EBB AND FLOW

"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

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11. 11

Brian couldn’t keep his eyes off her stunning looks. Elsie had the shapeliest legs on a woman he’d ever seen. She was tall elegant and carried herself like a princess. He fell in love with her at that very moment.

They were married a year later.

Elsie could have been a model; she won a beauty contest held in 1922 and was asked to make a career modelling clothes for a catalogue which she did for several years until Brian got her the job with Charles Clay. He was looking for a supervisor and had asked Brian if Elsie would like the job because she was perfect. She oozed style and personality.

The lucrative salary included a car of her choosing so she took the offer. She was thirty years of age then and had been at the factory ever since. She didn’t have to work really; Brian’s salary was more than adequate for them to live comfortably on but she liked her job. It gave her independence, self respect, and confidence. Elsie liked to get out and about, she was well travelled, and Brian took her on weekends away to the South of France and Italy. She had an all year round tan which was the envy of all the girls on the line. In the summer they would head off to Portugal. Last year they spent two glorious weeks on board a cruise ship called the LA Doulingo, (The Golden Mountain) which sailed along the Mediterranean into Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey. Elsie liked the bazaar in Marmris and the longest beach in Patara. They were going to Cancun this year and she couldn’t wait.

The shift finished and the girls rushed to the changing rooms grabbed their bags then waited in line as Elsie paid them their wages. The brown paper packets sealed with gum had the amount of hours each person had worked; any overtime, and tax deducted then the net amount. This week the girls had been given a bonus. They were paid by how many items they did so the more that they did the more they got.

Walking down the road together they all checked their pay.’

“Not a lot for forty five hours work is there said Anne sceptically.’

 “The robbing bastards have taken nearly twelve quid in tax and pension off me this week said Shirley Forster.’

“That’ll teach you not to be so greedy and licking Mr Amos’s arse for a half shift said Betty.’

If Alan wasn’t in Durham nick I wouldn’t have to work overtime.’

“Well diven’t look at us for sympathy replied Liz; he got caught burgling that jewellery shop on the bottom of Bedford Street. It’s his own fault. He’s been in and out of prison that long now they keep his bed warm for him. “Let’s face it Shirley, Allan should be looking for another profession; he’s not a very good thief is he.’

They crossed the road then left Shirley on Wallsend Road.

“We’ll be round at yours for half six Anne. Will you do my hair for me said Betty I can’t do a bloody thing with it.’

“I suppose so said Anne as they crossed the road walked along past the old flats onto the Bottom of Wallsend Road. They had to cross over again and then turned left onto Waterville Road. They passed the Meadowell infant school that most of them had gone to when they first started school then past the reservoir. Anne Colquhoun left them and walked up towards Marina Avenue and then up Bridge Road. She lived at the top of Oakwood Avenue. Her mother was in the scullery cooking tea when Anne got in her brothers Ken and John were not in. Her sister Carol was helping her mother with the dinner.

Over the road were her Aunt Mary, Uncle Peter, Cousin Kathleen, and Rob. Rob had an interest in motor bikes and was always tinkering with his BSA that he kept in the path. Mrs Bell upstairs had to keep her windows closed as Rob started up the bike and 

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