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 not getting rid of my child.’

“What about your father, what are you going to tell him?’

“What else can I tell him, the truth of course?’

“Will he disown you?’

“I expect so; it looks like I’m going to be resigned to living here in North Shields;

never to return to Barra.’

We are going this weekend to see Margaret’s parents you will be alright to go won’t you.’

“Yes, I won’t be showing for another two or three months.’

Tom finished his dinner and rinsed his plate.’

Tom kissed Margaret then told her that he was going to have to have words with Steve.’

“I won’t be long love; I promise.’

Tom put on a clean shirt with his black waistcoat, his going out jacket and cap.’

Tom ran down the street crossed the road then headed for the stairs.’

He took the stairs two at a time until he reached the quayside. The sounds of trolleys being pulled the heavy iron wheels clanked off the cobbled ground; someone singing in the Dolphin invaded his ears too as he made his way over.

Steve and Chris were still there where he had left them just over an hour before.’

They didn’t notice him at first until he spoke to the barmaid and ordered three pints and three whiskeys.’

“Who’s died noo said Steve as Tom walked over with a tray with the drinks on and set them down on the old wooden table that had been defaced with sailors names.’

“It’s going to feel like it lad when I tell yer what’s happened.’

Tom returned the tray to the bar first then slid in beside the two men.’

“Gan on then Tom, diven’t be keepin’ us in suspense.’

Tom handed the whiskey to Steve and told him to drink it. As Steve downed the whiskey in one swallow Tom told him about Kerstin.’

“Shit cursed Steve; how far gone is she?’

“She said a month maybe more.’

“Well I’m not havin’ it Tom, she can get rid.’

“She’s havin’ it whether you want it or not.’ Tom handed Steve the second whiskey and he downed it.’

“I told you I don’t want to get married Tom.’

“Well you got her into this mess; do the right thing by her.’

“There’s nowt yer can do mate; you have got to marry the lass.’

Steve took the third whiskey and tipped it down his neck. “Trapped me she has; I will never forgive her for this.’

“Go and talk to her Steve, but not tonight.’ let your head clear and then go and see her.’ she’s at her wits end with worry. She says that she can never return to Barra after this visit as she will be showing by then.’

“She will miss the wedding.’

“To hell with my wedding Steve, this is more important.’ Don’t go leaving that poor lass to hang out to dry.’

“She will be losing her parents and if you decide to walk away, you as well.’

“Kerstin needs your support not your ridicule man.’

“What would you do if you were in the same boat?’

“If it were down to me I would marry the lass so she didn’t have to suffer the shame of it all.’

What about you Chris?’

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