"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


30. 30

Mickey straightened his blue and white apron then went back into the kitchen muttering under his breath.

Albert took his stomach tablet with a drink of tea then topped it up again as two young lasses came in the cafe with two kids in the pram.

“Two mince and dumplings for us Mickey and giz two kiddies plates of chips and beans. They unstrapped the kids from the pram then sat them down.’

“Would you like owt to drink?’

“A large pot of tea and two glasses of orange squash Mickey.’

They sat down and lit up a Players No 6 from a ten packet. They blew the smoke across the table and then started discussing the trouble that they had had down at the NAB.

That bloody wife in there, you’d think she was paying the money oot of her own pocket yer n Jan.’

The other young girl replied; “Aye a no, I told her that my man was oot of work and cannot get a job. Yer na what she said?’

“The other girl waited for an answer.’

“She told me to go oot and find work.’ The cow; who’s going to look after me three kids I told her.’

“There are crèche’s where you can leave children not of school age; she told me Jan.’

“I bet she’s got nae kids of her own Pauline.’

“The bastard wants to live on what we get a week then she would realise.’

Mickey came out with the tea and placed it on the table then gave the two kids the orange squash with two straws.

“I’ll bring your dinners out in a minute.’

“No bother Mickey.’

They carried on with their conversation flicking ash on the café floor from their cigarettes.

“I wish Danny would get himself a proper job; he’s been doing some moonlighting down at big warehouse on the trading estate in Percy Main but it’s not bringing in much.’ “I mean there’s food to buy, and all the bills. It doesn’t leave a lot for me tabs.’

“I’m lucky if me and Frankie get oot once a week.’ I’m dreading Christmas, I’m going to have to take oot a provi order, then pay it back so I can get the kids something.’ I’ve been buying bits and bobs from the charity shop, yer na stuff that looks new for our Katie. She’s nine now and wants fashion clothes.’

“Have you seen how much a pair of shoes costs to buy Jan?’

“It’s a lot when you have to buy for three of them. “

“That’s what I told the stuck up cow in the NAB.’ She’s looking into a clothing grant for the kids for me.’

“I tell you what if I don’t get a giro tomorrow then I will be back there on Monday Pauline.’

Mickey brought out the meals and set them down on the table, he gave the kids extra as he’d overheard the conversation from the kitchen. He felt sorry for young mothers trying to bring up a family on next to nothing. If it were down to him he wouldn’t have charged them for the meal but Anne was running a business and bills had to be met in the shop too. He took ten bob in coins from Pauline; she scratted around in her purse trying to get the last few shillings that she had.  Mickey looked at her then went into the till then came back and placed a ten bob note in Pauline’s hand and closed it quickly before Anne could see. She looked up at Mickey and was about to say something but Micky just winked at her and walked away.

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