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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13. 13

“It doesn’t mean that you have to throw yourselves at every man who asks you out either.’

“Lighten up will you Morag you’re getting’ like my mother.’

They walked past the fisherman’s mission and then past Tyne brand where they would all be tomorrow.

They came to the bank then looked up.’

“I didn’t expect to climb Ben Nevis to get to the park Morag; my God what the hell is that smell? It smells worse than my father’s farts and that’s saying something.’

The three women covered their noses with a handkerchief until they got a fair distance away then breathed in.’

“That’s the Guano works that Heather Bruce was on about. Apparently they process all the fish offal there.’

They reached the half way point; both Kerstin and Beth stopped for a breather but Margaret carried on.’

“Hey Morag, wait for us.’

The girls hurried on until they came to a railway bridge.

They could see a main road a few yards further on.

This seemed to spur them on again; eventually they reached the main road.

Margaret crossed over the road then looked down at the neatly cut lawns and the

Flower beds.

“Isn’t it just beautiful?’

Aye, kind of reminds me of the park in Edinburgh; you know the one on

Princess Street.’

Aye we do, and you’re right it does.’

The park was packed with people, some where pushing their children on the

 swings whilst others were feeding the ducks with scraps of bread.                                                                                             

They descended the stairs into the park and made their way towards the duck pond.

There was a pathway that led to it and they followed it until they arrived.

There was a sand stone wall surrounding the small pond which had an island

with some bushes and reed beds. Some of the ducks and mallards were nesting.

 Six swans were up ended searching for worms on the pond bottom.’

A duck led its eight chicks towards a girl who was feeding them with some

bread crusts.

Margaret pointed as the little birds chased and fought for scraps,

Even other birds like starlings and sparrows came to the water’s edge to try

 and cash in on the supply of food being thrown in.

They sat on the wooden bench. They watched for a while then got up and walked to

The top of the park where the gardener’s were hard at it cutting the grass and

tidying the borders; They seemed to lose all track of time as Margaret talked

to the head gardener who was a man in his late fifties who was only to glad

to share his knowledge with them. Margaret wanted a garden of her own one day

so she could plant primroses, pansies, and sweet scented lavender.

“The gardener was called Bob and he had been at Northumberland Park since he

was a boy.

He told the girls that his father before him had been the head gardener

here and that his father taught him everything he knew.

“It is really good that your father passed his skills onto you.’

Don’t you have flower gardens where you come from then?’

“Yes, we grow flowers on the Isle of Barra.’

 

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