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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They were about to get on when Dave Cox shouted from up stairs.’

Anne looked up but couldn’t see anyone.

Pointless going up stairs we’re only going two stops.’ “Three said Anne.

The conductress came and took their fares and gave them a ticket each as they sat down. They thought the lads would have come down but they didn’t until the bus stopped outside the picture house. The girls all got off and waited as they helped Dave Cox down in case he fell. Now Anne realised why they hadn’t come down stairs.

Anne looked at Eric’s two brothers as he introduced them to Liz and Anne.’ And running up the road was another young lad.’

You made it then Jim.

Ladies this is John James Bridgett lead guitarist with “Ingot.’

John was a lean looking lad; he wore a pair of faded jeans and a Levi jacket.

His long black hair was parted down the middle he looked like a rock star. He had brown eyes and a nice smile which made him popular with the girls.’

“Right John, your wi Liz.’

“Hi said John as Liz stood looking at the rock guitarist.’ 

Jack went over to Anne and George to Pat. They were both handsome lads although Jack had shorter hair than his two brothers it was cut in a sixties style like a young Roger Daltry from the rock band “The Who” in fact that’s who Jack reminded her of.

The climbed the cream coloured Steps to the entrance and Dave Cox held the door for the girls.’

“Thank you they replied as they walked in.’

“Can we have eight seats at the back row please said Eric with a wink at Betty.’

The woman behind the kiosk gave them their tickets and the usherette turning on a flashlight showed them to their seats. The lads all sat and chatted trying to get acquainted whilst the adverts were being shown. The young girl in a uniform walked around with a tray strapped to her shoulders selling drinks and sweets. Dave and Eric got up and bought the girls cartons of orange squash and some toffee coated popcorn to share. As the lights went down for the first film Dave and Eric were already snogging their girls.

The Anne and Pat were enjoying the film Jack and George Bowen slipped an arm around them. John was quite content to sit and watch the film. Liz was sitting there hoping that John would make a move but he didn’t. She was beginning to think that he didn’t like her when he turned and kissed her. It took her completely by surprise and she hardly had time to catch her breath.

“When the lights went up after the first film was over the girls all headed for the toilets at the bottom of the stage.

The Rex had been rebuilt after a bomb dropped on it during the Second World War

Luckily no one was killed. It could well have been a disaster just like the Wilkinson’s Lemonade factory where 107 people were killed when the Germans dropped bombs meant for the shipyards. The factory was being used as an air raid shelter at the time and whole families from George Street, Pearson Street, and Stephenson Street all took shelter in the pop factory. It was the highest number of casualties in North Shields during the war.

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