"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


103. 103

They wondered around the bars and cafes until they came to a bar called “The Shifting Sands”  they went in and saw a lot of people inside mostly Spanish, some were taxi drivers. They bought two bottles of San Miguel lager which tasted like gnats piss. It cooled them down though as they sat down.’

“Hola said Allan as he raised his bottle.’

The men replied Hola!

“Beer porfavore said Allan as he spoke to them in Accentuated English.’

“Beers all round said Allan to the Spanish bartender and get one for yourself as well.’

Steven looked at his friend as if he’d gone crazy as the beers were passed over.’

Thank you amigo said one of the better speaking taxi drivers.’

“You on holiday, yes?’

“Yes, said Allan; but I’m looking for some business here on the island can you help me?’

“What kind of business senor?’

“The big smoke kind of business Amigo.’ Allan pulled out a splif that he’d rolled earlier and passed it over to the taxi driver.’

“That is the big smoke; I am looking to buy a lot of it; can you help me?’

“Se senor I know of such a man.’

“Can I talk to him?’

“Se I take you to him; you want to go now?’

“Yes. The driver finished his beer and then put the splif in his pocket.’

“You come, I take you.’

Steven and Allan followed the Spaniard as he weaved his way through the tourists to his car.

“Are you sure you know what the hell your doing Allan, I don’t want to end up with a bloody knife in my back.’

“Trust me this will be fine.’ They both got into the taxi and the driver who said that his name was Sergio drove them to a hotel called the Costa Sur they waited in the reception whilst the Spaniard conversed in his own language to the young girl behind the counter.’

Steven didn’t know what to expect, maybe a squad from the police would descend upon them and they would end up in some Spanish jail for thirty years.

The young girl picked up the phone and spoke to someone then said something to the taxi driver who asked them to follow him up in the lift.

It stopped on the tenth floor and the three men got out. They followed Sergio along the corridor to room 502 where they knocked on the door.’

It was answered by a beautiful young Chinese girl who asked them to remove their flip flops and leave them in the corridor.

They followed the girl through into the balcony where a man was sitting smoking a Cuban cigar. He looked about forty five Allan guessed. He was heavy set with long sideburns and dark frames spectacles.’

“Gentlemen please sit he said in perfect “English.’

Sergio made himself scarce as the two men sat down.’

The young Chinese girl brought out a decanter with whiskey in it to drink and left a bucket of ice on the table and three crystal glasses. The man poured them a drink and then asked them to help themselves to ice with a pair of tongs.’

“You have a nice apartment sir.’

Thank you; my name is Carlo Lopez how can I help you gentlemen?’ 

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