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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They walked up the cream coloured marble steps to the door which Chris held open for them. They saw Tom and Steve at the counter buying some drinks.’

There was a hot dog stand and both Beth and Kerstin made straight for it.

“Can I have two hotdogs please asked Kerstin?’

“Would you like onions on them?’

“Yes please and ketchup and mustard as well.’

“Steve came over and asked if they were hungry and Kerstin told him about the landlady.’

Both of them laughed as he led her to the door where the lights were dimmed. He made sure that he kept seats for Tom and Chris. Kerstin opened the brown bag and offered a hot dog to Steve but he said that he’d had a large dinner at home and wasn’t hungry.’

“You don’t mind if I eat these now do you because I’m starvin’

“Of course I don’t.’

Steve chatted away about the fishing trip which had been very productive. They had brought in a good haul of fish which was mostly cod. It had taken them just over an hour to unhook and gut them all then they were all sorted into different baskets ready for market. By five o’clock they were all sold he told her.

The usherette showed the others to their seats and Beth set about eating her hot dogs.’

Margaret was telling Tom about the Golden Fleece landlady; Tom suggested if she wanted, they could all stay at his house. There were spare rooms he told her; at least you can take turns and cook your own food.’

“We could pay you rent.’ We would also contribute towards the coal and the food said Margaret.’

“Don’t be daft, you would be my guests.’

“We will only stay if we can pay something Tom.’

“Alright if you insist but there’s really no need.’

Tom you are so thoughtful she said and kissed him softly on the lips.’

 “The neighbours won’t start gossiping will they?’

“Let them, I don’t care what they think or say.’

“When can we move in?’

“Tonight if you wish, we could go and pick up your things after we’ve watched the films.’

“I don’t know how to thank you Tom.’ which sounded more like Tam the way she said his name. He loved the way she spoke his name in her Scott’s brogue.’

The lights dimmed and the curtains opened and the news reels came on before the first feature which was called the Scallywag starring Fred Thatcher and Muriel Alexander.

Margaret took Tom by the hand as they watched the film together and he felt totally relaxed in her company Chris and Steve had their arms around the other girls and spent nearly the whole film kissing one another. When the film was over Margaret and the girls excused themselves and promptly went to the toilet.

I’ve found us a place to stay Margaret told them as they walked into the ladies room.

“Where asked Beth?’

“At Tom’s house.’

“Tom’s; but how is he going to put us all up in his house; what about his mother and father?’

They have both passed away, Tom lives in the house alone.

“Will we have our own room?’

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