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.


31. 31

When the bell sounded to end the lesson Terry was relieved he hurried out into the playground then slipped out the gates to the corner shop where he bought himself another three pencils for that day. Playing in the school yard when he returned were a group from his class they kicked a football around the yard. The ball was booted high in the air and the lads a chased after it whilst the other boys wondered aimlessly around the yard. Many of the lads went to the bike sheds where they smoked a cigarette bought from Bobby’s for a thrupenny bit; on the corner of Spring Terrace. They would have some younger boy keeping watch in case a teacher approached. Smoking in school was not permitted. Many teachers turned a blind eye for they too smoked. They knew what the lads were up to but just wondered around the yard with a cup of coffee in their hand. When the whistle blew for the end of break the lads like regimental soldiers filed off into lines and the school prefects would open the school doors and let them back inside. All the prefects got to where a badge given by the head master it was either red or blue. The lads from terry’s class all made their way into the hall where the knuckle cracking “Jiffy Thompson was waiting he played a classical piece from Mozart before the lads took up a music book and had to stand and sing songs that meant absolutely nothing to them. The whole class looked decidedly bored and they sound more like a herd of cows in the field than a choir.

Jiffy played on for the half hour lesson and it was a relief to Terry when it was over.

There was no modern music played in school. The kids would be walking around with pictures of their favourite groups or CND symbols painted on the flaps of their haversacks. Others had the names of friends or girls written in black felt tipped pens on them.

They moved like sheep out of the hall to the final lesson that morning which was Religious Education. Joshua Smith the teacher with the German helmet hair cut who looked like James Mason in the film of Erwin Rommel stood on his pulpit spouting a bible story. This week Joshua told them the story of how Jesus, who was walking through Bethsaida, came across a multitude of people who were all hungry. Jesus had already healed many sick people on his journey and his disciples asked Jesus to send away the crowds of people so that they could go a buy food from the villages. Jesus told his disciples to go and feed the people. “But lord we only have five barley loaves and two fish, how are we to feed the five thousand?’ Jesus took the bread and fish and held them up to the heavens then prayed. After which he told his disciples to get the people into groups of fifty where upon the bread and fish were distributed to everyone. All were fed and after twelve baskets were filled with what remained.

“Donald Carr stuck up his hand to ask a question.

“Yes Carr what is it?’

“If Jesus fed five thousand with only five loaves and two fishes how come it takes the dinner ladies in the dining hall all day just to serve mince and dumpling’s and there’s only one hundred and fifty of us.’

“Don’t you blaspheme in my class Carr;’ be thankful that the lord provides food for you to eat.’

“I wish Jesus would tell the dinner monitors then cos’ they eat the biggest share of all the food on wor table.’

“I will have a word with the headmaster about it Carr.’

“Thank you sir,’

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