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Margaret the Fish Lady

She herself was spanking clean, as was her barrow.


Margaret the Fish Lady came to Benton by train from Cullercoats twice a week. She herself was spanking clean, as was her barrow. The fish was beautifully fresh. The barrow, made from wood and painted green, opened up to provide a counter for filleting the fish, a waste place and compartments for different types of fish. It was, I think, lined with white lino or something similar. She wore a large, clean apron with a capacious pocket for her money. She wiped her hands often. She was a well spoken lady, not one you could call easily a Cullercoats Fish Wife, but they were probably all like Margaret. She stopped her barrow in the road, at various regular stops on her round.

The shops I have mentioned and the fish lady’s barrow were all meeting points for the neighbours. We had plenty of socialising.

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