The Netmaker

"The Netmaker" the story follows four families who are all linked in some way to the Wilkinsons Lemonade Factory that was bombed during WW2. This is a tribute to the 107 people who lost their lives on 3rd May 1941


18. 18

Geordie Johnson stood inside the gut with Jim Hardy mending the herring nets the auction was taking place on the other side but Geordie and Jim were oblivious to it as their hands weaved in and out of the broken nets in a blur. Are you gannin’ out wi the Northern Gale the neet then?’

“I expect so; I just hope the weather holds.’ On a boat below them a long liner was baiting hundreds of hooks or replacing some that had snapped off. The Albatross started its engines and the crew jumped on board after letting go the lines that secured them to the harbour.

“Kipper’s away oot early isn’t he; it’s not high water for three hours yet.’

“Aye maybe he wants’ to beat Crow Banks record today.’

Ken Kipper Herron was in his early forties but looked older the stress and late night fishing had taken there toll on the skipper of the Albatross. He bought the boat five years ago and had just finished paying for it.

Kipper hoped to make enough money this year to buy himself a cottage in Cullercoats near the Bay. There was a club and two pubs nearby as well which was handy. He liked the idea of living near the sea front so when he finally retired he could wander over the road to the club and have a pint with his mates. Three other skippers had made the move and he didn’t want to wait any longer than he had to as the prices for cottages were going up all the time. He reckoned that he could buy one for three hundred pounds. The one that he had his eye on had been on the market for over two years and had stood empty in all that time. They were asking for three hundred and seventy five pounds for it but kipper felt confident that he could get the owners to drop the price to three hundred. There was some work to be done inside but structurally it was sound. His friend Rob Brown who was a surveyor had gone around and checked it for him so he knew if he could barter with owners he would get a good deal; especially if he could offer cash money as an incentive.

“Come on said Geordie to Jim as they finished the repairs to the nets and stowed them away for the fishing trip later that day.’

“Where we gannin’ like?’

“There’s a meeting at the mission in half an hour. We can get our dinner there as well

 Before we sail because we might not get a chance to eat if the weather turns and you know as well as I that the weather can turn on a sixpence.

“Aye you’re right. The two men walked around the corner then went up the stairs and into the mission hall.

Inside there was several tables near the windows so Geordie and Jim sat down.

Geordie got the attention of Sally the mission cook and asked for two specials. Within’ ten minutes they were tucking into Steak pie, chips, and mushy peas.

They had just started eating some rhubarb crumble and custard when Jonah walked in.

Several other fishermen joined Jonah as he stood and addressed the forty odd men who had come to hear what he had to say.

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