"Ebb and flow" which is centred around the Charley Clays Clothing Factory during the early sixties. The story focuses on different kinds of life in North Shields at that time - There's Helen Smith the young woman who dreams of a better life for herself, she wants to live like the rich people. When she marries Thomas Lattimer who is a wealthy banker she discovers that the life that she wanted is not all it was made up to be. Jimmy Mulligan who works for Hoults the butchers, lives over the road with his parents he has been in love with Helen since they were at school together. He tells her of his love and that he will wait for her no matter how long it takes. Allan Forster has been in and out of Borstal for petty crimes he dreams of one big job that will net him enough money to live the high life - He gets involved with Paddy Leonard a notorious hardman. A power struggle takes place in North Shields for supremacy. Paddy Devlin another bouncer, come gangster is running a protection racket


1. 1

The snow was four feet deep at the door of Hunter’s Fish Store on the fish Quay. Outside Rob Thompson worked up a sweat with a large shovel to clear it away to make access for the fish Lorries to come along and take the filleted fish away. He wiped the sweat from his brow on the thick Scandinavian jumper he was wearing. His feet were cold inside his wellington boots even though he had two pairs of socks on and his hands were red and numb. He straightened the woollen hat on his head then carried on as standing around only made him feel colder. Rob was only five feet six and was as skinny as a rake. When you looked at him he reminded you to feed the dog.

“Put that kettle on will yer Tom, Shouted Rob from outside; it bloody brassic out here.’ Rob’s nose was rosy red even his teeth what were left of them were cold and they chatted away inside of his mouth. The two front ones had been knocked out when he fell off his sledge going down Tanners Bank as a kid. He fell off and banged into a wall.

“Soft shite called Norman Kay.’ When I was a lad we played out all day in the snow and no one came down wi colds or out.’ Norman was about forty with a mass of curls on his head; his nose had been broken in a fight in the Jungle Bar one night by a Greek fisherman.

“Jesus; here we gan again.’ “Norman was there nowt that your family didn’t get or do in yor hoose?’

“Me mother got a bad case of the trots once after eating some pigeon eggs when I were a kid I remember.’ Course in them days it was outside netty’s not yer inside toilets what like they’ve aal got noo.’

“Have you seen the bloody Tyne man, it’s sodden frozen here today.’

“1947 was a bloody cold year I remember said Norman; it were just after the war and me Granfatha come around to wor hoose wi a bucket of coal cos’ wi had none for the fire. Whey he niver went to war like cos’ he was needed doon the pit.’

“Good job an aal because we would have lost the war had it been doon to him.’

“What yer tryin’ to say like Tom?’ Tom Cottingham was a copper haired seventeen year old who had a mass of freckles on his face and blue eyes.

“Me Fatha says that Joe was one of the laziest bugger’s in North Shields; He never done a day’s hard work in his life.’ “He was a bloody shirker by aal accounts.’  

“Whey worra boot yer fatha he’s been on the bloody dole for years he has.’ Me Da says that he was always on the bum when he was workin’ doon at Smiths Dock. He would stand in “The Crane” wi half a beer until some mug would ask him if he wanted a drink and then he’d say “aye giz a bottle of Broon Ale.’

Who yee callin’ a bum I’ll punch your lug in a minute.’

“Aye yee and who’ else?’

“Give it a rest will yer.’

“Whey nae one can calls my fatha cos’ he worked for the Electric board aal his life.’

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