"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


70. 70

“There’s too much milk in there for me said Phil with a serious look on his face.’

“Well the pot’s down stairs and I’m not coming back up again.’ Norman slammed the door and went down to drink his tea.

“So where we all going tonight then?’

“We could go along to the General Havelock said Rob; there’s a buskers night on.’

“What’s wrong with the “Rat we always go there on a Saturday night for a game of cards?’

“Nowt, but its somewhere different to go for a change isn’t it.’

“We diven’t want a change do we lads.’

“Suit your bloody selves but I’m gannin’

“You’ve heard there’s some Russian shot putters going there tonight haven’t you?’

“Aye one of them looks a dead ringer for your lass an aal.’

Norman was going to jump up to punch Rob but Tommy pushed him back.’

“Come on Norm’ you’ve been having a pop at him all mornin’ leave the kid alone.’

They supped their tea then placed the mugs in the sink and went back to work.


Eddie Saint came in the store to collect his fish. Eddie had a mobile van and went around the Ridges flogging fish. Eddie wore a, open necked shirt with the collar pulled up and it hung out of his trousers; his huge belly was practically bursting the buttons. The forty two year old had worked on the quay all his life. His long sideburns and moustache and woolly hat were his trade mark.’

“Alreet then lads said Eddie?’

“Is this you’re soddin’ haddock that we are doing?’

“Aye, what’s wrong with it?’

“It’s not cod that’s what’s wrong with it, and it’s small and aal.’

“I sell a lot more that way.’

“I hope that you aren’t selling it to my mother Eddie said Norman.’

“I sell it to anyone who wants it.’

“Well not my mother you don’t. “ I will bring her fish for nowt; not that shite you’re selling people.’

“Is my fish ready?’

“Aye,’ it’s over there pointed out Rob to several polystyrene boxes in the corner of the store.’

“Thanks lads said Eddie as he began to lift the boxes into the back of his van.

The sky was a dull grey colour, it was damp as well and Eddie knew that rain was imminent. He had to get going and get his fish sold before it started.

“See you tomorrow then lads.’

“Aye, see you Eddie shouted Phil from his office.’

Eddie got into his van then honked the horn before driving off.
It was getting on for eleven o’clock now another hour to go and they would be sitting in the Dolphin having a pint before rushing home to get their dinner and a kip before getting ready to go out again.

None of the lads worked on a Sunday if they could avoid it so they could have a good drink. Several bottles of brown ale were usually consumed and the noise levels would rise as everyone got steadily drunk. There was always some excitement as a fight would break out in the bar and someone would be knocked out.

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