A Place Beyond The Priory

 "A Place Beyond the Priory " This is a story about Life in North Shields during the 1900's-1920's Tom Farrow is a third generation coble fisherman, Who meets and falls in love with a young herring girl who has travelled from the isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides looking for work. Margaret Linnie, her two friends Kerstin McDonald and Beth Munro all end up on the gutting line in Tyne Brand - their unscrupulous foreman Albert Mortimer treats all the girls on the line like animals including his wife Lizzie who bares him 11 children. forced into a marriage she did not want, Lizzie is abused by Albert for his own sexual gratification. She was in love with a young Greek boy called Leonidas Kostalas whom she had known from her days at school and lost her virginity to but her father will not allow them to marry- this is a story of love and betrayal and will keep you riveted until the last page is read.

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“When Tom reached the Isle of Skye that afternoon he Steve, and Chris walked up to the farm where Craig Johnson and his wife Helen greeted them. Tom gave the gifts that he had brought them and Craig would not allow them to leave until they had stayed for dinner. They had brought two empty fuel cans to put some diesel into and Craig obliged by filling them up for them. Tom offered to pay Craig for the diesel but he would have none of it.’

Isla made them a lovely hot meal and with a couple of whiskeys to wash it down they were ready for the second leg of their journey. Craig gave them a lift down to the causeway then once again Tom thanked his new found friend.

It was not long before they set off again and the isle disappeared from view as they made for the Cape of Wrath this time they weren’t so lucky heavy seas threatened to topple the boat over and it was only the skill of Tom Farrow that stopped them all from being thrown over the side. The boat had taken on a lot of water and the two crewmen were spending a lot of time bailing out the excess. It took them nearly four hours to get around the cape and when they did there was sighs of relief from all of the men. They would have to refuel again when they reached Eyemouth in the morning and where they could eat breakfast before the final push for home.

Chris Lorrimer took the tiller whilst Tom grabbed a couple of hours; the worst of the weather was behind them now so Chris had an easy job of just keeping the boat going in the right direction and not too close to the shoreline.

“I could murder a hot cup of tea right now said Chris to Steve who was now checking the pump to see if it was working correctly. “ I wonder what Kerstin will be doing now asked Steve.’ They’ll be tucked up in bed I expect.’

“I wish I was lying next to her now.’

“Aye and me with Beth.’

You were in separate rooms weren’t you?’

Chris gave him a wry smile.’

“You dorty little buggars.’

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way my friend.’

“Well let’s hope it’s not the family way then like Kerstin.’

“I never thought of that he laughed.’

“You never thought to tether that bull in the boat either did you?’.

 Bill Munro had asked Chris if they would take their prized bull called “Bobby Big Nuts” to the Isle of Uist to a show a few miles away as they had missed the ferry; Chris Lorrimer being the gentleman that he was agreed after asking Tom if they could use his boat. They brought the 700 lb animal the beach and used a ramp to get the giant beast on board every thing was going fine, the animal was happy to just stand there whilst the boat got into deeper water Bill Munroe held onto the bull whilst Tom steered. All of a sudden a mile from shore all hell let loose and Bill Munro was knocked over board. Bobby Big Nuts cleared the boat into the sea. Now a rescue had to take place; Steve threw Bill a life belt; who was in one hell of a panic because he could see the bull swimming further away from the boat. “Get a rope around Big nuts.’ They dragged Bill on board then tried to lasso the bull but the closer the boat got towards the bull it kept swimming away.

“Stop still Big Nuts shouted Bill as they tried over and over to get a rope around the beast horns. Being a Shetland bull they were long and they could only get part of the lasso around one horn but it kept slipping off. The Bull was clearly getting tired now as Bill Munro threw the rope over and over missing by a fraction.

 

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