"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


73. 73

Betty walked down the passage then out of the house. It was just starting to get dark as she made her way back home.

Edith waited until they were at the corner of the street before asking how it had gone.’

“It was horrible; the most painful experience of my life and I never want to go through it again.’


“We are going to have to go out tonight or your mother will suspect something.’

“Alright but I am only drinking lemonade.’ Ganny Howe has given me pain killers to take.’ “I will have to go and change myself every hour as there was a lot of blood. She has given me some Dr Whites and I’m to tell my mam that I’m heavy this month; she will understand.’ I will stay in the club with you until 8 o’clock but I have to go to meet Dave at Liz’s house.’

“Be careful Edith, don’t end up like me.’ If he’s got no Durex tell him no.’

“Don’t worry; I’m not bloody going through what you just have.’

“They got to Betty’s and she straightened up and tried to walk to the house as if nothing was the matter. The pain in her stomach persisted and she felt faint but managed to hold onto the stair rail in the path. The door was open and they both went in.

Her mother came out and looked at her. “Betty you look worse than you did this afternoon I’ll make you a hot lemon with a Beecham’s powder.’

At that time Betty would have taken arsenic if it would have shifted the pain that she was feeling now. “I’ve started my period mam and I’m pretty heavy.’

“No wonders you look drained.’

“Why don’t you go and lie down and I will bring you a drink in.’

“No, the girls will be expecting me in the club mam.’

“To hell with the girls; you’re ill for God sake.’

“Edith can you tell those girls that Betty won’t be out tonight she’s not well.’

“If they say owt tell em’ its woman’s trouble.’

“Alright Mrs Peacock; I’ll tell them.’ Take care Betty; I’ll come and see you tomorrow.’

Edith left the house and walked to her own where she told her mother that Betty was alright and gave her the brown bag with the soiled clothes and towels inside.

Her mother emptied half a drum of salt into a large bucket then poured warm water into it then placed the blood stained clothing into it and left them to soak.


Betty lay on her bed; she wanted to cry for the loss of what would have been her first child but had to suppress her tears. Her mother came into her room with a mug containing the hot lemonade and two Beecham’s powders. “Here take this love it will make you feel better.’

“Thanks mam what would I do with out you.’

“Drink up now pet, it will help you to sleep.’

Betty sipped on the lemonade and it seemed to ease the pain that she had inside. It wasn’t long before she was asleep and her mother came and turned out the light.

“What’s wrong wi wor Betty asked George Peacock?’

“It’s nothing to bother your head about love; “its just woman’s troubles.’

“Are we going to the club tonight then?’

“Give me a minute to get my coat and fix my hair.’

Five minutes later and George and his wife left the house. It was silent as Betty slept soundly.

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