The Factory Girls – Episode 20

Helen felt a smile twitch at her lips and looked hastily down at her notebook again. Dana and Jonathan? Surely not! There had never been a more unlikely pairing, yet both had flushed very sweetly. Helen felt a sudden pang for her first weeks with Kevin, when everything had seemed so fresh and exciting. Had he had any luck at the job centre, she wondered. Hardly the most romantic thought, but that was life these days.If love was blossoming they had better make sure Jonathan didn’t move away, she decided. But what could she do to help the campaign?“I’ll call on the mayor,” Carol was saying. “I know him from Eddie’s police days. He’s a bit doddery but wonderfully vain, Lord love him. I bet he’d be thrilled to get on TV. And I suppose I ought to let Frank know what we’re planning, in case he gets awkward questions from the Xion lot.”“Frank Morgan is the Xion lot, Carol,” Dana replied scornfully. “He must have known about this, yet he never warned us.”“He wouldn’t have wanted to worry us.” Carol defended her old friend.“Wouldn’t have wanted us shouting at him, more like! But whatever. What can you do, Shell?”“T-shirts.” Shelley grinned.“Sorry?”“I’ve got a mate who prints T-shirts. I could get loads done with Save Our Factory on, and we could sell them. Then, if the press does get interested, we look like we really mean it.”Everyone stared at her.“That’s actually a great idea, Shelley,” Helen admitted.“It is,” Jonathan agreed. “And if we do it fast we can get the photos on Facebook.”“And in the paper.”Shelley grinned.“Fab. Skinny fit?”“No, Shelley.”“Some skinny fit, surely. It’ll look better for the cameras.”She jutted out her impressive chest and Dana laughed.“Hoping to attract a politician now, are you, babe?”“Not at all. Just showing my support. What about you, Helen?”Helen looked round miserably. What about her?“I could talk to the school,” she offered. “It’s not much, sorry.”“It’s a start.”“But there must be something more. No offence, but I can’t see Xion being moved by a handful of posters and T-shirts, and this ‘trending’ seems a bit of a long shot.” The room went very quiet and Helen felt awful. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m so sorry. Ignore me I’m a grump. An Eeyore, right, Dana? You lot are spot on. We need to do something to start the ball rolling, and then, who knows?”“But we don’t have long,” Carol said. “Less than a month. How fast can a ball roll in that time? Maybe Ina’s right and I should just go and buy some bowling shoes now!”“I didn’t mean that.” Helen felt even more wretched. “I was just trying to think of other approaches, as well.”“Like?”“I don’t know. I was useless at school.”But now Jonathan was standing up.“The contract,” he said. The others stared blankly at him. “The contract for the use of the building! Helen’s right, we need something else. So we should check it. My gran’s house has an ‘agricultural tie’. That means it can only be used for farming or suchlike. If this building used to be a church it might have similar conditions that would stop Xion selling it. It’s got be worth a look, hasn’t it?”“It has,” Helen agreed gratefully. “I’ll do it. I’ll do it tonight.”“Are you sure? It could be very hard going.”“I wasn’t that useless! I can read!” she retorted, stung. “Oh, Helen, I never meant . . .”Helen put out a hand to calm him. There was no point in them nipping at each other.“Don’t worry about it, Jonathan, just get me the contract!”


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