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.


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After Francis had given her the details Cynthia put down the phone and told her that he would come to her address tomorrow morning and help her to move in.

“That’s marvellous.’

Francis left the cottage and told Cynthia that she would call in once she was settled. She then went to the hairdressers she had her hair cut shorter and bought herself some new clothes.

She bought make up as well and for the first time in ages there was a spring in her step. She took the bus home and fixed her hair properly then put on some make up and looked in the mirror. The new hairdo and make up had knocked years off her and she smiled for the first time in years.

When the children came home from school she gave them their tea then told them that both their father and her had to talk to them later.

“Alan kept asking what it was about but Francis told him that he would have to wait until their father got home.’

“Why wasn’t my dad here this morning asked Alan.

“He will explain when he comes in.’

It was five thirty that evening when Richard knocked on the door. He had his key but felt it inappropriate to just let himself in.

Francis had been to the rent office and gave notice that she would be leaving the property.

Alan let his father in and he went upstairs where all the children were sitting around the table with their mother.

Please sit down Richard, would you like some tea.’

“Yes please he said quietly and Francis poured him a cup from her new tea set then spooned sugar and added milk.

“Right then are you going to tell the children or am I?’

“I will said Richard.’

“What’s going on Daddy said Margaret.’

“Well you see darling it’s like this, your mam and I have fallen out of love with each other and we are going to live apart.’

“You mean we won’t see you again said Alan?’

“Yes we will still see each other and I will always be your dad no matter what but your mam and I won’t be living in the same house anymore.

Margaret and Tommy were now crying but Alan stood by his mother’s side.

“I will come and pick you up each Saturday if that is alright with your mother.’

“I shall make arrangements with you Richard in due course as we are moving tomorrow.

“Where are you going?’

“I think that is my business and no concern of yours now.’

Richard stood up then said goodbye to his children and told them he would see them on Saturday. He left a contact number for his wife so she could call him.


Six months later Richard Boothe was a free man and could come a go as he pleased.

Tony Atkin was a man of his word and he had secured a permanent job for Richard in the yard and they worked together well. Tony was teaching him how to be an electrician and Richard went to a night class where he learned about electrical circuits.’

Richard learned fast and he was soon able to assist Tony and Jackie on board ship.

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