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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Many found work in the shipyards as painters or labourers whilst others worked for the Merchant Navy as Donkey Stokers.

They worked hard for very little money in those days. In other areas like South Shields, Sunderland, and Hartlepool things were much different with racial abuse and rioting. The trouble began when the locals accused the foreign workers mainly Arabs of taking their jobs. This was because they would work for less money than they were paying the locals. Shops began to put up signs barring blacks and Arabs from entering their premises. Racial tension spilled over and fights broke out. The police were soon called who beat up the black and Arab settlers. There was stabbings and even murders right through the late forties and early fifties. Many families left and moved to Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham to escape the riots.

 

Dot Burgo set the drinks down on top of the upturned beer barrels which acted as tables. The wooden floor and a simple bar made of wooden railway sleepers planed and then varnished with reclaimed timber on the outside. An array of bottled spirits, some acquired illegally from ships docked in Smiths dry dock found their way in the pub. The pub was also a place where you could get anything to order. Everything from a new washer to a TV set could be got. Many of the bars in North Shields were starting to deal in Marijuana. It was mainly obtained by the Jamaicans who smoked it as a recreational drug made popular by the Rastafarians. So it began being sold to white people too and it wasn’t long before the likes of Paddy Leonard and Paddy Devlin saw the potential that this drug had. “It was easy to distribute as little was known about it in those days and it was widely smoked in nearly all the bars in the town. You could make a lot of money from it. The customs officers, some who were black, were in on it as well as the police. Huge quantities of the drug were being sold in other areas and this led to a war between rival gangs. The beatings, muggings, and theft of drugs became a problem. In London’s East End; the Kray brothers were making a name for themselves beating off the threat from the Richardson gang. They had people dealt with using their own brand of torture. They travelled all over the country and Newcastle was no exception. Deals were done in the night clubs and a lot of people got rich off the backs of the drug scene. It was when cocaine started being sold in the sixties early seventies that things went crazy. Drugs were getting out of hand and the police tried to stop it from being distributed. Many men were never seen again after grassing on crime bosses. Some say it was getting as bad as America where they were selling drugs there and making thousands of pounds. Gangs were literally getting away with murder as the drug wars continued.

And it was only when both the Kray twins went down for 30 years for the murders of Jack “the hat McVitie” and George Cornell that things calmed down.

Ronnie murdered Cornell in The Blind Beggar  after Cornell had called him “A big Effing Poof” Ronnie walked in as cool as a cucumber taking out a 9mm luger shooting George Cornell in the forehead at point blank range. He looked at Ronnie and said “You ain’t got the bottle.’ Ronnie looked at him with cold eyes then squeezed the trigger and George Cornell was dead before he hit the floor. Ronnie urged his twin brother to kill Jack the Hat McVitie, a hired hit man who worked for them after he failed to murder Leslie Payne after the Kray’s had paid him £500 pounds in advance and he would receive another £500 when the job was done. He went to Payne’s house but it was his wife who answered and told him that her husband wasn’t in. McVitie kept the money so Reggie lured him to a house in Stoke where he was stabbed through the eye with a stiletto knife then over thirty times all over his body in what was described as a frenzied attack.

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