"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


50. 50

When he came back the manager had come out and Albert was asked to bring the cases through into a private lounge area. He went back again to the reception and got the other one which was half the size of the other two.

Upon his return Sid had opened both cases to reveal huge bottles of whiskey in one and Thousands of cigarettes in the other. God knows what was in the smaller one he was carrying.

“Okay Al here is the name of the man you are to see at the car saleroom. Tell him I sent you and he will sort you out. Sid looked at his watch its 2.15 pm now so come back here for me at say five o’clock. He opened the other case and gave him a box. Inside was a reproduced Rolex watch. Even if it wasn’t an original, it was still worth at least £50 pounds on the black market. The manager handed him a wad of money and Sid rolled off one hundred pounds and told Al’ to buy himself a decent black suit, some white shirts, ties and new shoes.’ “Go to Charles Blades he will sort you out.’ “Tell William Giles that I sent you.’

“Never ever come for me looking filthy Al,’ “I want you looking clean shaven, well dressed with a nice tie and a shine on your shoes that you can see your face in alright.’

“Yes Sir.’

“Off you go then, get the clothes first before you meet my friend at the car showroom.” Here is his card.’

“Thank you Sir.’ Albert liked his new job already. He drove to Charles Blades in Whitley Bay and walked in.’

A young girl came to serve him and he asked to speak to William Giles.’

“William came out from the back of the shop and greeted Albert as if he’d known him all of his life and set about measuring his chest waist and inside leg measurements.

“What is your shoe size sir?’

“I take a size ten.’

“William who was dressed immaculately brought out suits for Albert to try on. Oxford Shoes which were black and tanned coloured. He left the shop looking like a new man. He had four suits. Six vests, white shirts, seven silk ties, two pairs of shoes, a black Crombie overcoat, some men’s handkerchiefs, and two pairs of leather gloves one brown the other black and a leather wallet. What was more William didn’t take payment for any of it. He said that they had been put on Mr McCullough’s account. Albert put the clothes neatly into his car then went over the road to a chemist shop and bought some razor blades, Shaving foam, a comb. A travelling tooth brush and tooth paste, deodorant and some half decent aftershave. Then off he went to the hair dressers to have a haircut and a wet shave. He looked at himself in the mirror as the barber patted him dry and slashed aftershave on his face. It was right what they said “clothes do maketh the man.’ He was surprised how people spoke to him politely because he was wearing a suit. Normally it would take all their time just to look at him. Albert looked at his Rolex rip off and thought that he still had enough time for a cup of coffee. He went over to a café and bought himself a cup of espresso. The young women in the shop all flashed him a smile, they must have thought that he was rich, today he was. He had a hundred pounds in his new wallet and the smell of new leather hit his nostril as he paid for the drink. He sat looking out of the window as people walked past and thought to himself he was one lucky man. In the blink of an eye his life had completely changed. He wondered what Moira would say when she saw him; even the neighbours come to that. He would be driving home in a new car tonight. They would all be thinking that he’d won the pools.


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