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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“Actually she’s the fourth one that they’ve had here as the sailors keep chipping away at her with their knives for good luck. “ All that was left of the others was just a stump in the ground.’

“They reached the hotel and Tom went up with her. He waited until she had packed her cases before helping her carry them down stairs.

Mrs Harper enquired where she was going and asked if she was doing a moonlight flit.’

Hardly Mrs Harper we are leaving because there has been a serious illness back home and this gentleman here is helping me carry our cases to the train station.

“Why don’t you just order a taxi after you have paid me my rent?’

“Pardon me, you’ve been paid until today.’

“Aye but I could have let the room out to someone had I known so you owe me another week’s rent.’ 

“I think not Mrs Harper said Tom; you will find that Miss Linnie is quite within the law to leave if you have been paid. You could technically still rent her room out to someone tonight even though she was well within the law to sleep here tonight. “So you couldn’t have let the room out anyway so you can call the police if you wish but you will find we are right.’

 Mr Harper came through and was shouting the odds as Tom took hold of the cases and was about to leave.

Mr Harper was an ex dock worker; he was a big man and he barred his way as he stood in the doorway.’

Look Gerry; you’re a big man but if you stand there blocking my way I’m going to knock you on you’re arse so just get out of my way.’

Gerald Harper knew Tom and his father who had a reputation as a hard man when he was alive. Tom stared him in the eye and Gerald knew that Tom was not afraid.

“Yer not lettin’ them gan wi oot payin’ are yer asked his wife.’

“We don’t want any trouble here Gerry, so just stand aside.’

“Gan on then get yersel’s away.’

“Aye an divent come back shouted his wife.’

Diven’t worry about that said Tom as he looked at both of the Harpers.’

“Yer wife can’t cook for shit can she, every bugger knows that in here; that’s why yer gan to yer mothers every night for a proper cooked meal.’

“What’s he sayin’ Gerald?’

“Nowt just ignore him.’

“Tom laughed out loud as he said every bugger in Shields knows why he gan’s to his mother’s but you Val.’ Gan on Gerry tell yor lass that there’s nowt wrang wi yor mother and you only gan there for a meal.’

“Is that true Gerald?’

“ Aye that’s right, if you want the truth Val said Gerald.’

“So all these years you’ve been goin’ to yer mothers for a bite to eat when you telt me she was ill.’

“Aye a have that.’

“Tom left the Golden Fleece then walked up the road to the stairs.’

“I think you hurt her feelings Tom.’

“Someone had to tell her.’

“Please tell me if my cooking isn’t up to scratch won’t you.’

“Anyone can cook better than Val Harper he laughed.’

“You haven’t tried my cooking yet have you?’

“My mother say’s I cook like my gran and she was a wonderful cook.’

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