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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“What about them; look Tom we work for you I know; however you cannot choose our women for us.’

“Fair enough but stop stringing them along will you because I think they think you are going to pop the question.

“What; said Steve not me; I’m too young to get myself married.

“Me an aal said Chris.’

Tom carried a canvas bag with some fish wrapped up in newspaper that had just been caught it would do for a meal tomorrow night he thought as he walked in the door.

Margaret came from the scullery and threw her arms around tom and kissed him long and hard. She was always glad to see him return home safely.’

“It would have been cold out there today love said Margaret whilst Kerstin and Beth set the table.’

Tongues are wagging mind you Tom; the woman across the road Casper is it?’

Ann Clasper Tom corrected.’

“Well she has been spreading idle gossip about the three of us.’

“Let them talk, do I care about them; no not a jot.’

“Well Beth put her right anyway when she told her to watch her own man because he is whoring around every night.’

“I bet that will be right around Shields now, knowing what they are like around here.’

Tom took off his top coat and hat and hung them up then washed his hands in the sink as Margaret put out a plate of food for her future husband.’

Tonight Margaret had made mince and tatties, with neaps, carrots, and peas.

Tom picked up his fork and mixed some of the mince with the turnip and placed it into his mouth.

“Wow, this is good Margaret what have yer put into the turnip?

I’ve mashed the turnip and carrots the way we do on Barra and added a little butter and some pepper.’

“I’m definitely converted he said as the three women set about eating their dinner.’

“Where are Chris and Steve we didn’t see them come up with you?’

“They’re in the Dolphin havin’ a drink.’

“Are they coming around tonight?’

“I don’t know; I’m not their keeper yer know; only their skipper.’

“I see said the girls.’

Listen Kerstin; they are young lads; don’t come over all possessive wi em.’ Or you will scare them away.’

“Seems to me that they don’t want commitment either do they Tom.’

“Well I have news for Stephen; he’s going to be a father.’ I’m late and I’m never late am I girls?’

No, that’s right Kerstin.’

“What are yer going to do?’

“I’m keeping it of course.’

“If yer force Steve into marriage, you will regret it for the rest of yer life.’

“What am I to do then Tom; it was him who got me in the family way.’

“Well; I could help you if you weren’t going to keep the bairn.’

“I won’t get rid of it Tom; I will have his child with or without him.’

“You will have to tell him said Beth.’

“Aye a ken that.’

“How far gone are you?’

“Just a month I think.’

“You still have time then, if you decide not to keep the child.’

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