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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“I’m sorry to be knocking on you at this time of night but I was worried about you.’

“Are you alright, you didn’t come down to dinner and I noticed that you hardly ate a thing at lunch time.’

“I wasn’t feeling too well.’

If you wish to stay here tomorrow instead of coming with us to Alnwick then I will tell the other ladies.’

Thank you; but you know what my problem is Peter.’

“I thought we had discussed this last night Mrs Williamson; Peter tried to keep the conversation formal.

“We had but I still cannot get over it; you see you are my problem Peter.’

“I am said the priest.’

Yes, you; I’m in love with you.’

Peter looked into her eyes then said to her; Even if I were an ordinary man Mrs Williamson in the eyes of God it would be wrong. You are married and I am in a way to my church.’

The catholic church forbids us to marry Mrs Williamson.’

“It’s Iris, please call me Iris.’ I know about your vows that you took Father, but I know that you have feelings for me the way I have for you.’

“That is ridiculous, how have you made that assumption?’

“Because I feel it and I see it in your eyes.’

“You must put these notions out of your head Iris… I mean Mrs Williamson.

Iris leaned in and kissed the priest on the lips. The priest tried to pull himself away but like Iris he felt what she was feeling.

She took his hand and then led him to her bedroom where they stood for a moment. Iris unbuttoned her night dress and let it fall to the floor and she stood naked before him.

“Iris please I cannot do this; I took the vow of celibacy.’

“Go then she said as she lay down onto the bed.

The priest gazed down at her for what seemed an eternity before his conscience got the better of him, Picking up her night dress then handed it to her then turned and left the room.

Peter Woodward had the longest night of his life as he took of his dog collar and shirt. The thick black leather belt around his waist was taken from his trousers and he lashed his back with it over and over. The tears ran down his face as he chastised himself. After fifteen minutes had passed he took off all of his clothes and prostrated himself face down on the floor in the shape of a cross.

“He lay there until the dawn came then went to the bathroom in a pair of Pyjama bottoms. Iris’s light was still on and it took all of his resolve to stop himself from going in there. He swilled his face and body in cold water then dried himself; then looked in the mirror his eyes were reddened still from crying. He shaved then went back to his room and got himself ready for Morning Prayer’s.

He took his bible and slipped down stairs to the chapel.

 Ailsa Oxbrough, Isabella Rosa, Anne Clasper, and Bethany Mole were in silent prayer as he walked in.’

Good morning he said quietly, he opened his bible and began to read.

“For I am the Lord your God, consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy and you shall not make yourselves unclean with the swarming things that swarm 

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