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.


66. 66

Eddie shook hands with the crew members of “The Christian.”

I think I shall have to repaint my boat as yours is showing mine up.

Dougie laughed then asked when Eddie was going out.’

We are sailing around five tonight.’

“Good then we will follow you out if that’s alright. Is it Iceland or the Faroe Islands you’ll be heading for?’

“Tell you what, since this is your first trip out as skipper of your own boat we will break you in gently. We will fish the Faroe’s at Nolsoy.’

“We will be ready to leave at four thirty said Dougie as Cezar drove Dougie to get the stores that they would need. He had bought new bedding and sheets which Paula had ironed. Dougie went through the rules of the boat with all the crew so that everyone knew their place. Cezar was made head of the deckhands and he would make sure everyone was doing their jobs. He didn’t want any cock ups on his first trip out as his ex boss would be watching him. Dougie bought them all new filleting knives with their names engraved on them. The men packed all the stores away Cezar appointed Donek Gomulka as the boats cook. Each man would take his turn to wash and help clean the galley. Dougie had warned them that sloppiness aboard his boat would be severely dealt with. Everything had to be spotless after each fishing trip. There would be no dirty decks, holds, or filleting stations. The nets had to be checked then rechecked. In bad weather each man had a life jacket that they had to wear. They would not question his decisions; he was the skipper. If he lost control of his vessel all would be lost. Dougie needn’t have worried. All the men respected him; they trusted his judgement and never questioned him. At four thirty that afternoon The Christian followed the Roaring Venture out of the Tyne past the bar at Tynemouth and headed out to sea.

Donek brought him his first mug of tea as he plotted the course that they would take. Even though they were following the Roaring Venture Dougie used his skills to navigate the boat as he would one day go it alone. Dougie was in constant contact with Basek his engineer, then at supper he made sure every man was happy.

The men all brought their bibles out and a prayer meeting was held. There was no swearing or cursing on board his boat as these were all Christian men devoted to God.’



Paula Beck drove to the campus where she would spend the next three years.’

The dorm had another two girls Sheila Hamil the tall pretty dark haired girl who spoke very softly and Angela Maughan the shorter blonde helped Paula unpack. Both knew each other as they were part of a Christian group called United folk. The group gave ministry to people in hospitals, prisons, and in various churches in the area. Both Sheila and Angela were accomplished musicians who wrote their own music. Sheila played the guitar. They were totally committed to their studies and they prayed everywhere. Sheila and Angela were mature students; Sheila had worked as a school teacher in a church school when she found that her vocation lay with God. Angela worked in an office but always felt drawn to the church. They took their bibles and books to their first lecture that afternoon. Paula was happy that she had two women who would look after her.

She rang Doug at home but there was no answer so she rang her mother.

“Hi mother, I’ve settled in and I have two lovely people in my dorm with me.

“Have you spoken with Basek today?’

“They sailed this afternoon to the Faroe Islands and won’t be home until Saturday.

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