Breaking the chain

Heather Reid a sixteen year old girl is found collapsed in Howdon - she has run away from her home on West Percy road North Shields, because she is pregnant. She is taken to Willington Quay Maternity hospital where upon she gives birth to a baby Girl that she names Dawn because the dawn was breaking when she was giving birth. After complications set in Heather dies of Toxaemia and her father will not bring up a bastard child. Dawn is adopted by two university lecturers - follow her story as her real father seeks her out and a court battle ensues. this is a tragic story that will have you reading until the end.

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After walking around and the man explaining the whole process they were shown the smoke house where all the kippers hung in huge racks one on top of another all the way to the roof.

 Dawn was fascinated by it all and had brought her camera with her and began taking shots from every conceivable angle. Dawn made sure that she got the man who was called Willie and her father in the shots too.

When they came out Jim showed her around all the fish stores where fillerter’s were hard at work all stripped to the waist. She clicked away using roll after roll of film. She asked where they made the ice and John Webb pointed over the road.

“Lets go over Jim I would like some shots inside there.’

Jim obliged his daughter and she went inside where men were shovelling huge chunks of ice into barrels; John Asiamah loaded the barrels onto a waiting popper ( a motorised wagon) Dawns fingers were a blur as she captured every essence of what the ice factory was about. Then she walked back along the quay to photograph the Ben Boats (trawlers), the Seine netters, Drift netters, and small Cobles. Then she captured the net makers and repairers who sat smoking small clay pipes and singing sea songs from a bygone age.

“Dawn wanted to photograph every aspect of life on the quayside.

“They crossed the road to the Seaman’s Mission and again Dawn clicked away as she took pictures of seaman eating their meals and the plaques honouring the men lost at sea.

“Can we have some kippers to eat please asked Jim?’

“Just take a seat pet, I’ll be over in a minute.’

Dawn sat at the small wooden table quite pleased with herself.

This is so fascinating; I could spend a week here and find something different to photograph each day.’

“You sound a lot older than your years Dawn.’

“Yes,’ my friends at school say that and the teachers too.’ “An old head on young shoulders they say.’

“Is that such a bad thing to be Jim?’

“No, it isn’t Princess; many a person would love to be like you I’m sure.’

“I often wonder what your mother would have done with her life as she told me that she could have gone to grammar school but her father forbid her and made her leave so she could bring in extra money in the home.’

These houses you speak of I would like to see them and photograph them Jim. “Will you take me to my real grand parent’s house?’

“If you wish but you might not like what you see.’

“Leave that to me to decide.’

“Alright I will take you after we have walked along the fish quay sands.’

“The woman wearing a polka dotted pinnie and a headscarf brought out the kippers.

“Mind the bones now love won’t you.’

Dawn neatly separated the skeleton of the fish leaving all the flesh behind.’

“Where did you learn to do that?’

“At cooking school in France; here give me yours and I will show you how it is done.’

In a flash the skeleton was removed and she handed the plate back to Jim.

They tasted the kippers and Dawn smiled; I think I will be having these again they are nice.’

“Most people eat them for breakfast.’

“I see; I will remember that.’

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