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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He was now receiving the same wages as they were after he received his qualifications.’


The morning came when they were to leave and the removal wagon was parked outside. The neighbours all came out to say goodbye. They all knew that Richard had left her for another woman. Katie came and told Margaret that she would still be her friend no matter what and that she would write to her every day.

The last of her things were loaded on board the wagon and Francis climbed onboard with the children and they left North Shields for Tynemouth and a new life.

It took a full weekend before Francis had the house fixed up the way she wanted it. The bunks were now separated so that the boys had their own rooms. Each had bookshelves and a cupboard in which to put all their toys in. the kitchen was huge in comparison to the flat on Howdon Road. There were four big kitchen units and lots of cupboard space. Francis bought a black and white television set so that the children could watch some programmes. There already was a telephone so she got connected.

The following Saturday Francis rang Richard and told him to meet her in Northumberland Square. She saw him coming up from Howard Street.’

“Hello Connie he said as he approached you are looking well.’

“I am; and my name is Francis Collins now.’

“I see; well I will bring the children back at seven tonight.’

“No Richard; you will bring them here at five o’clock.’

That only gives us a few hours.’

“Well you should have thought about that when you were messing about with your whore.’

“What’s a whore asked Margaret.’

“Ask your father he will tell you.’

“Richard marched the children off not looking behind him.’

“Where are we going dad asked Tommy?’

“I thought that we could all go over on the ferry to South Shields and go to the Market.

“Do we have to said Alan who was now thirteen.’

“Yes said his father sternly; Look Alan I’m trying my best here so don’t go spoiling things for Tom and Margaret.’

“I want you to meet someone anyway.’

“Is it the whore my mother was talking about asked Alan?’

“Don’t try my patience son; that is disrespectful.’

“What’s a whore daddy asked Margaret.’

“Never mind replied her father who was walking even faster now as they walked down the library stairs onto the fish quay they turned right past the Golden Fleece and the Jungle Bar where they saw a tall looking woman sitting on a bench.

She stood up when she saw Richard coming.

“When Richard stopped he turned to the children and told them that this was Beverly.’

“Is this the whore then that my mother was on about said Tommy.’

“Beverly gave a look of contempt as Richard spoke to them all.

“Beverly is not a whore. It’s over there in the Jungle Bar where you will find whores. They are women of the night who sell their bodies for money. Beverly does not.’

“Now say hello and be nice to her; she means you no harm.’

“Hello they all voiced.’

They made their way to the ferry terminal and awaited the Northumbrian to arrive.’

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