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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He was so handsome then, his hair was so wavy, and he looked very smart in his army uniform.’ “Look at him now fat, bald and bone bloody idle.’

“Have you regretted getting married then mam?’

“I was young, and full of hopes and dreams. I was just a young nurse in Tynemouth infirmary when I met your father, I thought that everything was all “lovey dovey” I didn’t realise how hard married life was going to be.’

“Was it worth it then mam?’

“Well I haven’t really regretted getting married; but if I had my life to live over I would have waited until I was at least twenty five. I mean, I was only just turned twenty when your father and I got married you know.’ “Your dad was only twenty two.’ The years have just flown by; now you are nearly the same age as I was when I got married.’ Make the most of your freedom Elizabeth these are the best years of your life.’

“Any tea in that pot said her father as he went to the front door and picked up the morning paper.’

“It was like a ritual on a Saturday in their house; her father would get himself large pot of tea then sit in the leather armchair by the coal fire and pick out his horses for the day to watch on Grandstand. He would study the form of every horse before making his selection. Then he’d walk up to bookies around the corner from Percy Main Club to put them on. He’d call into the Club for a couple of pints, watch the racing, collect his winnings if he had anything to collect before coming home for his dinner.’ which was put on the table as soon as he walked in the door. Then he would go for a lie down until it was time to go out again to the club. Her mother looked forward to her night at the club where she sat with Janice Longmuir and her husband with one bottle of Amber Ale all night.

Her mother put four slices of bread under the grill and then took out some golden shred marmalade and some stork margarine. I will make you something to eat love you look a bit pale to me.’

“Do I mam, I feel alright she lied.’

“You look white as a ghost to me and I know you Elizabeth; you’ve always had good colour.’ “You’re sickening for something.’

“Well there’s a lot of flu going around at work.’ “Mrs Whitelaw was coughing and sneezing yesterday.’

“Well I will get you some Beecham’s powders they will put you right with some hot lemonade.’

“I’m alright mam honest.’

Her mother Spread the toast with margarine then put some jam on them then cut them in triangles. She gave two to her daughter then placed the others on a plate and took them in for her husband.’

George Peacock never looked up from his paper as he took the plate and said Ta’ to his wife.’ When she returned Betty had eaten her toast’ “Wow that was quick, were you hungry lass?’

“I must have been mam.’

“Would you like another slice I’m putting one under for myself.’

“Go on then mam, I’ll have another one.’

The home pride loaf was three days old and only fit for toast now.’ she would use up the rest and make a bread and butter pudding with it tomorrow she thought. They could eat that for pudding after their Sunday dinner.

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