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.


4. 4

“Do you have any income Mrs Boothe?

“I do not want to seem rude sir; but if I had income I wouldn’t be asking for your help would I?’

“Yes,’ I guess you are right but we have to ask I’m sorry.’

“Give me another moment Mrs Boothe.’

“Have you managed to pay your rent in that time asked the man when he returned?’

“No sir, I am almost seven weeks in arrears.’

“Alright how much is your rent per week?’

“It’s two pounds twelve shillings a week Sir.’

“Right here is the money to cover your arrears which you must pay this day.’ and this is a giro cheque four fifty seven pounds which to help buy food with for your children until your husband finds work.

“Thank you very much sir.’

Connie got up from the seat and left the office she let out a huge sigh of relief when she got outside she held onto the two brown envelopes containing the giro cheques and ran to the post office in the Co-op to cash them in along with her family allowance which again hadn’t been claimed because of her husband’s stubbornness.

She had signed all the books that she’d kept then handed them all over at the counter.

The woman stared at the family allowance books then told the post master who checked each page. There was twelve years money to collect and it was a good job that the post master knew her.

“Are you sure that you want this money in cash Connie.’

“Yes please.’

The money was counted out on the counter which both the cashier and the post master checked twice before handing over almost ten thousand pounds in cash. Then there was the rent and the food money to get. It was more money that Connie had ever seen in her whole life. She hurried out of the post office to Lloyds bank and made out accounts for all of her children then deposited two thousand pounds into each. Then she went down to the rent office and paid the arrears plus a month’s rent in advance.’

Then she went to the Thomas Dials butcher shop and ordered enough meat to keep them going for a week. Then she bought enough tinned and fresh food to last a month. She splashed out on a taxi which cost four shillings to bring all the shopping home. Even the driver couldn’t believe his eyes as he helped her up stairs with all the bags.

She gave him a two shilling tip for helping her.

Connie packed all the food away in the cup boards then headed out again and bought new furniture the latest fridge freezer and a washing machine. She then bought rolls of wallpaper and enquired about getting someone to fix the damp in all the rooms. She had spent over a thousand pounds that afternoon and she wasn’t finished yet. Connie bought clothes for all the children and some a little bigger sized so they could grow into them. She then bought new bedding and eider downs so that the kids didn’t have to put coats on the bed. Then she paid for someone to come out and carpet the whole house at a discounted price. She then bought new light fittings, crockery, and kitchen units; all this for just under two thousand pounds. Connie still had almost two thousand pounds left and she hadn’t even bought herself anything yet.

Connie hid the money under the old wardrobe. there was no way that her husband was going to get his hands on this for drink she thought. Then it dawned on her how was she going to explain it all to Richard when he came in. 



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