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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There was about twenty people waiting for the train and they were all rather loud. Some had been drinking in the town and were the worst for wear. One young lad who was under age to be drinking was sick in a dustbin. His mates were all taunting him as he voided the contents of his stomach.

Margaret and the other girls had to look away.

“When the train came the lads who had been drinking carried the young lad onto the train and sat him down. The lad placed his head against the window and closed his eyes. Margaret and the other girls got on the train to whistles as the lads were all getting rowdy.

The ticket inspector came to check their tickets and told them politely to be quiet. They ignored him of course.

One lad in particular got up from his seat and walked towards where the three girls were sitting.

“Hello darlin’ fancy a real man tonight do yer?’

“Where’s the real man among you lot then said Kerstin in her Scott’s accent.’

I only see a wee wimp standing in front of us don’t you girls?

“Aye, I ken said Beth.’

 The young man tried to sit next to Beth who turned to face the window.’

“On yer way pal,’ said Tom as he stood up next to the young man who was a couple of years older but Tom was bigger as well as taller.’

“Who the fuck are you tellin’ to get on my way; I’ll drop…

“Tom’s fist shot out so fast the girls didn’t see it. He had caught the man right in the solar plexus and the lad just sank to the floor of the cabin gasping for air.

“Now go back and sit with your little boys and don’t trouble us again understood.’

The man nodded then picked himself up and staggered back to his seat.’

The train pulled in at Tynemouth and the rowdy crowd all got off. They had two arms around the lad who had been sick and the man who Tom had punched wasn’t feeling very good either.

Tom watched as they climbed the steps over the foot bridge then got to the other side as the train pulled away.

“That was some punch Tom; have you ever thought about taking up boxing professionally, Christ with a wallop like that you could knock anyone out.’

“I don’t like violence.’

“You could have fooled me then said Steve as he tried to imitate what Tom had done.’

“You were so quick we didn’t even see it said Beth, I was about to give him a Glasgow kiss.’

“What kiss that creep said Chris Lorrimer.’

 Margaret laughed as she explained that Beth would have stuck a nut on him.’

“Chris then burst out laughing; remind me not to get in an argument wi you then.’

The cabin was cast into darkness as the train went into a small series of tunnels before reaching North Shields train station. They got off then walked up the ramp then came outside. The lads asked them where they were staying and the girls told them it was next to the ferry.

“Not the Jungle I hope said Steve.’

“What’s the Jungle hen?

“Is it the one across the road from the ferry?’

“No it’s a pub on the same side.’

“That’s good because the jungle is used as a brothel and a lot of Greeks, Arabs, and Jamaicans, get in there.’

 

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