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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“Was it them who turned Jeff Lewis over?’

“Possibly; you would have to ask them.’

“What boats are they on Johnny said the man interrogating the thin, bony faced looking homosexual.’ His face carried some bruises from a previous beating by the looks of him. Johnny Froch had short hair receding at the temples a bony looking face and he looked like a gust of wind would blow him over.’

There are only two Polish boats moored in the Gut; I suggest that you try there.’

Devlin’s men drove away towards the fish quay.

Johnny smiled he knew that the Polish fishermen would be given a good kicking and it served them right for beating him.’

He had been lured back on board the Borealis by two men and then badly beaten up. This was payback.

Devlin’s men climbed silently on board they all carried a lump of lead piping wrapped in waterproof tape. They walked to the cabin area of the boat and set about the men with the coshes. The screams could be heard in Dockwray square as the men let loose with blow after blow. Nothing was found on either boat so they went back to the Cresta Club and told Paddy Devlin.’

“Bring that bloody queer here; he knows more than he’s letting on.’ go now; I don’t care where he is or whose hole he is in; just get him and bring him here.’

The men went back to the Colin Campbell but there was no sign of Johnny Froch.’

Have you tried the Jungle or the Golden Fleece said the barmaid you might find him there.

“Let’s go said the three big men who left the bar and drove to the Fleece where they found Johnny sitting on another man’s knee.

“Johnny a word said Mickey Taylor pointing to the outside.’

Johnny walked effeminately to the door then was grabbed by two other men and bundled into the car.’

“Paddy wants a word with you.’

“But I’ve told you all I know he cried.’

“Stop you’re bloody winging or I will give you a slap said one of the other men in the back.’ The car drove at high speed up the bank then turned left towards the club.

“Get out and come with me said Mickey as they pushed Johnny through the doors then up the stairs.

Paddy Devlin sat in the corner talking to two young women who he then sent away when he saw his men bringing Johnny Froch in.

“Sit down Johnny I want a word.’ Now can I get you a drink?’

“You’re alright Mr Devlin I don’t want a drink.’

“You insult me by not taking a drink off me now Johnny?’

Alright then I will have a small Bacardi and coke please.’

“Devlin nodded to one of his men who went to the bar and began to fill a pint glass three quarters full of Bacardi and the rest with coke.’

There you are now. A real mans drink for you.’ “Drink up now.’

Johnny nervously picked up the pint glass and took a drink from it. Devlin held it to his lips and then said “Drink! in a more threatening voice.’ Johnny forced as much as he could down his throat and then began to cough and splutter.

“That’s better said Paddy.’ “Now Johnny, please tell me who told Leonard about my stash of cannabis.’

“It weren’t me Mr Devlin I swear.’ I’ve told you, it were the Poles who did it.’

“No it weren’t the fishermen you see there’s only one man it could have been who would have done this thing.’ “It was sent as a warning you see.’

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