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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In today’s market it would have been worth 300 million pounds. The costs were great not only in equipment but in lives too. In 1906 over 2,000 men and boys lost their lives at sea. As a consequence Jack hardly ever saw his father because he was out at sea for weeks on end and when he came home he was out with his friends drinking. He would come home drunk then go and sleep it off. His mother Margaret Anne, knew what her husband was like; she was from the Isle of Barra and had met Tom when she had travelled down to North Shields to work the herring season. Tom was out on the town one night and she and two friends who she came with went into the snug of The Old Hundred. Tom came into the pub looking for Chris Lorrimer and Stephen Aplin his friend and second mate on board the Lazy Ann. He caught sight of the three girls as they sat in the corner chatting and saw that they were on their own.

When Chris came in he almost dragged him to the little window that looked into the snug and pointed. Chris smiled then the two of them walked casually into the snug they walked up to the table and asked if they could buy the girls a drink.

Tom directed his conversation to a tall pretty girl with mousey coloured hair and blue eyes.

“What would your name be then asked Tom?’

“Margaret Anne Linnie she said in a lovely accent.’

“How long have you been here?’

“We just came in about fifteen minutes ago.’

“No, I meant how long have you been here in North Shields.’

“Och, about two days the now.’

 “Is that all, so what do you think of our little town?’

“Well we have nae seen much of it have we girls?’

“Aye we have nae; would you like to show us around?’

“Yes, but would you like to wait until my other friend turns up first; he should be here

shortly. “This is Chris Lorrimer by the way and my name is Tom Farrow.’

“Hello said the girl sitting in the middle of the three girls.’

Just then a head popped around the door and he then copped an eye of the three girls.

Stephen Aplin a fair haired lad who had a face a lot younger than he actually was walked in. Steve was the eldest, a year older at just twenty four years of age.’

“So who are the girls asked Steve as he went to the bar and ordered drinks for everyone.’

The girls were drinking lager and lime so Steve bought the three of them a drink.

Brenda Irving served Steve the drinks and he handed over a ten bob note.

He was surprised that the girls all drank pints not half glasses like other young girls, he said nothing and just placed the drinks on the table and sat down.’

Have we all been introduced then said Steve?

“No, said the skipper as he told Steve that the girl on the end was called Margaret Linnie.’

“Hi said the girl in the middle, my name is Kerstin McDonald.’

“Pleased to meet you said Steve; I take it you are all from Scotland.’

“No we are all from Ireland laughed Beth Monroe who then introduced herself. She was around five feet six inches tall with rounded facial features and a little nose. Her dark hair was parted down the centre and she had hazel coloured eyes.

So where are you going to take us tonight asked Kerstin who was the happy go lucky girl with a nice smile.

“Well we could go down to Tynemouth there’s a dance on at the plaza or we could go to Whitley bay.’

“What’s in Whitley bay?’

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