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.


36. 36

“Will you teach us Mr McCabe?’

“I certainly will with your permission of course replied Alan looking over at Francis.’

“I don’t see why not; its time that they both learned.

“That’s settled then.’





By one o’clock the beach was packed with people and Francis was glad that they had come down early. A man walked past leading three ponies and Margaret and Tom asked if they could have a ride. Alan gave them a shilling each and off they went.

“You spoil my children said Francis.’

“We were all young once said Alan; it’s something they will remember for the rest of heir lives; coming down to the beach, making sand castles, playing in the rock pools, and riding the ponies across the sand.’ “I know I did when my father and mother brought me here as a boy.’

Francis watched as Margaret and Tom sat on the back of the ponies and headed along the beach. The children whooped with delight as the ponies walked at a slow pace near the water’s edge. The black and white one was called Lilly and the black one Dancer Margaret informed her mother when they returned.

“Would anyone like an ice cream asked Alan as he spotted an ice cream van on the top of the promenade.

“You didn’t need to ask Margaret and Tom twice.

“Would you come and help me carry them Alan asked Alan McCabe who had been reading again.’

“Yes sir; said the teenager as he stood up and placed the book on his seat.’

“I want you to call me Alan lad said McCabe as they walked up the bank to the ice cream van.’

“I think you like my mother don’t you Alan said the young lad out of the blue which took Alan McCabe by surprise.’

“You’re very observant for a young lad aren’t you?’

“I know what I see if that’s what you mean; I think mam likes you as well.’

“Do you really.’ Do you think she would go out with an old dodder like me?’

“Yes I do if you asked her.’

“It’s a bit soon don’t you think?’

“No time like the present Alan.’

“Would you mind me going out with your mother?’

“No; I like you and if it makes my mam happy I’m happy too.’

“Thank you lad; I have been trying to summon up the courage to ask her but I didn’t want to hurt you or your brother and sister.’

“Well my father is living with another woman so I don’t see why my mother cannot go out and enjoy herself.’

“You know you have an old head on young shoulders Alan and you are going to go far in this world.’

They reached the van and the Italian ice cream seller asked what they would like.

“Let’s splash out shall we said Alan; he ordered six sugar cones with a chocolate flake in each.

He gave the Italian a pound note and then waited for his change.’

“Grazie, the Italian said as he handed Alan his change and they walked back.

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