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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12. 12

the smoke would rise upwards. The Cawley’s lived across the path from them upstairs.

John was friends with Gordon Paris and his brother Billy who were both boxers at the North Shields Boys Club on Hawkey’s Lane. Billy was a tall light heavyweight and Gordon campaigned at welterweight. John and Ken liked to play football for the boys Club along with Billy Phelps who lived on the corner of the street. They all went out drinking together on a Friday night after training and a hot shower. All of them were suited and booted in their 60’s gear then walked to North Shields. Gordon liked to pretend he was Irish for some unknown reason in front of the girls that they met. Maybe he thought the Irish blarney would work on them when he tried to get a date.

 

There was a knock at the door at half past six and Betty Dobson stood outside with a bag. Inside was an electric hairdryer some rollers hair grips, brushes, a comb and some Bell Air Hair Lacquer. Shortly after Edith and Pat Holding showed up.’

Anne had been washed and was applying her make up when the girls all waltzed into her bedroom.

“Oh I like that skirt you’re nearly wearing Anne said Betty, showing a bit of thigh tonight are we?’

“Well if you’ve got them flaunt them I say Anne placated as she pulled on a pair of black boots that came just below her knees.’

“Can I nick some of that new nail varnish you’ve bought Anne what shade is that?’

It’s mother of pearl, “I’ve got some frosted pink too.’

Anne set to work on Betty’s damp hair. She’d washed it and towelled it dry. She came around looking like some Indian woman with a turban on her head. Anne combed it

Out then added rollers in neat rows using the different sizes for the front and the back.’

Anne wore her hair short in a twiggy like style whereas Edith and Pat Holding went for the sultry Bridget Bardot look. Anne was torn between putting her hair in a bouffant, lifting the hair up in a Beehive style. She took out the rollers then back combed it and put it up using clips. Then she set about plucking Betty’s eye brows. Once that was done she took out the pancake powder after using a cream foundation and gently buffed her face to give a smooth matte finish.

“Have you brought any false eye lashes with you?’

“Aye and there’s some glue to stick them on with.

Putting false eye lasses on was a tricky business and you needed a steady hand. When doing it yourself you had to keep one eye close then apply the glue to the false one and place it over your own top eyelash. If you didn’t get it right first time you ended up looking cockeyed. The other girls all helped to put on her false nails and then varnish them as Anne used an eye brow pencil to thicken them. Like an artist she used shades of blue and green to enhance her eyes.

“Well how do I look girls; some bloke is going to get lucky tonight she said with a smile as she pouted her lips after putting on some lipstick.’

“You’ll do, come on or we won’t get a seat; you know what Liz is like.’

Anne grabbed a black clutch bag that had lipstick, powder and her purse inside.’

Anyone got a tab until I get some I’m gaspin said Betty.’

Edith took out a packet of woodbines and handed one to Betty then passed her a Ronson’s lighter.

“That’s one you owe me mind said Edith.’

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