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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“He will explain it all to you when you see him.’

“Well is that all you have to tell me Michael; you could have told me that on the phone.’

“I know that I could have, but I wanted to see you.’

“Michael you are a married man; go home to your wife. I am no marriage wrecker and if you thought that there would be anything else other than friendship then you are mistaken.’

“You must really love this man do you?’

“Nothing will break these chains of love that I have for Ben.’

“Ben, you are in love with a killer?’

He’s not a killer; his mind was unbalanced.’

“That’s a matter of speculation Martha.’

“So you don’t believe that he’s suffering from a mental breakdown.’

“What about you then Michael, is your mind not unbalanced coming here with expectation that I would just jump into bed with you. ‘

“Maybe Martha, but I don’t have murder on my mind.’

“Does that not separate the sane mind from the unbalanced then? Martha stood up and threw her napkin on her plate. She went into her purse and took out five pounds and placed it on the table. Thank you for dinner; this will cover everything including the tip.’

“Look Martha I’m sorry please come back and sit down.’

“I think our conversation is over; thanks’ for your help.

Martha got her coat from the waiter then left the restaurant.’

She walked up the street to her car and got in. She was angry that her so called friend thought the same as all of the rest; Ben was guilty of murder.’

She placed the key in the ignition then took off the hand brake and drove slowly away.

“One thing was certain Martha Jones would not stop until Benjamin Leonard was free.

 

 

 

As predicted the weather on Barra took a turn for the worst and they had to brave the elements to feed the animals. They had dug enough peat to last them a few days once the cattle were milked they had to go and rescue the sheep that had got lost and were trapped in the snow. The farmer Ralphie Mason led the men across the valley then up a steep mountain pass where he knew that the sheep would be. His border collie “Willie followed faithfully beside his master. The snow was so thick it was hard to see a foot in front of them Tom put on his goggles that were in his pocket they would give him some protection even though he had to keep brushing the snow away from the lenses every few yards. Ralphie told them to follow him in single file up the mountain. This was a safety precaution used by mountaineers to stop anyone falling into a crevice. Ralphie used his crook to test the soft snow which was now several feet deep. It took them three hours to reach where the sheep were. They were all huddled together and Ralphie counted them he knew he had two hundred and fifty black heads.

There was fifteen missing, so the carried on looking climbing down they found six of the sheep hang on a rocky outcrop. They used a rope to lift the sheep back up one by one. The sheep bleating set off the other lost sheep that were further on. Tom was pleased that were able to save all of the sheep. The farmer said that lambing time was 

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