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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“Like that do yer he grunted as he used his body weight to hold her down. She heard him unbuckle his belt and she tried to scream but he then placed his hand over her mouth inside the sack.

Within seconds he was inside her and he was grunting like a pig. She remembered his foul stinking breath as he whispered in her ear. “See, I can do anything to you and no one is going to come to your rescue here.’ She felt him shoot his seed into her then he collapsed on top of her. She managed to break free from him then lifted the sack from her face.

She couldn’t make out his face properly but she knew it was Albert Mortimer; she fastened the buttons on her blouse and arranged her skirts. The tears were rolling down her cheeks as she ran down the aisle then not really knowing where she was going ran through the warehouse. She heard the echo of his laughter as she found the exit and went out. Nelly was terrified and she returned to the packing department and never spoke a word about it to anyone.

“Mind you’re quiet this afternoon aren’t you Nelly Cartwright said Joyce Goldie as the assembly line packed the tins into the boxes as they came along the conveyor belt.

“It’s just a headache, Joyce it will pass soon.’

“I’ve got some aspirin if you want some.’

“Yes, thank you.’

Joyce excused herself then went to the changing room and went into her bag and found the aspirin she took out two of the tablets before going into the toilet and filling up a glass by the sink with some cold water.

When she returned she gave the tablets to Nelly who took them straight away. Her head was spinning and she felt physically sick knowing that she’d just been raped by the factory foreman, but who could she tell, who would believe her as she was always joking on with the young lads in the factory. They would say that she incited it herself.

She never saw Albert Mortimer at all that day; in fact, it was three days later when he showed up on the line with a big grin on his face. His brown stained teeth and foul smelling breath was a dead give away as he came up behind her. She jumped with a start and was physically shaking as he said “Lovely morning isn’t it to everyone and they all replied.’ “Yes Mr Mortimer.’

“Good, good, now I hope that you are all going to work hard today; I would like to get home early tonight because I’m going out with my lovely wife.’

Nelly felt sorry for his wife, she wondered whether he treated her in the same way as he had done her three days ago. Her hands were shaking violently now and she took a deep breath and tried to steady herself.

She dropped the tin and it bounced off the conveyor knocking over several other tins they all hit the concrete floor and Albert’s eyes flashed and his face changed to a bright crimson colour.

“Stupid girl, look what you have done you bloody imbicle.’

“She heard herself apologising then Albert calling her out.’

“You can get out of here now; those tins are ruined and cannot be sold. I will be docking your pay as well.’ Now go and get a rubber overall you are going back on the gutting line.’

“But Mr Mortimer it was an accident.’

“Do as I say or you can get your cards.’

 “Nelly walked out of the factory to where she found a rubber overall then went back to where she had first started as a thirteen year old herring girl.’

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