"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


68. 68

She looked up in the cupboard and found some dried fruit. “Well,’ have I got some flour she said to herself as she moved some tins around then looked in a old Ostermilk tin she kept flour in.

“Yes,’ I have enough flour to make to make a ham and egg pie and some fruit scones as well.’ “So that’s tea sorted out tomorrow.’

Betty took the toast out before it burnt then spread the margarine from the glass dish and then put some marmalade on for her and her mother.’

“Thanks love.’ Is there a drop more tea in that pot?’

“I might be able to squeeze you a cup out.

“Here heat some more water up and then add it to the pot; it’s too strong for me.’ It’s your father who likes his tea like bulls lugs not me.’ Betty lit the gas under the kettle then sat back down again. The time was whipping on nicely and it wouldn’t be long before it would be time to leave to go to Edith’s house.




The Saturday fish market had just finished and the lads were making their way back to the fish stores as the Ben boats were preparing to go back out into Icelandic waters.

The ice Shute was filling the hold and the boxes stacked ready. On the other side of the gut the drift netters were making ready too the smell from the diesel engines filled the gut. It was an endless process of fish coming in and boats going out. Rob Thompson drove the popper with thirty boxes of plaice, it wasn’t a fish favoured by him, or the rest of the lads because it took longer process and fillet. Both top and bottom had to be filleted. The lads moaned about doing them instead of cod where they could whip through easily. The day always seemed shorter when filleting the cod they were not only bigger but easier to do. Rob dropped them off and the lads brought them inside whist he went back to stack another thirty boxes of haddock. The lads wasted no time in getting started and they emptied the fish into the trough and picked up the sharpened knives and began. The radio played away to break up the monotony as Norman Kay cursed under his breath. “I hate doing these bastards.’ It’s twice the work and half the money.’

“Stop your winging Norman, we’ve got to do them no matter what; so just get on with it.’

“He’s gone and bought small bloody haddock as well.’

“There must have been very little cod then.’

“The cod were too dear lads shouted Phil Hunter as he overheard the lads grumbling.’

“Give us a break boss; we skinned dog fish all day yesterday.’

“Well what you moaning for; you’ve got plaice and haddock today.’

“You can block those buggers in no time.’ they’re better than gurnard though eh lads.’

“Aye, suppose so, but we’re not going to make much money filleting these are we?’

“You can’t have cod all the time you know, “I have customers who want other fish.’

“Tomorrow I have orders for ten boxes of skate, five of whiting and twenty of Dover sole and if I can get them.’ it will be lemon sole you will be doing.’

Rob was back with the haddock and he began to unload it. The rest of the lads went out to help him.

“Who’s making a brew asked Tommy Cottingham?’

“Well I’m not said Rob, “I’ve been making tea all morning.’

“It’s your turn Norman.’

“Is it shite, you’ve never made a brew today; get off your arse and make us one.’

“Go on I’ll make the next ones.’

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