The boy and the seagull

The story tells of a young coble fisherman Tom Lawson who is also a coxswain on the life boat Pegasus in Cullercoats. His father drowned saving the life of a little girl and he wants to follow in his father's footsteps. the story is set in the early fifties a time of sexual revolution and rock and roll. Tom meets Eva a girl who wants the best- brought up on Howdon road she dreams of a better life. She works as a packer at Tyne Brand on North Shields Fish Quay- Tom the handsome Teddy boy with his drapes and crepe shoes charms the young Eva - they end up getting married but things don't run smoothly for the couple who have a son together but he is be-felled with a fever which leaves him unable to hear. This is a story of love-of heartache-and triumph over adversity. This is a story to warm your heart and one i'm sure that you will enjoy.


23. 23

Tom placed the herring into a canvas carrier then walked back to the lifeboat house.

After giving John his fish he made his way back down to the beach he changed into his oilskins then pushed the boat to the beach which was pulled along on wheels then launched.

He returned the metal cart back to the fisherman’s hut then walked back to his boat and jumped in. He started the engine then waved to his friend and crewman before taking off to empty his pots. In the meantime he baited up the long line in readiness.

He had only three dozen crabs in his pots this time so he decided to move another mile out and try another spot where he knew would produce a better haul.

Once he had done that then he cast his long line.

He had brought some feathers with him also so he thought he would try for some mackerel as well whilst he was out. The shiny coloured lures attracted the mackerel and it wasn’t long before his basket was full. He now had bait for tomorrow as well as a tasty meal.

Tom was partial to a peppered mackerel fillet or two and it made a change from the cod and chips that he ate most of the week.

He couldn’t complain though as my families relied on fish as cheap alternative to meat. When work was tight and money scarce even Tom resorted to eating fish, not that he disliked it. He had many species to choose from. Tom he ate anything from skate to conger eel when times were hard.

“Since his mother’s health had deteriorated Tom found himself having to do everything on his own.

“The cooking, cleaning, and washing and even the shopping were all done by him.’

On a Saturday morning he went down to the market on Whitley Bay high street where he bought his meat and fresh vegetables, he bought bread because he didn’t have time to bake. His mother before she became ill cooked, and baked some lovely food and Tom missed that. He missed talking with his mother too and more so his father who he adored. Everyone knew Tom in the market and if he had any spare fish he would trade them with the stores so he got his vegetable ration in exchange.


It was nearly five o’clock when Tom pulled in his long line and the catch was good with plenty of cod up to ten pounds in weight; there was also a good quantity of plaice and skate and a few haddock which he would keep and give to Eva. He made for shore after pulling in his lines satisfied with his catch. He sailed straight to North Shields where he unloaded, weighed, boxed, and iced his fish ready for the auctioneer.

There were only a few boats selling tonight so Tom hoped that his fish would fetch a good price. The fish store bosses all gathered and the bidding got under way.

The bidding was quick and ruthless if you wanted the fish you had to outbid the man next to you.


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