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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“I’ll look forward to my dinner tomorrow night then.’

Tom waited half way up the stairs until Margaret got her breath back then they carried on to the top.

I tell you what if I’ve got to climb a hundred and six stairs every day I will be as fit as a flea in a month.

“Have you counted them all?’

Aye I have.’

I’m saving up and once I have enough money I’m going to buy a car; then I will be able to pick you up from work.’

“Who say’s I’m planning on staying here.’

“You’re not getting away from me now lass; not now or ever.’

“Pretty sure of yourself aren’t you?’

“I knew it the first time I clapped eyes on yer Margaret.’ “You and me were made for each other and that is that.’

“Really, Margaret smiled.’

“Tell me to bugger off and I won’t bother you again.’ Tom put down the cases and looked into Margaret’s eyes.’

“Tom you hardly know me.’

“I know you well enough; I know a good woman when I see one.’

“Now people can live their whole lives together and not really know them at all Margaret, but I tell you this; I will spend the rest of mine getting to know you.’

“Is that a proposal Tom Farrow?’

“I guess it is said Tom; you’re the lass I want Margaret please say you will have me.’

Tom took her in his arms and kissed her in the street; a few curtains twitched as Tom held her. Margaret’s heart was beating faster as she thought of a reason to say no and couldn’t find one. Tom was a good man alright, a hard worker and he would provide for her.

They had a ready made house to live in and they both had jobs.’

She looked up at Tom then heard herself say yes.

“You will; oh Margaret, I’m going to make you the happiest wife in all the world.’ He picked her up as if she was a butterfly in his hands and gently swung her around and around; then he set her down on the kerb. She couldn’t have been happier than she was at that moment. They picked up the cases and then walked slowly back to the house.’

Both Steve and Chris were sitting on the sofa with the girls when they walked in.’

“What’s happened said Kerstin’ you look very happy.’

“Well firstly Tom told Mrs Harper about her cookin’ in front of her husband after she tried to get another week’s rent out of us.’

“What’s the other thing then?’

“Margaret took a deep breath then blurted out Tom asked me to marry him.’

“What did you tell him?’

“I said yes of course; both girls leapt up then put their arms around her.’

“It’s only been two days Morag are you sure you know what you are doing?’

As Tom says people go through their whole lives not really knowing one another. We have a lifetime to get to know each other.

“Do you love him Morag; I mean it’s only been two days.’

“He knew it and so did I the moment we met; it was meant to be.’

“What are you going to tell your mam and dad?’

“I will tell them later, I know they won’t be happy; it’s my life not theirs Kerstin.’

“Does this mean we get to be your bride’s maids then?’

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