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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letter taped to the inside was a diamond ring. It simply said “Margaret I love you will you marry me.’

She tried the ring on and said I already said that I would marry you silly.’

“Yes, but now its official.’

Margaret leaned over and kissed Tom tenderly and everyone clapped.’

There was a tinge of disappointment on the other girls faces even though they were happy for their friend they thought that Chris and Steve would have proposed but they didn’t.

“I must go and phone my mother and father; are you coming girls?’

The girls all put on the hats, scarf, and a pair of gloves that the boys had bought them.

They went outside in the frosty air; there was no snow on the ground but it was cold enough for it. Walking down the street the girls asked to see her diamond ring.’

“Margaret that is the most beautiful ring that I’ve ever seen; he must really love you.’

Yes, and I love him.’

They found the phone box and Margaret dialled the number and it was Dougie Poulter the son of the observatory inspector who answered.

“Hey Dougie, which sounded like Doogie in Scots language; Merry Christmas.’

Hi Morag how are you?’

“I’m fine can you go and get my father and mother for me. I’ll call back in ten minutes.’

Alright Morag hold on; I’m puttin’ my coat on. It’s snowing like Billy o’ outside what’s it like where you are?’

“It’s very cold but there’s no snow.’

“Right put down the phone I’m going over to get yer father and mother.’

“Tell mam I have Kerstin and Beth here with me too.’

“Okee dokey; I won’t be long.’

The phone went dead and Margaret hung up.

They all stood huddled in the phone box as the steam from their breath clouded the windows.

“Dougie says it’s snowing like hell in Barra.’

“I miss the snow at Christmas don’t you?

 “Aye we do Morag; but never mind we will be going home in a few months aye?

“Aye we will I have a wedding to prepare Barra for.’

“Are you sure this is what you want to do Morag I mean it’s a big thing getting married and all aye.’

Aye it is, and you know what I won’t regret a single thing. Tom loves me and I love him and I don’t care about all the rest.’

“I think Dougie is going to be disappointed; he has had a crush on you for years you know.

“What Dougie has; away wi you.’

“He has, he told Robert Stewart.’

“Well I don’t love him; I love Tom Farrow and he’s the only man for me.’

“What about you two; I think those lads need a push in the right direction don’t you.’

“Shit fer brains those two I tell yer.’

“Leave it to me I will sort them two out.’

“What are you going to say Morag?’

You’ll see when we get back.’

Morag picked up the phone; about fifteen minutes had elapsed since she last called she dialled the number then fitted the penny into the slot and then put another one ready.

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