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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Edith ran up the corridor to clocking in machine. Three minutes after ten was punched on her card she carried on running to the canteen. Once inside she lit up the rest of her fag and smoked it whilst standing in the queue waiting for a cup of tea. She sat down after buying some cigarettes. She handed one she had borrowed back to Liz Elgie.

“I thought you were going to be sacked you know for going to the toilet whispered Dianne Decker who had now become part of the gang who sat at the same table during break or when they all went to the mobile shop during lunch.

“Something should be done about Amos, I mean we cannot even go to the toilet without him questioning our every move. “ I shouldn’t have to explain to him my reasons for going to the toilet.’

“It’s alright for him, he can nip out for a toilet break whenever he likes. Why can’t we?’ “I’m going to ring Frances from the union and see what she can do. I mean it’s freezing in here in the winter, no wonder we need to use the toilet all the time and in the summer we are dehydrated. There should be a hot and cold drinks machine at the bottom of the factory for those who want one and we shouldn’t need to be interrogated every time we go to the loo.’

“I agree said Dianne, do you know he followed me into the toilet last week.’

“He did what said Liz?’

“Yes; he actually came into the toilet as I was pulling my knickers up.’

“The dorty bugger, we are definitely going to see about Mr Amos. This never happened when Elsie was on the shop floor. ‘Edith went around and asked some of the other girls if Amos had burst in on them when they were in the toilet. Three other girls came forward and told them that he had and also felt their bums on the way out.

“Bloody old pervert shouted Liz so that everyone could hear.’

“Well this is going to stop; I’m going to ask Frances if we can elect a girl from the machines to run the shop floor.’ “A person who is sympathetic to a woman’s needs,’

Someone who allows at least one smoke break in the morning and one of an afternoon.’ “I think we just found her said Liz looking at Edith.’

“Me,’ no way, I’m not management material I’m not qualified.’

“You know us girls better than anyone in this factory. How qualified is that girls?’

The girls from the other tables nodded in agreement. Liz Elgie stood up in the canteen.

Listen ladies I want a show of hands, if you would like Edith Holding as our foreman in place of Mr Amos put your hands up now.’

“It was unanimous.’

“There you are Edith you have the backing of 300 machinists here.’

 “I’ll ring Frances said Liz and put your name forward.’

“What if the management won’t allow me to be a foreman?’

Then we all come out on strike until they do.’

“Not another winter out on strike again?’

“It won’t come to that I assure you, When Edith tells Mr Clay about the sexual harassment by Mr Amos he will be moved to another department or sacked.’

Now those of you who he has touched up, I want you to write down a formal complaint sighting Mr Amos as a sexual deviant.’

 

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