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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“Yes I can show you on the map.’

Jack pointed to the three spots where his father might be. The skipper read out the coordinates to coxswain and then plotted a course. When they got three miles off shore it was all too apparent there were some big swells. Even in the lifeboat they could be flipped over by a big wave. Mickey Robson steered the Icarus in a zig zag pattern in the hope of stumbling across the stricken vessel. There was a light fog but visibility was down to about fifty yards if it got any worse they would have to turn back. They had been searching for over two hours in the place where Jack had said they would be. “What if they have engine trouble they could have drifted off course.’

“That’s true; okay said Mickey lets try grid ref 10697.

They put in the coordinates then sailed off toward it. The fog was getting worse now. Visibility was down to twenty yards. They combed the area and still there was nothing. Jack went out he held onto the rail as the boat bounced across the heavy sea.

This is hopeless skipper its like pea soup out there.

“Five more minutes lads and we’re turning back.

Jack came in soaked “Mickey turn off the engine I heard something out there.’

“It’s your imagination running away with you Jack.’

Please Mick I did hear something.’ My dad told me about his father making him and his brother sing when they working on a vessel that went down. They were picked up by a passing boat when they heard his voice.’

“Alright Jack, but only for five minutes.’

The engine was switched off and the boat was left to the elements as Jack stained his ears to pick up any sounds. They were drifting as the waves crashed against the side of the boat. “There did you here that? “ Steer to the left one hundred yards.’

“I can’t hear jack shit said Terry Brock.’

Rob Black Started the engines and they went left; Jack counted off the yards then told them to stop again as they got nearer to the sound.

The engine was cut again and Jack called out into the mist.

Then he heard it again the sound of “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor”

 Hey I heard it too said Mickey; over there on the right about fifty yards ahead.

“Keep singing dad we’re coming to get you shouted Jack.’

As the boat steered another fifty yards the sound got stronger.

“Dad can you hear me?’ “Sing up so we can steer the boat towards you.’

All of a sudden Jack heard his father’s distinct voice very close to the boat.’

“Is that you dad?’

“Yes son I’m here came a faint reply.’

“Keep singing we’re close,

His father summoned up his best baritone voice and began to sing.

“I see the boat, its over on the right ten yards. Rob steered slowly towards the sound of the voice until they came right along side.’

“Well done lads said Tom as he threw a rope and the secured the Outcast to the lifeboat then they towed the boat back to shore.

“What happened?

“My propeller shaft got caught up in some gill netting that had been discarded. I couldn’t free it and just kept drifting further and further out,

The lads on board made Tom a hot drink and he drank it as hot as it was.’

“How long were you drifting Tom?

“Two hours I reckon.’

“Well at least you’re safe; I would suggest that you get a GPS system fitted in your boat. “ That way if you break down or you are in trouble you can radio for help.’

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