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 took her mackintosh and umbrella with her just in case it rained. Father Peter was already in the lounge when she arrived and she knew that he was watching her as he went on to explain what the retreat was all about.

Matthew 11-28 tells us “Come to me all who are weary and whose load is heavy; I will give you rest.’

“Amen voiced the women.’

“This afternoon we start our journey of self discovery by visiting Holy Island Church ruins then we can visit the local museum where you can buy gifts.’ “Then at 2pm we are all going on a boat ride over to Lindisfarne where we will see many species of birds and wild life. If you have a hat I would wear one. There you will see where the venerable Bede, St Cuthbert, and St Aidan lived and worked to transcribe the bible that we all read today. We will then come back here for dinner at seven o’clock then I will be taking prayers for anyone who needs spiritual guidance. At 9pm I thought we could all visit the local pub and then return here at 11.30pm.’

They all drank their tea and ate one of the rich butter shortbread biscuits on offer.

They all put on their coats and made for the door. Father Peter led them down the street then along the road.

Even in January the place seemed to have visitors who came mainly from Scandinavia. They were well prepared for the bitter cold winds because they all wore hiking clothes and boots. They carried rucksacks on their backs and wore woollen hats and they all carried a walking stick with them. Iris turned up the collar on her coat she wore a red patterned silk head scarf which matched the pattern on her skirt.

Some of the older women wore galoshes over their shoes with thick woollen socks. They had obviously been here before thought Iris.’

Iris put on her woollen gloves to keep her hands warm.

“Like the Scandinavian’s Peter was dressed to go hiking.

She caught up to Peter as he led the way.’

“Seems I’m not properly attired for the winter weather here Father Peter.’

“Did I not give you a leaflet on what clothes to bring with you?’

“No you did not.’

“I’m sorry Mrs Williamson; I just assumed that you would know.’

“I have some spare warm clothes back at the retreat if you’d like to come back with me I will just ask the rest to visit the gift shops whilst we go back.

“I’m sorry ladies bust Mrs Williamson has no winter woollens with her. I am going back with her to the retreat to loan her something of mine.’

“How kind of you Father; they all voiced as Peter led her back down the road towards the retreat.’

“You didn’t have to do this you know said Iris.’

“Yes I did; you would have frozen out there.’ “The wind seems to pick up when you least expect to and it is really bone chilling.’

“Well at least the others were alright about it.’

Once they reached the retreat Peter asked Ailsa if she had any spare warm clothing that would fit Iris.

“Come with me Iris and I will see what I have. Iris followed Ailsa through to the back of the house where she found a warm lined jacket some hiking trousers and a belt.’

“What size boot are you?’

 “Size five Ailsa.’

“Good I have a pair you can borrow. “Hang on I will get you some socks and a woollen jumper. Ailsa went to look in the other room. Peter walked through to where he heard voices and he looked down the passage to a room where the door was open 

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