"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


13. 13

“Don’t worry I give it back when I get some, she placed the unfiltered cigarette in her mouth then cupped her hands around it then flicked the lighter and inhaled a satisfying lung full of smoke. She held it for a second or two before exhaling.

“Bloody Nectar she exclaimed.’


The club was packed as usual on a weekend and the girls got signed in by Betty’s uncle Albert and they went up stairs. Kevin Skipsey who was on the door watched from down stairs as the girls walked up to the concert room. “By God I wish I were twenty year younger voiced Kevin to the next bloke who walked in.’

They would kill you now you old bugger.’

“What a way to go though, wouldn’t it Charley?’

Aye it would that lad, it would that.’

Get me a pint when you gan in the bar would you mate here there’s the money.’

“Pint of Ex is it?’


Charley Browell walked through the double doors and made his way through to the bar.


Looking around Anne clocked Liz who had seen the girls and was waving for them to come over.’

She was sitting with Shirley Thompson Frazer who insisted on using her full name.’

“Look who the bloody cat dragged in said Betty.’

“I’m not sitting wi hor mind said Edith.’

“Me either said Anne they made their way through the sea of people to the bar where Carole Hall and Doris Bell were serving. Anne got Carole’s attention then ordered two black and tans, black velvet, and a Babycham for Betty.’

“I’ll get these said Betty as she handed over a ten bob note.’

“You’re alight, go and sit down I’ll bring the drinks over said Anne as she went into her purse.

As Betty and the others made their way to the table Shirley turned to Liz and said “look at Betty all tarted up tonight who’s she kiddin’ like, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows lug.’

“Leave her alone Shirley, she’s doing you no harm.’

Lets face it she is not going to get a bloke is she; she’s fat and has a face like a smacked arse.’

Well your one to talk Shirley if it weren’t for Joe who would have had you.’

“Evening girls said Liz as they came and sat down.’

“We didn’t think you’d be here yet.’

“Shirley dragged me out early tonight.

“Was there no visiting at Durham Prison today then Shirley?’

“No I only get a V.O (Visitation order) once a month and getting the money off the NAB to cover the train fare is like drawing eye teeth.’


 “That’ll be six and tuppence said Carole behind the bar as Anne gave her a pound then waited for her change.’

Like a lot of young lasses and lads on the Ridges Estate Anne was paying her mother board. Anne gave her mother five pounds to cover her keep each week. Her brothers Ken, John, and her sister Carol were all paying the same.

The clouds of cigarette smoke began to fill the air as Anne brought the drinks over.

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