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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threw himself off the piers at Tynemouth. They found his body six miles away five days later when someone reported him missing. The crabs had eaten half of his face away and his body bloated with sea water. Mavis Clark never returned to Elmwood Road and moved to East Howdon across the road from The Duke of Wellington pub. She took a job working in the corner shop there. She never spoke of the affair or the death of her husband to anyone. Three years later she was run down by a drunken driver and killed. 

Mrs Nixon went on to tell everyone in Rutherford’s Shop; it would be right around Shields tomorrow. She bought her groceries; on tick of course then waddled back home. Dougie opened the letters that had been delivered earlier that day. There was a gas bill and a letter from America.

Dougie opened it and read of the tragic death Paul Caffery. The letter went on to say that the funeral had taken place in America because his family couldn’t afford to have his body flown over. Paul had died penniless having spent all of his money on drugs.

Ron explained that he was getting married and that he was building a house Pennsylvania over looking a river.


Ron said that he and his future wife Sally would be coming to England in the summer and that he would look forward to meeting up with him and the rest of the crew. He sent his regards to all on board the Roaring Venture. Ron asked if he was still with Paula the church girl.

He told him to marry her if he was because she was good for him. Dougie laughed at the prospect.  

He placed the kettle on then lit the fire. There was another letter from the council telling him that work would be starting next week on the houses on Marina Avenue. A new bathroom would be added to the house with an inside toilet. Ron smiled knowing that he would no longer need to use the showers at the YMCA.

He made himself something to eat then sat on the chair watching the television. There were some kids playing a game of football in the street when there was a knock at the door. He went to answer it and saw it was Basek. He had borrowed Cezar’s truck.

“Come in my friend he said. Would you like a cup of tea I’ve just put the kettle on.

“Yes thank you.’ I have news he said as he removed his cap.

“What is it?’

“It Minnie Beck; she has been murdered.’

“What; you’re joking.’

“No my friend it is true. There was a robbery and she was beaten to death.’

Does Paula know?

“I don’t think so that is why I have come. I will drive you over to Durham so you can tell her. The police were trying to find out where she was. I told them that I would make sure that she finds out.’

Dougie made Basek a cup of tea then turned off the oven, he was no longer hungry.

He sat down stunned as he asked Basek where they had taken Minnie’s body and he told him that she had been taken to the morgue at Preston for an autopsy to be carried out.

Poor Mrs Beck what a way to die, Paula is going to be distraught.’

She was coming home tomorrow anyway but I would like to go over and tell her tonight.’

When Basek had drank his tea Dougie closed the door to his house and got into the truck. They drove through Newcastle then onto Gateshead, Sunderland, and finally to 

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