"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


38. 38

The flowers he would take care of tomorrow. Jimmy asked his mother again if she wanted to come with him to his house to stay a few days. She refused.

“Look mam I have to go to catch the registry office before it closes. If you need anything give me a ring. “I will pop in to see you tomorrow.’

“Right you are son; thanks for taking care of everything for me.’

Jimmy kissed his mother’s cheek then left and got back into the van.

Isabella Mulligan waved at the door as Jimmy pulled away; she went inside then drew all the curtains in the house. It was only just gone two thirty in the afternoon but it would let people in the street know that there had been a death in the family.





 Walking down to the Barrow outside of Woolworths Helen bought some Golden delicious apples and some bananas. Thomas was partial to a banana for his breakfast. He had given no explanation when coming in late from a boozy night with his so called friends other than to say that he had been working late. Helen sat up until one in the morning waiting for him to return.

He was drunk when he entered the room and Helen knew what would surely come next.

“Have you heard about those stupid women who are on strike outside the clothing factory on Norham Road. “ I don’t know what they aim to achieve. The owners will not pay them and the chances are they will all loose their jobs anyway.’ His voice even though somewhat slurred had a vicious tone to it.

“I think they are to be commended for what they are doing.’

“Have you gone stark raving mad woman.’

“No, I am not thank you very much; it’s about time that women stood up for themselves and speaking of which; “I have made you a bed up in the spare room.’ “You will not come into my bed stinking of drink ever again.’

“You cannot do that to me spat Thomas like some spoilt child.’

“You can stamp your feet all you wish but you are not sleeping in my bed until you mend your ways.’

“Love honour and obey those were the vows you took and you will bloody do as I say.’ Thomas was aggressive in drink and Helen was afraid.

“She walked calmly over to the fireside and picked up a poker. Her hands were trembling as she held the poker. “Now you listen here Thomas Lattimer you come near me and I will wrap this poker around your head; do I make myself clear.’

“My you are showing your true colours now aren’t you; I should have listened to my mother when she told me that you were no good.’

“I wish to God that you had too.’ “Goodnight, oh I forgot; if you want your dinner there’s some steak in the larder.’ With that Helen turned and walked to her room carrying the poker with her then shut the door.


Helen did not get up to make her husbands breakfast for work; instead she lay in bed.

“She may as well have got up though because he was banging and crashing about in his anger.’

“Helen smiled to herself knowing that she had stood up to her husband for the very first time.’

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