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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There was no fridge, just a larder to keep food in. There was also a large stone sink at the window and a small cupboard below with two drawers to keep cutlery. The windows when you could open them were kept open using an old dolly peg that was inserted into the side of the sash. Each path had four residents and the path was scrubbed then swilled each Friday night.

The galvanised bins would be put out on Tuesday night for the bin men who took away ash and any other rubbish lying around in a flat wagon that followed behind the bin wagon. The wagon opened up at the sides where the ash and rubbish were dumped street by street. It was heavy dirty work and no one wanted to do the job as it was poorly paid.

Mr’s Smith stood at the gate with her polka dot pinnie and a pair of black shoes that had been cobbled that many times the leather on the top was beginning to crack. Her feet were misshapen with bunions and her hands calloused with using a posser. The forty four year old who had been a bonny lass in her day, looked more than ten years her age. She had only one child, a girl named Helen. The pretty blonde haired girl lived at number 26 in the upstairs house on Waterville Road. She was slim and kept her long naturally curled hair in a plait at the back it was brushed back off her head and revealed a beautiful face and big blue eyes.

 Jimmy Mulligan who lived over the road went to the same school as Helen and had been in love with her all his life.

 Helen Smith liked Jimmy Mulligan who played games with her after school with other kids in the street. Jimmy left school at just thirteen and started life as an apprentice for Hoults the butcher on Marina Avenue. Jimmy was blonde haired and quite a handsome looking lad. He was using a cleaver to make lamb chops in the back of the shop. He worked hard and when he was nineteen he stood six feet tall and had an infectious smile. Mrs Hoult who was the darling of the Ridges, tried to help poor families on the estate and there were many of them, she was out at her pork shop further up the street. Her daughter Carol ran the shop along with Bob Mortimer who was her butcher. The dark haired handsome lad was engaged to her daughter and they planned to marry later that year. Jimmy was under his tutorage and was learning how to serve customers as well as butcher and bone the meat.

He saw Helen and came out she was standing looking in the glass display cabinet with all the cuts of meat.’

Hello Pet, what can I get you?’

“She looked at Jimmy shyly then asked do you have pig’s feet?’

“No it’s just the way I walk jimmy laughed. “Aye we’ve got trotters; how many do you want?’

“I need enough to make a pan of broth with Jim.’

“You’ll need half a dozen then.’

Jimmy swiftly wrapped up the trotters in some news paper then said what about a bit of lap? “That goes nice in some broth, it’s what my mam uses anyway.’

“Alright then I’ll take some.’

Jimmy went to the back then brought in some bacon bones and threw them in with the lap then winked at Helen.

“Anything else Helen?’

“Yes,’ I would like some stewing steak and kidney to make a pie with.’

“I’m coming to your house tonight for my tea; home made broth and steak and kidney pie.’ Will you be adding some suet dumplings in that soup an aal?’

“Yes,’ and a leek pudding for me Da when he comes home from work.’

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