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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They had already boxed ninety boxes this one looked bigger than the last with some good sized cod amongst the haul.

Again the catch was sent down the chute and the men all worked together to get the job done. The rain started just after the third net was shot and the boat began to roll from side to side. Dougie had forgotten about his motion sickness and was more concerned with the safety of his crew as the boat rode the swells.’

Doug left the last net out for two hours as the tide whipped in. looking at his watch for the umpteenth time Doug waited until the two hours had elapsed before giving the signal to Cezar. They made ready with the loops as the net was dragged on board and every twenty feet a loop was put around the net to not only keep the net in place but make it easier to bring in with no snags. Danek kept an eye out for any tears in the net and repairs were done quickly before any further damage was done.

This net was heavier by far as they got nearer to the end Cezar let out a whistle and then thanked God for answering his prayers.

There was about six tons of fish in the net; all good size cod amongst the catch.

Again both Cezar and Danek got the fish down the chute as fast as they could then the deck was hosed down and brushed clean.

“The lads broke into song again as Janko Gorski excused himself and went to make their dinner. Both Cezar and Danek joined the filleteting team who never stopped.

 Wyjezdzojze z nami (come away with us) they sang as their hands were a blur as they cut into cod after cod. Heniek was doing all of the haddock and Cezar all the flat fish. They had over sixty boxes of haddock twenty four of flat fish. Three hundred and twenty boxes of cod up to ten pounds each. It was a good trip and Doug was pleased with his men as they finished off there work at eleven that night. They all changed after getting washed and they brought out their bibles and read a passage each from them.

After prayers were read the men gathered the food. Because it was a special night Janko cooked Zapiekanka a traditional meal made with Baguette cream of mushrooms and cheese with ham as a starter; then baked Pollack normally discarded by English fishermen it was served with pickled gherkins, red peppers, and pickled onions and roasted potatoes. These men wasted nothing; each man took a bag full of the fish that would normally be thrown away. It was filleted and left on ice until ready to be taken home. The poles who were predominately fishermen lived on fish most of the week at home. Doug sat with his men and ate the same food as them.

“Well lads we are heading home where we will all much in and unload the catch then it will be sold at market. When that is done I will receive a cheque which I will then have to cash before I can pay you all. Now what would you all call a fair wage.

Basek stood and spoke for everyone. Sir we will accept anything you give us as we like working on your boat.’

“You feed us and treat us like your own and for that we are very grateful.’

How much were you all earning at home?

About 250 zloty which is fifty pounds per week but the cost of living in Poland is very low compared to here.

Okay; well I will pay you four hundred pounds each.’ Now that can change if the fishing is poor do you understand?

“Yes sir.’

“No fish no money; the men said laughing.’

“Yes, we need to pay for fuel and keep money in case we lose a net or we cannot work. “ Now I am being fare to you all. This boat cost me a lot of money and without it we all go hungry right.’

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