"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


32. 32

Helen began to cry; her salted tears rolled down her cheeks as she thought about what James Mulligan told her. His words echoed around in her brain. “I will wait for you Helen no matter how long it takes”

If only she could turn back time; she could have been happy in his arms. She had made her bed and now she must lye in it; even though her heart ached for the man she truly loved. Stupid pride she thought, if only I she cast aside her stupid pride.




The snow was coming down heavy; it lay on the ground like a white carpet as the girls came out of the cinema. Anne immediately put up her brolly as Jack pulled up the collar on his coat then held the brolly so that they could both walk home without the snow wetting their hair. They had enjoyed the movies that evening as they hurried along the road then down Heaton Terrace. The fish shop was closed on a Sunday and all the lads wished it was open. There would be no snogging against the wall tonight thought Betty. They all walked up Front Street past Sam Capaldi’s Café that was now closed too. They got to Bridge Road then crossed over to leave Anne and Jack at the shrubbery. “See you at work tomorrow Anne they shouted, they all made for the bottom of the road trying not to fall as the snow thickened under foot.

The lads made snow balls and began to throw it at the girls who in turn ran after them to rub the virgin snow in their faces.

“What are you doing tomorrow night then asked Eric Bowen to Betty?’

“I don’t know; what are you doing.’

“We could go into Shields if you like, or you could come round to my house.’

“That sounds pretty good to me.’

“What,’ going to Shields or coming over to my house?’

“I meant your house stupid.’

“Who you calling stupid said Eric; as he pulled her into the doorway of Billy Burston’s shop and kissed her.

“I cannot be late Eric, we have work in morning.’

“Don’t remind me; the weekend seems to fly by but it drags like hell when you are working in that factory.’

They ran along to catch up the others who were now at the bottom of Marina Avenue.

They crossed over walking past the reservoir that now looked like something you would see on a Christmas card with the snow on the roof tops and along the sandstone walls. The snow crunched under foot as they came to Betty’s house. Eric gave her a quick peck before he left her. Liz, Pat, and Edith, left John Bridget, who would have to walk back to Hunter’s Close. It was there that he lived with his mother and father, his oldest sister Linda, then Elizabeth, Jean, Mark and him. His father also called John James kept pigeons in his extensive back garden. He had a double pigeon loft and had at least forty birds that he raised from chicks to race from France every week. He and his friend Ken would spend hours in the garden growing vegetables whilst the pigeons flew around and around over head. John was more into his music than pigeons and would spend hours practicing in his bedroom along with Eric Bowen on rhythm guitar and Jack on bass and George on drums.

They were yet to hit the clubs. The priest at Percy St Johns allowed them to use the Church Hall on a Friday night. They did a couple of gigs to raise funds for the Church as a way of a thank you. The local teenage kids liked the sound and it wasn’t long before word spread that there was a new band around and they got their first booking at the King Street Club. 

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