"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


37. 37

“I will take care of everything mam don’t worry alright. I have money left from what my Aunt Ester left me.’

“Your father took out insurance for us both with the Liverpool Victoria can you give them a ring and let them know son.’

“Okay mam, you make the tea and I will ring them now.’

Jimmy looked in his father’s draw that he kept all of his things like his old army card, his service medals; there were some old playing cards and some old photographs of him and his father on Tynemouth Long sands. He was riding a donkey as a five year old and his father was holding the reins. His mother was sitting near the Plaza on a blanket in a swimming costume. His father was in his late twenties then he thought.

He moved some papers and came across the insurance payment books and the policy.

He dialled the number and waited for an answer.


“Hello, I’m James Thomas Mulligan could I speak with someone regarding my father who passed away today. Jimmy swallowed hard as he read out the policy number and his father’s full name and date of birth.

I’m sorry for your loss Mr Mulligan; I’m Holly Willis could you hold whilst we find your father’s policy.’

“Yes certainly.’

Tommy sat in his father’s leather chair by the fire and waited.

“Sorry for keeping you waiting Mr Mulligan, everything seems to be in order.’ “Your father’s policy matured only last week.’

“Yes, my father turned sixty then.’

“No age really said the young woman; “we don’t want you to worry Mr Mulligan there is more than enough money to take care of your father’s funeral and a bit left over I expect as the policy was taken out twenty five years ago.’

“Thank you.’

“A cheque for the full amount will be posted out today and you should receive it in two days.’

“Thanks once again Mrs Willis.’

“You are most welcome.’

Jimmy put down the phone and went back into the scullery and told his mother. He then took his tea back into the kitchen and rang Turnbulls Funeral Directors.

By four thirty everything was taken care of. He’d rung the landlord of “The Crane” to ask if they could hold the wake in the bar.

“No bother at all Jimmy said Mickey Douglas who had known his father for over twenty years. “ I can put on a little spread for him if you like Jimmy.’

“That would be nice how much would that cost?’

“Drop me a nice piece of steak and we’ll call it quits eh.’

“Thanks Mickey.’

“It’s the least I can do mate; when is the funeral taking place.’

“Next Tuesday at eleven o’clock; it’s at Tynemouth Crematorium.’

“Leave it to me Jimmy; I’ll take care of everything.’ The lads in the yard will all know I expect.’ “There’s going to be a big turn out because every bugger knew your fatha.’

Jimmy then rung the evening chronicle to place an add in the obituary section. Once that was done he got in touch with the vicar at St Peter’s Baulkwell to arrange the funeral service. All he had to do now was go down to Births, Deaths, and Marriages department at the registry office to tell them and everything was done. 

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