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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Mickey Brown, the moustachioed long haired rocker was the cook and he worked for a large cockney woman called Anne. She did little else than sit in the top corner of the cafe drinking tea and smoking cigarettes. Mickey did just about everything from cooking, serving the meals, and cleaning tables.’

“Can you rustle me up a big breakfast Mickey I’m starving?’

“Pot of tea an aal whilst you are waiting Albert?’

“Aye, I could murder one.’

“Sit yerself doon and I’ll bring it over for you shortly.’

Albert pulled out a seat beside the window, there was Daily Mirror newspaper on the table that had a blue checked plastic table cloth on it like the rest he picked it up and began to read it. The café was a right greasy spoon but it served a good meal and cheap.

Mickey brought the pot of tea over with a jug of milk and some sugar. Albert thanked him as he turned and went back into the small kitchen area. In the front of the café was a counter and behind that a till. There was a cold drinks dispenser in the corner where young kids would come in and buy a can of Pepsi cola to drink. The smell of the bacon and sausage cooking set Albert’s stomach rumbling again, his face gave a grimace as he fought the hunger pangs that set of his peptic ulcer. He knew that he would be crippled later unless he took his stomach tablet. He reached into his pocket and took out a packet ready to take with his meal. He read the sports pages first and saw that Newcastle united had dropped two places off the top spot in division one after losing away to Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. Manchester United was now top and had a 6 point cushion. On the front page was a photo of Colonel John Glen the American astronaut who became only the second man to orbit the earth and return safely.

The Russians had beaten the Americans when Uri Gagarin became the first. Now the space race was on to see who would be the first to put a man on the moon.

Albert couldn’t believe how much money it had cost to send a rocket into space.

What had it really achieved he thought. It wouldn’t be long before they would destroy us all by sending a nuclear bomb up there ready to drop on some country he told Mickey as he brought him out his breakfast.

“The yanks have more money than sense; they will blow us all to hell shortly Albert.’

Anne lifted her head from a woman’s magazine then said “I wonder if there is life on the moon?’

“Well if there is; I hope it’s better than down here, because some people just sit on their arse all day doing nowt.’

“ If you are referring to me Mickey Brown.’ “I happen to own this establishment and that’s what I pay you for.’

“I’m paid to cook, not run the whole café.’

“I don’t sit all day either.’

“Yes you do, the only time that you get up is to go to the bog.’

“Stop your moaning and bring me another pot of tea out.’

“See what I’ve got to put up with Albert said Mickey holding both hands out pleading.

Albert refused to be drawn into the argument; looking down at his plate he popped half a sausage into his mouth and chewed before cutting into some fried bread. Mickey withdrew into the kitchen and came out moments later with another pot of tea.’

“Where’s the milk, I’ve got none left?’

“Give me another arm and I’ll be a bloody octopus.’

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