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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“This is going to be fun; I cannot wait.’

“Come on lets go down to the mobile shop down by the bus station and get a packet of crisps and a buttered bun and make a crisp sandwich whilst Liz pops in and gets that catalogue so we can all have a look at what we are buying.’

“What about my dinner. We’ll get you a packet of crisps and a bun if you hurry up said Anne as Liz ran down the corridor then out of the building and down the road.

The girls walked down to the mobile shop in their black uniforms. Each department had a different colour.

“Have you thought about where we are going to hide this thing, I mean if my mam finds it there will be hell on she’s dead religious.’

“If she finds a cock that size she’ll think she’s died and gone to heaven.’

“Don’t worry Edith you’ll find somewhere to hide it I’m sure.’

“Sunday nights is never going to be the same again; you know that don’t you.’

“Only a Sunday; every night is going to be a good night for me Edith.’

“Get plenty of batteries in is all I can say.’

“They reached the van and the young man asked the girls what he could do for them.’

“Wouldn’t you like to know pet said Anne.’ “Give us six packets of Tudor Crisps and six of your buns buttered please.’ She flashed him a big smile and twinkled her eye lashes.’

“Christ, she’s like a bitch on heat she is.’

“What flavour would you like?’ said the young lad.

“Cheese and onion please said Anne moving closer to the serving hatch.’

 The young lad bent down to get the crisps out of the box and Pat Holding squeezed his bum.

The young lad jerked and his head hit the underside of the van.

The girls were falling about laughing as the lad whose face had now turned scarlet handed them the crisps.

He never took his eyes off the girls as he cut into six buns then spread stork margarine on them. Then he realised that the paper bags were on his right at the bottom so he bent down again. This time it was Florence Freeman who squeezed his buttock.

The girls laughed again as the young lad didn’t know where to turn. “Six shillings and five pence please.’

Liz came back up the road as they paid for the crisps and buns then they all crossed over and sat on the wall and opened the packets. They neatly arranged the crisps onto the bun then squashed it closed to stop the crisps from falling out before taking a bite.

Come on then Liz show us this catalogue.

Liz took the catalogue out of her big bag that they all had to carry home shirts and pyjamas that they stole each week and sold on. It paid for nights out to the Percy Main Club, bingo, pictures. Each of them had enough blouses, men’s shirts, jumpers, and pyjamas to start a shop.

It was no wonder that Charley Clay went out of business some years later with the amount of pilfering that was going on.

The girls loved the summer months when they could stretch out on the bank of Norham Field. It was then when the fair came as well and of an evening they would go and spend time on the rides and play the games on all of the stalls. The smell of hamburgers, hotdogs, and onions filled the air as they would walk around each of the stalls. The smell changed at the bottom of the field to toffee apples and candy floss. The sound of music echoed all around as the waltzer’s spun around and children’s rides with bells and whistles went off.

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