"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


81. 81

“Jack got his change then walked over to the table and set the drinks down and put the tray underneath the table. He picked up his shot and tasted it and was surprised at how good the taste was.’

“Nice he said a bit sweet for me but it’s a nice lady’s drink.’ He raised his glass and they all clinked their glasses together. “ To the Black Cossack said Jack?’ “I’m going to get Anne to take this to the breweries. “ I think that they could market this stuff.’

“Well get in quick before someone else beats you to it.’

“First thing Monday morning Jack said, I’m serious. We are going to make an appointment with the makers of Cherry B wines and Babycham.’

“Here grab a few bottles off the tables because we are going to use them.’

“We will make our own shaped bottles Jack, They will be unique.’

“I will design you a bottle said Jack” “I can also draw a good design label with some lettering saying what it is “with the Black Cossack as a brand name.’ “Should the bottle be white or black?

“White said Anne so people can see what they are buying. “ It should be bigger than the bottles of Cherry B and Babycham to encourage more people to buy it.’ “People like value for money.’

“I think you are on a winner there you know said Pat.’

When the bingo had finished Teddy Berg came back on stag to do his second spot and all the girls got up to dance to a Beatles number. Many of the older couples got up along with some elderly women whose husbands wouldn’t get up, danced together.

“The club was always good place to be, everyone enjoyed it. Generations of families sat together, grandparents, parents, and their sons and daughters all gathered together in one place. It was like some kind of affirmation. The folk of North Shields liked to enjoy themselves. They worked hard throughout the week; but come the weekend they, like everyone else relaxed had a drink and forgot about their miserable existences.’

Looking around the room John Bridgett saw his mother and father dancing together and he smiled. Couples stayed together through the good and bad times, they brought up their children up the best way that they could. The family bond was never broken.

John got Liz up to dance then moved closer to where his mother and father were dancing.

His mother Betty looked across and smiled at her young son. Mark her other son was not yet old enough to join them in Clubland. When he was, he too would join them. Betty had three daughters, two of them were here tonight. Jean was the youngest and would have to wait several years before she could come out with them.

They danced until last orders were called at the bar and many of the men left to get the last drink of the evening. All too soon another night would be nearly over.

They would all be back again tomorrow night though.


Dave and Edith sat by the fire, Edith had remade the bed and tidied up whilst Dave had put his false leg back on and fastened the harness on his shoulder. They waited until Liz returned with John.’

Edith heard them coming up the road. They’d both had a good drink and were singing along with other couples who lived in the street. They then stood talking for ten minutes outside as Dave and Edith put on their coats. They went to the door where Edith gave Liz the key and thanked her. “Are you not coming back in for a night cap?’

“We better not I’ve had two glasses of wine already and it’s gone to my head.’

“I will see you tomorrow night in the club if you are going.’

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