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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18. 18

John Moholam and his wife Evie took the bus into North Shields the conductor took their fare at the bottom of Marina Avenue and headed up towards Bridge Road North. Dot Dixon, Betty Burk, Minnie Partridge, and Dor’ Saint got on as well and they were talking away to each other about the pile of manure left outside of Hancock’s shop.

“Serves the Jock right said Minnie Partridge; if he weren’t so bloody mean then this might not have happened. “ It’s a wonders the tight sod didn’t bag it up and try to flog it.’

“Aye laughed the others; a waddn’t put owt past that bloke.’

At the next stop a little girl got on with her father she could only have been about six years old.

“Hello said the girl to Dot Dixon as she sat down beside her, do you like my dolly she’s called Kate.’

The doll only had a nappy on and nothing else.’ When Dot asked where its clothes were as Kate would be cold. To which the girl replied that they were in the wash tub cos’ a was playing in the garden making mud pies with her; Kate got dirty so she got smacked and sent to bed. My mam is washing them this afternoon. The red headed girl told Dot that her name was Susan and that her dad was called Charlie Browell. So you’re Linda Browell’s daughter then? Well she says that she’s my mammy but Mrs Ditchburn over the road say’s my mam is Isobel Miller. I think I was adopted see.’

“Oh right.’

“Do you want to hold my dolly.’

“No I think it’s best if you hold her because little girls like to be with their real mammy’s.’ Dot gave Charlie a stern look and Charlie said “don’t you be bothering that lady now Susan.’

“She’s no bother Mr Browell.’

“Where are you going asked the girl?’

“Well we are all going to the bingo at the boro’

“Aye my mammy goes to the bingo when daddy goes to work down at the factory; she told me not to tell me daddy though.’

“It would be best not to Susan; as I will only cause trouble between mammy and daddy.’

That’s what me sister says an aal.’

Charlie got up to get off and the girl went to hold her dad’s hand. “Bye; I hope you win at the bingo; my mam did the other night.’

“Then she realised what she had said and put her hand to her mouth.

“When they got off the bus her father was giving her stern talking to and the girl started to cry. He took his daughter by the hand a practically dragged the girl along the street.

“Someone’s in for it when they get home said Dot.’ Poor bairn though; shouldn’t take it oot on the bairn.’

The bus pulled in a Northumberland square and the women got off. John an Evie stayed on and the bell rang the bus pulled away as the women walked past the statue of the Wooden doll the statue stood near the fountain. A dark brown colour she was wearing a long shift dress and carrying a creel on her back. There was a head scarf on her head and face of a woman who had seen many years of hard work. She came to symbolise life of a North Shields woman. They say a woman’s work is never done and this was true for a lot of women. Washing, ironing, shopping, cooking, and 

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