"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


19. 19

“Albert, get yourself along to the Cresta club Paddy Devlin wants picked up.’

  “Shit cursed Albert as he sat eating a burger and chips from the nearby café.

“You know that I won’t get paid don’t you.’

“Just do it Albert; or you won’t have a job tomorrow; you’ll be in Preston hospital with two broken legs.’

Albert set down the polystyrene carton that held his supper on the passenger seat. He’d been on since 9am that morning and it had been non stop all day. He was tired now and he wanted to go home to bed. It was ten o’clock and he’d just got back from Whitley bay after dropping two young lasses off at the Sands Club. They only looked about seventeen but they would get in. he’d seen younger girls than that getting into the night clubs around Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.

He turned the car around and headed for the Cresta Club.

Driving around Albert noticed crowds of drunken revellers as they staggered out of the bars. Some were so drunk they spewed sick all over the wall of the pub outside. The thing was he’d be picking up people like that in another hour and a half if he was lucky enough to get away from Paddy. Albert pulled up outside of the Cresta club and waited. He ate the rest of his supper then pushed the empty carton under his seat. It mixed with the stale smell of sweat and other rubbish in the car. Two men came outside and looked around before going back inside.

Paddy Devlin the broad based man stood five feet ten with a Teddy boy haircut. At fifteen stone he was a formidable opponent. Paddy wasn’t by all accounts a liberty taker and he only gave men a slap when they crossed him. Three men got into the car they were all smartly dressed in suits and ties with a white shirt. Paddy sat in the front then told Albert to drive them to the Pan Shop Club. “Wait here he said as he and his henchmen went inside. They came out ten minutes later and one of them was carrying two crates of Brown ale which they placed in the boot. “Right drive me to Pear Tree Crescent Albert.’ Albert was surprised that Paddy knew his name as he drove past the gas works and then past Smiths Park. They went under the railway bridge which led them onto Rose Cottage.

“Stop outside the Ridges Inn Albert.’

Again Albert did as he was ordered. The four men went inside and Albert was forced to wait again.

The men then came out with another two crates of beer and two large bottles of Bells whiskey used for the optics. Right take us to Pear Tree we’ve got a card game going.

Albert took them to a house and the men unloaded the beer and whiskey.

“Come back and pick us up around 7 am. I will see you alright.’

Albert thought that he’d not get paid for that either and made his way back home after radioing in and telling Pat that he had a job at 7am.

Meanwhile a game of poker got under way in Billy Cottingham’s house. Hundreds of pounds changed hands over night and the noise levels rose with the excitement. There was a knock at the door at twenty past two in the morning; it was a little woman standing in her dressing gown from upstairs.

“Do you know you’ve woken wor Jack up and he’s got bloody work in the morning?’

“Billy Cottingham tried to explain to Peggy Simpson that it was Paddy Devlin in his house; the woman pushed past him and marched into the sitting room where all the lads were drinking.’

“Look you lot you’ve just woken my man up and he’s got to go to work in the morning or he’ll get the sack.’

Some of the men laughed when they saw the size of the woman in front of them. she was only about four feet two inches tall and had her hair in pipe cleaners and had no 

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