"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


15. 15

as he made his way home thinking he’d got away with the crime. Forster began to whistle as he neared his house.

“Hello Allan, said George stepping out in front of Forster. Now where would you be going at this time in the morning?’

“I… I’ve been playing cards wi me mates.’

“Really, and where was this card game taking place?’

“It was at Kevin Bruce’s hoose in Nile Street.’

“Was there just the two of you or was there more of you?’

“There were six of us actually.’

“By the sound of your whistling you must have won a few quid then; let’s see it said the officer.’

“Well I didn’t win that much; you…you see I owed money to Butch Whitelaw and I had to pay him back like. See I’ve only got a fiver on me.’ As Allan held out his right hand with five pound notes and some change Geordie slapped a handcuff on him then turned him against the wall. “See its funny cos’ I seen you coming out of that Jews place at the bottom of Bedford Street.’

“No officer you’re mistaken. George looked down at Forster’s black trousers and there was a piece of the material out of the knee.

“Now then how did you rip those trousers, I bet if we were to go back to the jewellers we’d find that missing piece of material to match that hole in them trousers on the barbed wire fence that you climbed over. “ Just keep facing the wall there would you.’ You’re nicked.’

Allan knew the game was up as he faced the wall and the copper went through his pockets. There were several watches, a necklace from the window display and a hand full of gold and ruby rings. “Well… well, well. Where did you get these from?’ “Allan Forster I’m arresting you for the burglary of Bernstein’s Jewellery Shop you do not have to say anything but if you do say something it can be used against you.’

 George placed the loot into his pockets then frog marched Allan to the station.

Once there he was taken away to be charged formally.

George Armstrong kept four gold watches and three of the better gold rings plus two men’s sovereign rings that were in laid in heavy gold. The other items went into a polyethylene bag and were then itemised. George knew he had at least £300 pounds worth of jewellery once he had taken it to the fence he knew who would want a cut of that for getting rid of it on the black market once the heat was off.

Not a bad night’s work he thought to himself as he got into his car and drove off.


The club was in full swing now as people joined in with David Macbeth as he sang Roses are red (my love) and Mr Blue to close his act. Macbeth the five feet eleven broad shouldered handsome man was very popular with the ladies and had no shortage of girls who wanted to jump into bed with him. Having won a local talent show David the smooth talking Geordie was picked up by Tony Hatch a talent spotter in London who got him a recording contract with Columbia Records. By the early sixties David was becoming very popular in Clubland but never seemed to make the big time. His career took a dive when he started to con rich women out of thousands of pounds. He made up lies saying that he was spy and that the Mafia were going to shred him. his involvement with Susanne Klatten an heiress to car firm BMW fell for the smooth talking Geordie in a bar in Wiltshire where he told her that he was an ex Newcastle united footballer. She was flattered by him as he was always paying her nice compliments. She had just split from her husband and wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time. However David pursued her and finally she relented. 

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