The River

"The River" tells the story of Connie Francis Boothe who struggles to bring up three children in the damp living conditions on Howdon Road, North Shields in the 1950's Her Husband Richard is out of work and she is nearly seven weeks in arrears with her rent and eviction is looming. She has already pawned two of her mother's rings in order to feed her hungry children. Richard is a bit of a jack the lad who has ducked and dived all his life as a labourer - then he meets Beverly Madison a tall beautiful girl who is seven years younger than him but has had a crush on him since she was only fourteen. he begins an affair until after six months his wife finds out. How will Connie cope on her own after her husband leaves. follow this story of rags to riches - The River is one to read.


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Alan McCabe handed his mother and Francis an ice cream as did Alan his brother and sister who all said thank you.’

“These must have cost a fortune said Francis; let me give you the money.’

“I will not take your money Francis but you could come out with me tonight if you wouldn’t mind.’

“Well; I don’t know.

“Go on mam said Alan it’s been ages since you went anywhere.’ I will baby sit for you.’


“What do you say then Francis will you come out with me for dinner tonight?’

“Francis looked at her son for reassurance; who was nodding his approval.

“Alright then Alan I will but do you mind awfully if we just stay local.’

“Not at all; we can go to the Gibraltar Rock which has a nice restaurant.’

“What about your mother though?’

“Don’t you worry about me said Cynthia; I have knitting to be getting on with.’

“There then it’s settled.’

I will pick you up in the car around seven thirty.

“In the car; it’s only around the corner we can walk plus it’s such a nice day it would be a pity to waste a good walk would it not?’

“I agree; I will call on you at your house then.’

Both Margaret and Tom had ice cream running down their chins and Francis took out a serviette to wipe them before it went on their clean clothing.

It was Just after four o’clock when the sun went down and they began to pack up.

Alan McCabe and Alan returned the deck chairs and the wind break as Francis shook the sand from the children’s clothing. Alan handed his mother her coat before picking up the hamper.

“Thank you for a wonderful day Alan the children and I have really enjoyed ourselves.’

“It isn’t over yet Francis the night is but young.’

They walked up the bank then onto the promenade where they stopped a while to allow Cynthia to catch her breath before crossing the road onto Hotspur Street. The lines of terraced houses surrounded them and there was only the field across the road with a small building upon it that separated them from one another.

“When they reached the gate where Francis and the children lived Cynthia said goodbye.

“I will see you later then said Alan nervously as he escorted his mother to the cottage further down the street.’

Francis opened the door to the house then went inside with the children. Unpacking the bag first she disposed of the rubbish. “Run a bath will you Alan; I want you all to bathe before I go out. You have school tomorrow.’

“The sound of running water could be heard shortly after.

Alan was the first to go in followed by Tom and then Margaret. Their mother had made them a light tea because they had been eating all day and she didn’t want them to be sick.

They ate beans on toast with grilled spam from the large catering tin that Richard had brought home from the yard. There would be more than enough to use to make a pie with for them all tomorrow. She mixed up the pastry then rolled it out the way she always did and then made up the pie and placed it into the oven before going to get herself into the bath. The Children were all playing in their rooms now in their pyjamas as she closed the bathroom door and ran the water she opened the window a 

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