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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 After dropping everyone Albert radioed the office.’

“Got an airport run for you Albert if you want it?’

“Aye alright, where am I picking up from?’

“The Park Hotel in Tynemouth.’

“What name?’

“Under the name of Sid McCullough.’

“Shit, not another bloody villain.’

“I can give it to someone else if you don’t want to do it.’

“I’ll do it, I need the money.’

“Hang around after that I might get you a pick up from the airport.’

“Thanks’ over and out. Albert swung the car around then headed for Tynemouth he checked the petrol gauge then drove towards Northumberland Park where he knew there was a petrol station over the road from the TA barracks. It was still cold outside but the heat from the engine was keeping him warm as he turned onto Albion Road then headed past the Old Hundred and the Queens Head pubs. It had been a long time since he’d had a drink, He couldn’t now because if he was stopped and breathalysed with these new blow in the bag devices he would loose his licence and with it his livelihood. He drove past the Albert run by George Shotton who he had grown up with in Briarwood Avenue, better known as (The Congo) due to the number of black people who lived in the street. Geordie (Blow) Shotton who was no relation to George but a good friend was hiding from the police in “The Albert” at that time. He got the name Blow because he was a safe blower for a well known gang in London’s East End. He was able to use George Shotton’s address because they both had the same name. Any post that came could be opened without suspicion. Geordie (Blow) Shotton also worked for Paddy Leonard who was a bit of a loose cannon. George Esau Shotton who was George Shotton’s son were in the Alnwick Castle one night playing pool with Bobby Leggit whom George senior had won the News of the World pairs darts tournament with and was a bit of a character. They set up the balls and Young George broke off.

George was about fifteen then. Being in bars came natural to young George; since his father owned one. He would spend hours playing pool before and during opening hours. George was buying beer when he was only fourteen from Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the heart of North Shields and could drink with the best of them. In walked Paddy Leonard, the local hard man. He saw George and Bobby Leggit playing pool and put his name down on the board to play. Well the rule was whoever won stayed on so George Senior won the game and Paddy racked the balls. He then walked leisurely up to the bar counter asking Margaret Summerly for his cue from behind the bar. His facial expression changed when he discovered that someone had used his cue and they had knocked the tip off. Paddy then jumped onto the table and straddled each end with his boots on. He blasted the balls all over the place using the butt end of his cue and the cue ball, the sound of smashing glasses behind the bar and on people’s tables echoed around the room.

“Young George then calmly walked up to Paddy and said “that’s two shots away.’

Paddy then launched his cue like a javelin towards the bar and then walked out.

No one dared say a word as Paddy was capable of shooting you. He didn’t care who he beat up and had little respect for anyone. It was Paddy who organised an escape for Geordie Blow Shotton to Malta until the heat went off and he could return and continue working for the criminal fraternity.

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