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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“Well that’s gratitude for you said the old man as he refilled the urn ready for the next lot of coaches he hoped would come in.

It was just another half hour until they reached Blackpool pleasure beach. The older members headed for the beach whilst the younger members went to the fun park and the arcades playing on the penny push and slot machines. Money was won and lost as they walked around the arcades. Then they headed for the rides the waltzer and big dipper were always a favourite and the lads paid the tanner per ride. They went on the mat slide and a carousel that went high in the air. It wasn’t long before they had spent over a fiver each. They munched through hamburgers, hot dogs, and candy floss; before going to the rifle shooting gallery. Dave Cox and Eric won a large cuddly toy which they gave to their girl friends.’

“Do you want to go to the beach now said the girls and the lads all nodded as they headed for the subway which would take them across the road. The lads and lasses went into the toilets under ground. They had to pay a penny if they wanted to use them so they each to turns to watch as they undressed and then placed their clothing into a bag and walked out with some flip flops and a pair of swimming trunks. They all waited in the tunnel until the girls came out with their arms folded. It was a lot colder under ground than it was above the lads raced up the bank and the girls chased after them. The place was just a sea of people; both on the pavements and on the beach. The trams came and went loaded with tourists who wasted no time taking photo’s  John had his Kodak instamatic camera with him and he asked an old man if he would take a group photo and then one with each of them with their girlfriends.

 Once taken they held them by the white bit until the image came through. They all swapped the photos around until they had all seen them then they were carried until they were all dry and placed in Anne Colquhoun’s bag for safe keeping. I hope you all brought a towel said Anne as they stepped onto the sand and looked for a place to sit. The only available place to sit was near the donkeys because the smell from them was quite strong. They walked up a small bank away from them and it wasn’t too bad.

The men didn’t shovel up the manure until the end of the day. They had to make as much money as possible in the short time before the sun went in. so the donkeys didn’t get much of a rest. There was six of them all tied by the tail when there was six people sat on them the man wearing a trilby and grey jacket and jeans walked the donkeys along a stretch of the beach.

Pat Holding and George Bowen sat on the donkeys and then waited for the man to lead them off but the donkeys wouldn’t budge until they had urinated all over the sand.

Dave Cox couldn’t resist it and took a picture. He wrote in indelible ink on the back “Pissed in Blackpool 1964” then slipped it into Anne’s bag. The donkeys finished and urged on with a carrot tied to a stick the donkeys set off at a pace. Pat held onto the donkey’s mane to stop herself from falling off.

George shouted at the top of his voice “Head em up, Move em out.’

Then he sang the well known song by Frankie Laine.

 

” Keep movin,’ movin,’ movin.’

Though they’re disapprovin’

Keep those doggies movin- rawhide.

Don’t try to understand em;

Just rope and throw and brand em,’

Soon we’ll be leaving high and wide.

My hearts a calculatin’,

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