"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


7. 7

“By heck you’re every man’s dream Helen; what are you doing this weekend; would you like to go to the pictures with me; I’ve heard there’s something good on like?’

Sorry Jim but I’ve been asked to go out with Tommy Lattimer.’

“He didn’t waste much time did he?’

“Tom knows my Da you see.’

“It wouldn’t have nowt to do wi the fact that he works in Lloyds Bank then an me just being a butcher then.’

“No Jim, you know that I’ve always considered you a good friend.’

“I want to be more than your friend Helen, you know that you must know how I feel about you.’

“I… I can’t Jim my Da’ wouldn’t like it if I was to go out with you.’ is that because me fatha went to jail for fiddling the electric meter?’

“No, no Jim its not that at all.’

“I see said Jim tightening his lips in a half smile. He was clearly upset that the love of his life was seeing Tommy Lattimer who was always the clever bugger at his school. He couldn’t help feeling envious.’

“I will wait for you Helen, no mater how long it takes.’

“Don’t Jim, please I am promised to Tommy.’

“Are you going to marry him then?’

“One day I expect.’

“Tell me this Helen said Jim as he placed the meat parcels into a bag. “ Do you love him?’

“I… I don’t know Jim, I mean I like him a lot and we have been going out together for seven months now.’

“You would know if you loved him Helen.’ I know what real love is meant to be like. My heart aches every time I see you.’ That is real love.’

“Don’t Jim, don’t do this, bitterness will only destroy you.’ Helen couldn’t admit to Jim or herself the feelings that she had for the young butcher.

Tommy could offer her security and a home in Hollywell Road away from the Ridges. She wanted out of this ghetto. The place had become stigmatised because of the filth and poor people who lived there.’

She wanted a better life for herself, maybe she was being selfish by thinking like that. She had suppressed her true feelings for the man behind the counter because of this. Looking at him made her voice tremble.

“How much do I owe you she asked trying to get out of the shop before she became a trembling wreck?’

That will be two shillings and four pence. ‘

“Helen handed over three shillings, Helen was shaking like a leaf as she thanked Jim before turning for the door after placing the meat into her bag.’

“I meant what I said; every word said Jim as Helen left the shop and walked quickly down the street towards the Ridges Inn pub.’

“If only he could make her see what a mistake she was making he though as he went to the window and watched her as she walked away.’



“Come on girls, get on with your work said Elsie McIntyre as the young lasses were in deep conversation about Elvis Presley as he sang “Return to Sender on the radio that played all day. “ How long have we got before its dinner break said Anne Colquhoun.’

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