The River

"The River" tells the story of Connie Francis Boothe who struggles to bring up three children in the damp living conditions on Howdon Road, North Shields in the 1950's Her Husband Richard is out of work and she is nearly seven weeks in arrears with her rent and eviction is looming. She has already pawned two of her mother's rings in order to feed her hungry children. Richard is a bit of a jack the lad who has ducked and dived all his life as a labourer - then he meets Beverly Madison a tall beautiful girl who is seven years younger than him but has had a crush on him since she was only fourteen. he begins an affair until after six months his wife finds out. How will Connie cope on her own after her husband leaves. follow this story of rags to riches - The River is one to read.


13. 13

Richard got in at twenty past twelve he went into the bathroom and washed his face in case there was any perfume on his body from Beverly.’ He walked into his son’s room and kissed them both as they slept.

Then went to his daughter’s room and kissed her too.

Connie was in bed asleep as he undressed then slid into bed. He couldn’t wait to see Beverly again and his mind played back the whole evening to him, then sleep over came him and he lay contented.


The morning came sneaking through the window. the April sun was out as he looked out of his window into the street below. For his house he could see Beverly’s and he wondered what she would be doing now. He didn’t bother shaving as he would be shaving tonight; instead he put on a clean shirt then his work clothes and slipped out. It was only six o’clock but he had to be there at six thirty. He walked down the Street crossed over then down the bank. He bumped into Albert Smith his neighbour on his way to work.

“Morning Albert.’

“Lovely isn’t it. It makes one feel glad to be alive.’

“It most certainly does that Albert.’

“I see you got a start then?’

Aye,’ I started yesterday; got a couple of weeks anyway.’

“You have to take work when you can get it lad said the sixty three year old who had been a welder for over forty years.’

“If only I had a trade I might have had a permanent job now said Richard adjusting the cap on his head.’

Aye lad its hard going through life as a labourer and the money they pay you is shite in comparison to being say a welder or plater.’

They reached the gatehouse then clocked in and then they both walked down towards the African Star. Richard had brought a huge flask of coffee with separate jars of fresh milk and sugar. He poured himself one out then stirred in milk and sugar and sat on a wooden saw bench drinking it. Again his mind wondered to Beverly, he couldn’t wait to see her again and hold her in his arms; to feel her naked body next to his.

He replaced the cap on the coffee and placed it in his bait bag which had the sack that had been filled with food. He placed it in the corner out of the way and he picked up his sweeping brush and went up on deck. Looking around the yard he saw men slowly going about their work then he spotted Brian Sloan who was heading his way.

“Good morning Mr Sloan, lovely morning is it not.’

“Yes, is Tony around I need to see him.’

“Actually he went looking for something; don’t ask me because I know nothing about electrics.’

“Tell Tony to come and see me when he returns will you?’

“Yes Mr Sloan I will.’

“Brian Sloan walked down to the Mombasa Strait

Richard spotted Tony Atkins coming up the gangway and went to meet him.

“Sloan’s been looking for you Tony.’

“Where is he?’

“He’s just boarded the Mombasa Strait.’

“I better go see what he wants; look here is an order for some gear that we need take it to the store and get a trolley to put it all on then bring it aboard will you Richard?

“Aye no bother.’ There’s a flask of coffee in the corner on board if you want any, just help yourself. 

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