair was tied with a ribbon it was naturally curly just like her mother Jane. Her eyes were Hazel brown and she had a small dimple in her cheek when she smiled. Her teeth were almost perfect which lent itself to her beauty.  Emily Rose Higgins was the daughter of Tom Higgins a stevedore down at Smiths Dock Ship Building yard. Tom had two daughters Mary Jane and Emily Rose.

Mary Jane was the eldest; she was twenty and Emily Rose nineteen.

Both daughters doted on their father who spoilt them rotten. Their mother Jane had to be the strict one in the family. She kept the house hold running smoothly.

George Donnelly wasn’t as tall or as broad either as his younger brother but he was handsome Mary Jane thought so too as she danced away with him.

It was a good job her friend Joyce Goldie was with her as she would have been all alone. It was eight o’clock when Joe walked in. He had a presence about him and was well liked by everyone. He strode towards her and he looked like a black stallion in his suit he was so tall and had broad shoulders his hands were three times the size of hers and his feet were the biggest that she had ever seen.

Even though Joe Donnelly was so big he was so light on his feet.

“Miss Higgins, please accept my apologies for my lateness but I do have a reason why I am late.

“Please tell me then as I have been standing here over an hour waiting.

“Well by the time I put the boat away and unloaded the catch then took it to market at North Shields. It was later than I thought. I then had to take a bath; you wouldn’t want a man smelling of fish would you?”

“I should think not.

Emily wondered how a man his size would get into a small bathtub.

“Am I forgiven Miss Higgins’s?”

“Yes I will forgive you this time but…

“Good let’s dance he took her hand and led her to the dance floor where they did the black bottom and the Charleston, the foxtrot, Tango, and the waltz.

 “For a big man you move on air Mr Donnelly.”

“Can we dispense with the formalities Miss Higgins, please call me Joe.”

“Alright then Joe, said Emily as they finished a waltz together.

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