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.


13. 13

“They won’t do it for nothin’ you’d have to pay them they will do it for a tenner each.

“What forty quid to shift this you said twenty.’

Aye but you want your shop to open and you are losing your customers;’ look they’re all going next door.’

Make it thirty and we have a deal.’

Suit yourself then mate I will just do it myself; you’re the one losing custom not me.’

The old man was walking again and Ronnie was now very angry.

“Alright forty quid and that’s my lot.’

”I’ll be back shortly with my truck.’

“Quick as you can will you.’

The old man looked at his watch then walked down the street then onto Peartree Gardens.

Billy Burston looked at his watch it was now twenty past eleven and Ronnie had lost at least one hundred and fifty pounds so far. He smiled to himself knowing that it would take something more than manure for Ronnie to extract revenge.’

Every twenty minutes that passed Ronnie was out looking out for the truck. It turned up at one o’clock six hours trade he had lost.

“Where have you been asked Ronnie angrily?

“Well my wife had made me dinner and the lads here wanted there’s an aal so we came as fast as we could.’

“Right then get on with it; I’ve lost more than half a days trade.’

“The two sons walked slowly to the truck then ran a plank of wood into the truck and the pavement then wheeled a barrow down and two shovels they filled the barrow then wheeled it up the plank then emptied it into the truck as the old man sat in the front smoking a cigarette.

Hancock came around and asked why he wasn’t shovelling the shit.’

“Oh I don’t shovel shit; the twenty you are giving me is for the hire of my truck.’

“How long is it going to take your sons to shift this lot then?’

“A couple of hours I expect.’

“I have another barrow that they can borrow; that will speed up the job won’t it?’

“Could do but my lads work at their own pace. It’s back breaking work is shovelling shit.

“Look I will help I will get my overall on and my wellies.’

“Can’t do that you are not in my employ see; you have to be registered to work with me and I would have to pay you a wage. “ I cannot afford to pay you.’

Look I will work for nothing and I will still pay you the forty that we agreed on.’

Alright then but if you have an accident don’t come to me mind.’

Ronnie ran back around to the lane then into the back of the shop where he put on a bib and brace and a pair of wellingtons. He took a pitch fork that was hanging up and the wheelbarrow; he oiled the wheel then ran around with it. He was filling two barrows to every one of the two lads were doing and the pile of dung slowly began to diminish. The sweat was pouring off Ronnie as he ran with barrow after barrow the lads hadn’t broken sweat as they leisurely walked around and shovelled at an even slower pace. Ronnie on the other hand was trying to get the manure shifted as fast as he could. Then what made matters worse was a policeman wanted to speak with Ronnie.

“Yes officer, how can I help?

“Do you know this er pile of er muck is causing a disturbance and blocking a public pathway.’

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