Basek took a bite from the pie and smiled; Mrs Beck makes the best mince pie I’ve ever had.’
“When could you start work; do you have a P60?
“Yes, I have papers and I can get you others who can fish for cod if you look for a crew. They are good Christian men. All work very hard for very little.’
“Do they have papers too?’
“Yes sir, you want that I should get them to come now and see you.’
“I need five good strong men; as I plan to go on my first fishing trip to the Faroe Islands next week.’
Does anyone you know fix radios?
“Yes, they fix anything Sir.’
“Do they all speak good English?
“Yes, but Janko speaks just a little. We can convey instruction to him though.’
“They all know about trawler fishing right.’
Trust me sir, they all grew up on fishing boats very young.’
“You are very young to be a captain of your own boat.’
“Yes but I started very young too; so do not underestimate my ability.’
“No disrespect was intended sir.’
Good as long as the men understand that I run a tight ship; but it will be a happy one where they all will be paid fairly.
“They will all work hard for you sir.
Okay do any have a car?
“They have a truck which we all use.’
“Good; can you get them here tomorrow at say seven o’clock; I need men to help refloat the boat.’
“I want to sail her back to North Shields where she will be moored.’
“I will have them come and pick you up from your home sir.’
Good, Dougie gave them the address and gave Basek instruction on how to get to his house. He nodded then took hold of Dougie’s hand and shook it once more. “Thank you so much sir you won’t ever regret taking us on. We will be eternally grateful.’
Basek stood up he went over to the bar with his cup and his plate and went to pay Minnie but she waved him away. “Pay me when you have money Basek.’
“You are a good woman Mrs Beck and God will smile on you.’
“I will see you in the morning sir.’
“Yes Doogie sir.’
“Well there it is; you now have your crew.’
“Be careful though Douglas as some of the locals might not like you employing Poles instead of English men but the Poles will work for half of what you’d pay a local and thank you for the privilege.’
2You won’t have any squabbling on board either because these lads want to work and keep their jobs.’
“I forgot to ask if they had a cook he laughed.’
Dougie looked at Paula and asked if she would like to go out as it would be their last night out together for a while before going over to Durham to start her degree course.’
“A cosy night by the fire will do me said Paula.’
Okay, but I will have to put it on. I’ve been away from home for almost a week,’
“I will help; it won’t take long to warm the room up.’
Dougie thanked Mrs Beck, then he and Paula left the bar and got into the car and drove to his house.