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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When they arrived her in laws were already there. They looked at her with indifference as if it were her fault and that she should be the one charged with his murder. Helen still felt sorry for them, they had lost their only son and now there would be no one to carry on the family name.

They were led into a private room and the sheet covering the body was removed.

All the colour seemed to have drained from his face as she looked down up on him. His mother broke down in tears as Helen nodded towards the two officers to confirm that it was her husband. “We will be moving your late husband to the chapel of rest whilst you make arrangements for his funeral Mrs Lattimer.’

“We will be taking care of that stated David Lattimer to the police officers. “ His wife will have to register her husband’s death down in Howard Street sir.’ “If you could bring his birth certificate along with you madam it would help to speed up the process.’ “We are sorry for your loss.

“Thank you.’

They left the room where her husband was lying and they gave her all of his personal belongings. She never looked at them she just put them into her bag. They made their way outside

Looking at her in laws she said that she was sorry before getting into her car and driving away.’

Later that morning she rang the butcher shop and told James what had happened.’

He didn’t know what to say to her. Finally he asked if she would like to come over.’

“I think its best that we don’t see each other until after the funeral James.’

“I understand said Jim.’

 

On the day of the funeral on the 14th May 1963 her husband was cremated. The ceremony lasted all but twenty minutes where the minister spoke about how good and upstanding a gentleman Thomas was. It seemed as if they were talking about someone quite different from the man she had come to know. People she never knew came up to her to offer their condolences. There was no wake afterwards and her in laws left without a word. She stood with her own parents in the rain as the people who had come slowly dispersed.

She would not see her in laws again until late July that year when Robert Gavin Stephenson who had stabbed her husband was charged with his murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Newcastle Crown Court. Stephenson didn’t look like the killer that the prosecution would have you believe. He looked terrified as he stood in the dock. He shouted I’m innocent, I’m innocent, and it was self defence as they led him away to the cells to await transportation to Durham Prison where he would spend the next twenty five years. Eloise got up from her seat with her husband she walked towards Helen and looked her up and down before saying. “You will be well taken care of all thanks to my son I’m sure.’ He has left you quite a fortune. If it were down to me you would get nothing.’ The following week Helen visited the solicitor’s office where Thomas’s will was read out. “You are now indeed a wealthy woman said Brian Braithwaite as he read out the details of her late husband’s last will and testament. Thomas Lattimer had a substantial amount of money in his account. The night when the two officers came to her house; they handed over a bag with his possessions at the morgue. There was over two thousand pounds in cash, along with some gold rings and a 24 carat pocket watch and heavy gold chain that he’d won playing poker. They were given to her and now belonged to her.’

The house that she lived in was paid for. The first thing she did was to sell his car and then put up the house for sale. She could not bear to spend another day in that house. 

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