"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


64. 64

Give me a second then and I will put this lot into the fridge in the back; here are the keys to my house, just let yourself in and pop the kettle on I will be with you in a minute.’

Helen took the keys and smiled at Jim as he hurried to put the meat away.

She placed the key in the door and let herself in. Again the house was immaculately clean. She turned on the coffee percolator and then got two coffee cups and saucers down from the cabinet. She found the sugar and cream that he liked in his coffee.

Soon the percolator started to bubble away. She heard James came in and he went straight into the bathroom.’

“Won’t be long Helen he shouted I’m just taking a shower. “ You wouldn’t like me smelling of meat would you.’

Helen heard the sound of the water being turned on and the glass door being opened.


When Jim walked into the kitchen after his shower he was wearing only his terry towelling dressing gown. “You’ve managed I see said Jim with a smile.’

Helen handed him the cup of coffee and for the briefest of moments she looked at him differently. He took the coffee and took a sip of it as she walked towards him.’

Jim put the coffee down on the table s they stood looking at each other for what seemed like an eternity. She could see the want in his eyes and they were mirroring hers she leant her head in and she kissed James softly on the lips and that was all the encouragement that Jim needed. He swept her into his arms and all those years of wanting her were suddenly being realised; carrying her gently to his bedroom he laid her on his bed. She then undressed in front of him slowly and unashamedly until she was down to her underwear. Then lay back on the bed. He kissed and stroked her gently. Jim didn’t hurry he took his time; he wanted this moment to last forever as he kissed her breasts and she gasped. Thomas had been a rough clumsy lover who was only interested in his own pleasure but James was taking her to a place that she had never been before her body responded to his and she threw away all inhibitions as the two of them made love together. This is how it should have been she thought as her body shuttered and she felt the sweetest feeling running through her body. Afterwards she lay in his arms and told him all about Thomas and the way his family had been treating her.

“Come here and live with me Helen; “I will make you happy you know that.’

“You know that I can not do that; Thomas would never grant me a divorce; he will never let me leave.’

“You have grounds I’m sure.’

“I know he’s been sleeping with other women I’ve smelled the cheap perfume on his clothes and seen the lipstick on his shirts.’

“What are we going to do then Helen?’

“Nothing for now; but when the time is right he and his family will feel my wrath.’

“Will I see you again Helen?’ I mean I love you, you know that right?’

“Yes I do James; and I never knew how much I loved you until today. You mean everything to me, but I must ask you to wait just a little longer.’ “Would you do that for me?’

“I would do anything for you Helen; you know that he said softly.’

“Come now, get some clothes on and I will buy you lunch.’

“Why go out when I have everything we need here.’ “I don’t want to let you go; not now.’

“Alright,’ “I will stay a little longer but I must eat something.’

Helen got up and walked to the bathroom.’ “Do you mind if I take a shower?’

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