"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


109. 109

“Devlin and Leonard are looking for you son what have you been up to?’

Nothing Ma’ honest, Steven and I have been working abroad haven’t we. There were a couple of jobs going as holiday reps so we took them didn’t we Steve?’

“Yes Mrs Forster that’s right.’

“You’ve got a lovely tan the two of yer.’

Come in the scullery and I’ll make you a nice cup of tea and some breakfast. I bet your starving are you?’

“Yes Ma’ were both hungry.’

“Well you just sit yourselves down and I will make you some proper fried breakfast.’

She filled up the kettle from the kitchen sink and took out a large frying pan from the larder. It was a stark reminder of their old lives and it brought back memories of when they both had nothing.’

“Did you get the money that I sent you every week Ma?’

“Yes son but twenty pounds was a lot for you to send me every week.’

“We made a lot in tips mam from the tourist didn’t we Steve.’

“Why are Devlin and Leonard Looking for you then?’

“Well it was because we found out that they were working some scam on bargain holiday deals over there Ma’ and the firm we were working for thought we were working for them being Geordies. So we did a runner to London where we’ve been living in a bed and breakfast for the last three months.’

“We’re glad to be home though Mrs Forster aren’t we Allan?’

“Aye we are.’ I don’t know how long we can stay here Ma’ cos’ if Devlin or Leonard find out that we are here they will come looking for us.’

“I wont tell them owt you know that.’

“There’s always someone who will for a few bob Ma’

“You will stay until after the Christmas won’t you?’

“We’ll see Ma’ we might have to go back abroad again and find jobs elsewhere.’

“Where would you go son?’

“We’ve been told that Australia is popular holiday destination and they are always looking for reps there.’

“It might only be for a short while though mam but I will send you some money when I can okay.’

“Don’t you worry about me I will be fine son?’ She placed the bacon into a pan along with some pork sausages then took out a tin of Heinz beans and some fresh eggs.

Here open that tin for me will yer son.’ “My hands hurt when I try to do it.’

Looking at his mother she had lumps all over her hands. It was Rheumatoid arthritis and it wouldn’t be long before his mother would be able to do anything for herself he thought. He had to make plans so that she would be taken care of whilst they were away. Both men had over two hundred and fifty thousand pounds in bank accounts.

 It was more than enough to last them for the rest of their lives. In five years or so they would be forgotten about and they could return to the North East where they could visit their parents thought Alan but guilty feeling over took him; he’d left his mother far too long.

“When the food was cooked Allan helped his mother serve the breakfast. He made toast and they all sat around the table talking quietly amongst themselves for another two hours as Allan told his mother all about Tenerife. Steven said he would slip around at five to see his mother and father and would call back later.

When Steven had left Allan asked his mother if she would come with him and Steven to Australia.’


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