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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would have travelled some one hundred and fifty miles by then; which was good in a small craft.

They hoped that the good weather would last or they would be forced to stop and wait until the storm ceased. Tom would never take any chances. At the first signs of any danger Tom would head inland. He remembered his father and little brother Jack; it all happened so quickly. One minute they were enjoying a fishing trip the next they were fighting for their lives in the open sea. He would not put lives at risk; not with three women on board. They put up the main mast and the sails and the Outcast skipped along the North East coastline. They could see the rocks and the kelp beds as they passed. They saw two other Cobles that had been out fishing The Liberty and the Three Brothers. They pulled along side.” Three Brothers was owned by Robert Crawford and he had been a fisherman like his father and his grandfather before him.

“Where are you headed asked the skipper?’

“We’re off to Barra, what’s the weather forecast for the next twelve hours?’

“Light winds variable conditions.’ Watch yourselves going around Cape Wrath though. We plan to pull into Sealpay to refuel. We should have enough to get us there.’

“Well good luck I will let the harbour master know of your Journey; what is your estimated time of arrival?’

“We hope to be in Barra by seven o’clock tomorrow morning.’

“Don’t bank on it; the weather gets pretty hairy up there in Scotland at this time of year said Mick Jobson the skipper on board the Liberty told them.’

“Right then I had better push on I want to make Sealpay by nine o’clock tonight.’

“We have hot water aboard if you want a pot of tea. That would be great said Chris who wasted no time in handing over the canteens to the grey haired skipper.

“We are much obliged to you Mick. Do you have plenty food in case you get caught in heavy seas?’

“Wor lass made a corned beef tart you can have, and there’s so fruit scones an aal.

“That’s kind of you thanks’

“I’ve got an apple and blackberry pie that you can have said Rob Crawford as they handed over the food and the hot tea. They started the engine and pulled away Tom waved to both skippers as the Outcast picked up speed. Once a safe enough distance Chris took the tiller whilst Tom poured out the hot tea and shared out the food they had been given. They needed to eat to fight off the icy cold winds which sapped your strength as well as chilling you to the bone. The women put on a shawl each as the sun went down the wind picked up; the sails filled and they were moving faster through the water again. Steve sat with his new wife chatting. She had gained her sea legs and was able to eat something now.

It seems really funny coming out in the boat and not fishing doest it skipper.’

Aye, I was just thinking that myself.’

It took another three hours to reach Portsay and they tied up and allowed the women to stretch their legs and use the toilet on shore. Again another boat called the Sea Angler helped them out with more hot drinks. They could not afford to waist time so as soon as they had refuelled. They were about to leave when someone offered them good money for their Lobsters and crabs and Tom took it. He kept half a dozen crabs and lobsters for the families of the three women; selling the rest.

“Time to move said Tom as he counted his cash then slipped it neatly into a leather wallet bought for him by his father.

 

 

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