The Ridgalite

The Rigalite focuses on the People who lived in Marina Avenue in the Ridges Estate in North Shields. Eddie Saint owns the Roaring venture a trawler moored at the fish quay- his crew work hard and play hard - one of them is Ron Lee a young lad who has aspirations of becoming a rock star. He was in the Royal Navy on board the HMS Illustrious as a trained chef before joining the trawler boat. The lads all tell him that his songs are crap because they don't wan't to lose a good cook. The story also tells of two rival shop keepers- Ronnie Hancock and Billy Burston have been each others throats for years- read the comic antics of both men. "The Ridgalite is an insite of life in the early sixties on an an estate with high unemployment and little hope - where every day is a constant struggle. There are some though who prove that if you have hope then dreams can come true.

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Hurry up John your ganna be late for work shouted his wife Evie; it was gone five o’clock, The boat would sail without him if he wasn’t there by five thirty. John Moholam ran down the passage of his house on Marina Avenue in North Shields then took his bike out of the coal house. He ran out the gate with it then hopped on and peddled for all he was worth down the street and onto Waterville Road. The traffic was light and he was able to cycle unimpeded. He passed Rose Cottage then sailed under the railway bridge he knew that he wasn’t far away now as he looked at his watch.

Turning right at coach lane he freewheeled down Tanner’s Bank past the Tiger Stairs then turned left it was nearly quarter past five now as he rode along the Fish Quay to the Gut.

“Howay lad, what time do yer call this like?’

Sorry Skipper, I had a late one last night, we got into a card game, and it went on until two o’clock.’

“Whey a hope it was worth it ‘cos the next time you’ll be oot on yer arse.’ The fish won’t wait to be caught yer na.’

“Sorry, it won’t happen again said John, as he slipped into his oilskins and rigger boots.

Ron Lee, Vince Maccionocchi, Dougie Cook, all made ready to sail, they threw the ropes aboard then stored them away as Eddie Saint the skipper of the “Roaring Venture” a ninety feet trawler started its engines and the thrusters slowly turned the boat and she slipped out towards the bar at Tynemouth. They were heading for the Icelandic waters where the cod and haddock were plentiful.

“Sainty as he was better known to his friends radioed his friend John Ellis who had left earlier on board the “Lazy Ann” both men had spent nearly fifty years at sea between them and they knew the waters better than any man alive. They knew where the best fishing grounds were, his father Paul had passed down skills to him when he joined as a deckhand in 1934 at the age of just fourteen. Like many of the kids brought up on the Ridges Estate Eddie Saint would start work down on the Quay.

If you were born in the Ridges you became known as a Ridgalite.’ Some religious person used the phrase from the Israelites, coined the phrase, and it became synonymous with any man, woman, or child born there.

 

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