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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She filled a bucket from the outside tap and filled the tin bath hanging on the wall.’

And got the posser from inside the toilet then used it to rinse and wash the clothes.

She washed her shirts that she used for work and did Beth and Kerstin’s as well then put them through the wringer before hanging them on the line. If it didn’t rain they might dry in the morning. Even if they were damp they could be flat ironed.

“When she returned she took out the pie and took the vegetables off the heat. Beth and Kerstin had set the table so Margaret served the dinner after making some gravy and pouring it into the boat. Tom had shaved and sat in his vest as he didn’t want to get food on his clean shirt.

They all sat around the table to eat their first meal together.

Tom cut into his pie then placed the fork into his mouth. He smiled at Margaret then said this is delicious.’

“It’s only a pie Tom.’

“Yes but you should know there are pies and then there’s a pie.’

“Your right there Tom, after tasting Val Harpers feeble attempt at cooking this is amazing.’

“Would you like another piece Tom?

“Could I; you will get me fat.’

Margaret cut him another slice of pie then placed it on his plate. Tom poured some gravy on it and he cut into it. He was onto his second mouthful when there was a knock at the door. I will go said Tom as he stood up then wiped his mouth.

He went to the door and it was Stephen Aplin.

Hi Steve come in.’

Steve followed tom down the passage then into the scullery.’

“Hi Steve said Kerstin; you’re a little early aren’t you.’

“I came over to see Tom Kerstin; it’s bad news mate “The Bella Donna went down mate.’

“Any survivors?’

“None, all hands were lost.’

“Snowy McGregor, the skipper was last seen swimming out to try and save a young lad who had just joined that day.’ “The life boat skipper said that he would have been saved if he’d only come to the boat when he was called. Micky Robson from the Albatross also tried to get to the men but the undertow got them all they were lucky that they weren’t sunk as well.’

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; I know what that is like said Tom as he remembered his father and brother. Where were they fishing?’

“Ten miles off Olafsvik’ they ignored the signs Tom and paid the price.’

“It could happen to anyone; you know what it’s like out there Steve, its fine one minute then in a few minutes a storm breaks.’

“Snowy was trying to get his nets in; that’s how the boat went down.’

“Well nets are valuable; he must have taken a calculated risk.’

“At the cost of all of his crew Tom.’

“Don’t be too quick to judge Steve, you don’t know for sure.’

“That’s what Micky told me as well.’

“Strange things happen out at sea.’ “There for the grace of God go I”

 

 

Margaret and I were going to the club tonight but I don’t know if we should go now; it wouldn’t be respectful would it?’

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