Yesterday evening I went to see an adaptation of Catherine Cookson’s “The Fifteen Streets” at Darlington Civic Theatre. I confess that I have never read a Catherine Cookson novel, but Latimer Hinks was one of the joint sponsors of the production and I was happy to attend. With my roots very firmly in the North East I was confident that I would find some empathy with a storyline set in the docklands of Tyneside during the early part of last century. I was not disappointed; with family infighting, verbal and physical abuse, a fatal accident, romance outside of the class structure, the subjugation of women, miscarriage, hunger, poverty, and a teenage pregnancy, the tale appeared to have everything. Or did it? Of course, there was no divorce. For the inhabitants of the Fifteen Streets life was incredibly harsh and whilst they had most things to worry or gossip about, in the times of Catherine Cookson’s youth, divorce was not one of them. I hesitate to guess that if she was gaining material for her novels today, they would have a different inclination.