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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A few months later Helen bought a nice house on Landsdown Terrace with some of the money from her other property. It was a three bed roomed house which had a conservatory built on the back. There was a spacious back garden with a neat wooden fence around it. There was a small greenhouse and shed in which to keep tools inside.

“It was in August that year she discovered she was pregnant and on the 29th of May 1964 she gave birth to a beautiful girl who she called Elizabeth Jane Lattimer.’

Jim was not pleased as he knew that the child was his but he went along with Helen’s wishes. She said that people would talk with her being a widow and it wouldn’t belong before they put two and two together. Jim adored his daughter; he took her everywhere. In the summer they would go to Tynemouth Long Sands with their mother. He taught her to swim and how to row the boats in the Boating Lake near the Plaza Ballroom. Elizabeth was a fast learner and by the time she was six years old she could read and write. Jim would read her a bedtime story every night. she knew every story off by heart so Jim could not skip any pages.

 

“When Thomas’s family found out some years later that they now had a grand daughter they wanted her to visit them. Much as Helen wanted to tell them that the child was not her son’s but that of a butcher. She remained silent and let them think that the child was their sons. This would be the ultimate pay back she thought. When the time was right she would bring down her wrath upon them.

A car was sent every weekend to pick Elizabeth up, Helen allowed Elizabeth to go along to see who she thought were her grand parents. They spoiled Elizabeth and Helen let them because they had not treated her very well. Elizabeth became fond of her grandparents and by the time she was twelve she would call in after school. Helen had asked Jim to come and live with her at the new house so he let out his house. Jim had asked her to marry him but she had asked him to wait just a little while longer before they could be married. When Elizabeth was twelve David Lattimer died of a stroke whilst playing golf at Tynemouth Golf Course.

Then nine months later and Eloise took ill, she was diagnosed with cancer and it was then that Eloise was sent to hospital. Helen was called for because Eloise didn’t have long left to live. Helen went to the hospital and walked down to ward 12 where they kept all the patients who were terminally ill. She looked down on the emaciated body of Eloise Lattimer. “Come to gloat have you she croaked; you’re like a vulture come to pick the bones of the dead. Well I tell you now I’ve left everything to Elizabeth my grand child in my will.’ “You will not get a penny do you hear me.’ She coughed and spluttered and Helen used a tissue to wipe away the blood that was coming out of her mouth. The cancer in her stomach was eating her away but even on her deathbed Eloise was still unrepentant. Her breathing became shallow and Helen knew that there wasn’t long left. Helen bent down and whispered into Eloise’s ear and her eyes widened. She screamed out with her dying breath as the reality of what Helen had told her hit home.

The nurse came running to her bedside and then the doctor but there was nothing that they could do. Eloise Lattimer was dead.

 

 

 

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