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.


32. 32

“Will you marry me?’ I love you so much.’

“No, I cannot marry you.’

“Why not? he said as he looked into her eyes.’

“Because you are already married you big lump.’

’When my Decree absolute comes we are getting married right?’

“If you say so darling.’


The children were up early that Sunday morning Tommy had told his older brother about Alan and how he was going to take them all down to the beach that day.

More out of curiosity than anything else Alan got himself ready. Francis slept until eight thirty that morning which was unusual for her as she would normally be up at seven o’clock. Those Sherries’ she drank last night must have knocked her for six she thought as she slipped out of bed and went to the bathroom. The boys had helped themselves to some Kellogg’s Frostie’s and even poured some out for their sister.

“Alan popped the kettle on for his mother and emptied the teapot ready to make a fresh brew.

He got a cup and saucer down from the cabinet and placed it on the table along with a clean tea spoon. He poured some milk into the jug and set the sugar bowl ready as his mother wondered in to the kitchen and smiled knowing her son had made a cup of tea for her. She ran her fingers through his curly hair that was just like his fathers. “Tom says that we are going to the beach today mam; is that right.’

“Yes Alan we are going with Cynthia and her son.’

“What’s he like then mam?

“Well he’s very tall and very handsome.’

“How old is he?’

“He’s thirty nine I think he said.’

“That makes him seven years older than you mam.’

“Six really as it’s my birthday soon.’

“Oh so you’ve already worked that out then have you.’

“So this Alan fellow is in television Tom says.’

“Yes he is a producer for Tyne Tees.’

“I’ve noticed that you are talking rather posh these days mam.

“Well we don’t want people thinking that we’re from the gutter do we.’

“This is Tynemouth you know not North Shields.

“I do believe that you are becoming a bit of a snob mother said Alan in a posh voice.’

“His mother laughed then said if it means getting on in this world I will pretend I’m the Queen of England.’

“Oh I’m awfully sorry your majesty would one like me to pour tea?’

“Again his mother had to laugh.’

“I don’t want you all to talk slang any more either we will all learn to speak properly from now on. I want you all to get on here and if that means speaking with a posh accent then so be it.’

“What will people say though mam when we meet people from North shields who know us?’

“They will think that you have gone up in the world Alan; and anyway you will not be associating yourself with their sort anymore. The friends that you make here will be from better stock. No more will we be regarded as the poor relations. You have all got money behind you now and when you are old enough you shall have it to build a good life for yourselves. There will be no working on the fish quay for any of you do you here me.’

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