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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Frances Hogarth and I’ve been at this factory since 1945. We haven’t had a pay increase in five years sir. “I think we are well overdue a rise in our wages.’

“Here, here all the women replied.’

“Well Frances what I will say is this those who work hard will gain the rewards; those who don’t will not.’

“Excuse me sir but I asked you a question; are we going to get a rise in our pay?’

“How much would you consider being a fair wage?’

“I think for what we do we should be on at least twenty pounds per week for forty hours and paid time and a half for the extra five hours that we do.’

“Here, here, give us a fair wage the women shouted.’

“If we were to pay you that amount of money the factory would go bankrupt.’ We have to be making a profit in order to pay you.’

“It seems to me sir, that all the profits are going in your pockets not ours.’

“Pay us a fair wage someone shouted from the floor and the other women joined in.

Mr Amos got up to quiet the women down and asked them to allow Mr Clay to speak.

“I have just told you that the orders are not coming in; our competitors are under cutting us so how am I to pay you more?’

“Florence turned to towards the women and said; we aren’t going to stand for this any more are we ladies?’

“No, they all shouted back.’

Florence spoke again she was feeling confident now that she had the women on side Florence made her demands clear.’

“If you don’t give us the seven pounds increase in our wage that we are asking for then we will all withdraw our labour and walk out of this factory.’

“That is your choice Mrs Hogarth, but I warn you now that I will not be held to ransom by you or any of the others.’ “I built my empire from the sweat of my own back; I would rather close this factory down than meet your demands.’

“ Well ladies there’s your answer; so what are we going to do?’

“Out! Out! Out! They shouted. Turning towards the exits they made there way outside.’ It took ten minutes before a crowd assembled at the factory gates.

Once everyone was outside Florence stood on the wall so they all could see her.

“Listen ladies, what you have done today will go down in history. “ We will not be down trodden any more.’ “A lot of us here worked during the war and we proved we could work just as hard as any man but they pay us less.’

“Well that is going to stop right now.’ We will stop out on strike and picket this factory until our demands are heard. “Are you with me sisters?’

“Up the revolution shouted someone?’

“What will we do for money someone asked I have no husband to support me.’

“We will ask the Union to help us said Florence.’

“What if they won’t support us?’

Then we will picket every factory on this Estate and urge all women to join us in the fight for equality and higher wages.’ Look,’ I never said this was going to be easy and it won’t be but I tell you this.’ “There is great strength in unity and as long as we all stick together we will win.’

“What do we want she shouted?’

“More money; and we want it now!

“Let me hear you; what do we want!

“More money and we want it now!

“The chant continued all through the afternoon as the women stood at the factory gates. 

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