"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


23. 23

“Oh James, you poor man.’

“Don’t feel sorry for me Helen I’m fine really I am.’ ” Anyway what can I get you.’

“I came in for some sirloin steak for Thomas’s dinner tonight.’

“Sirloin steak, my that’s a big change from pig’s trotters, lap, and bacon bones.’

 “Thomas doesn’t like broth; he won’t eat anything but the best cuts of meat.

“Nothing wrong with a good pan of home made broth.’

 “You’ve come to the right man though. “ I will cut you a nice piece. Jim smiled as he looked down on the woman and his heart began to ache for her as it had done since she had married Tommy Lattimer, who was now a bank manager.

“You still look as beautiful as you were when you came into Hoults all those years ago Helen; Still no children I see?’

“No, Thomas and I decided not to have children.’

“Was that his decision, or his parents?’

Helen refused to answer but Jim was right they must have influenced the decision. These days he hardly came near her and it was always when he was drunk. She couldn’t bear to have him touch her. She resented him for the way he treated her. He went out most nights to play cards with his so called friends in Newcastle and didn’t return until the early hours.

Jim came out from the back with the lump of beef and cut a thick slice from it. “There look at that; not a bit of fat or gristle on that piece.

Helen took out her purse but Jim held up his hand. “This is on the house Helen, if you like it then you can always come again. “ I only sell the best here.’

“Thank you Jame… Jim.’

Jim wrapped the meat and placed it into a bag for her. Then just as before, she was gone from his life again. He watched her as she walked up the street the feelings that he felt for her had never waned. He loved her more now than ever.’



“Come on Anne open the bloody door will yer my hair is damp and you know how long it takes to dry.’

Anne was just putting on another dress; it had large black and white squares and came six inches above the knee. The Mary Quant reproduction was no different to the original.

“She opened the door and Betty marched in.’ It’s bloody cold out there tonight.’

“Well it is October what do you expect. “ Have you got a tab until I get some?’

“I thought you bought ten Players No 6 last night in the club.’

“ I did,  but I’ve been smokin’ like a trooper all day; I mean I’m going out with Eric Bowen.’

“What about his brothers for me and Pat?’

“They are comin, as far as I know. We are meeting them outside the Rex Pictures’ but I never saw his brothers like because we went behind the wall near to his house for a snog.’

“You dorty bugger.’

“We didn’t you know, go all the way like, but he has a fantastic body on him,

“Oh yeah,’ so you had your hands up his red shirt then?’

“Aye and around his bum an aal; hey Anne what a kisser he is, whey he had me all hot and bothered.’ I haven’t stopped thinkin’ about him aal day.’

Anne turned on the hair dryer again as Betty lit up a cigarette. “Hold on I’ll have to open the window in here or the place will stink of smoke.’

Anne leaned over on the bed then lifted the window open a crack.’

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