The Ridgalite

The Rigalite focuses on the People who lived in Marina Avenue in the Ridges Estate in North Shields. Eddie Saint owns the Roaring venture a trawler moored at the fish quay- his crew work hard and play hard - one of them is Ron Lee a young lad who has aspirations of becoming a rock star. He was in the Royal Navy on board the HMS Illustrious as a trained chef before joining the trawler boat. The lads all tell him that his songs are crap because they don't wan't to lose a good cook. The story also tells of two rival shop keepers- Ronnie Hancock and Billy Burston have been each others throats for years- read the comic antics of both men. "The Ridgalite is an insite of life in the early sixties on an an estate with high unemployment and little hope - where every day is a constant struggle. There are some though who prove that if you have hope then dreams can come true.


19. 19

cleaning house. It never stopped; some things were changing though thought Dot as she made her way to the bingo with the others.

John and Evie spent that afternoon walking along the promenade as couples did in those days. It cost nothing just to take a leisurely stroll when the weather was nice. Today in the height of August the beaches were full and Tynemouth open air swimming pool was buzzing with people.

Dougie Cook and Paula Becks parked the car on Front Street Tynemouth and then walked along East Street there were some people sitting outside of the Gibraltar Rock pub as they stood looking out at the Priory Castle and the old abbey. “Did you know that the abbey was used by the monks during the Norman Conquests?’

Yes, I heard that when I was in Ralphie’s we had this religious teacher called Joshua Smith who was always going on about our North East history and how much religion plays a big part of it. I got canned for telling him that more wars had been started all in the name of religion. “Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in said Paula.’

They passed a woman walking with two disabled young men and one of them said Good morning to them.’

“Good morning said Paula isn’t it beautiful today.’

“Yes, said both men one had a severe limp and he had a patch covering the lens of his spectacles. The other was being pushed in a wheelchair. “We just had some ice cream on the beach.’

“That was nice where did you get it from?’

“Over there pointed the man in the wheelchair to a little hut painted yellow and blue with Wall’s ice cream notices and buntings stuck on the front. Outside there were buckets and spades, beach balls, and fishing nets for sale.’

“Thank you said Paula as she lay hands on each man and said a silent prayer.’

Amen said the woman as Paula stood up. Paula replied” may the Lord bless and keep you.’ as she walked away.’

Paula headed towards the hut and the grey haired woman inside asked if she could help.

“Two cones please replied Paula.’

The woman scooped the ice cream from a large tub as Paula asked how long that the hut had been open. “Well it was first opened by my grandfather back in 1890 then my father took it on until 1956 when he died. I have been running it ever since. “What is it called?’

Tony and Sarah’s, we have another further along run by my daughter Kelly.’

“Keeping the family tradition going, I like that.’

My son likes to surf here in the summer. He is out there now with four of his friends.

Paula lifted her hand to her eyes then looked out into the waves as they swept onto the Long sands. “Yes I can see them; they seem to be having fun.’

“Have you ever done any surfing?’

“No replied Dougie; I’m a fisherman though.’

“Really do you have a boat?’

“No, I work on board a trawler but I hope to have my own boat one day.’

“Well good luck with that as the woman handed Paula the cones and gave her change.

They came to a bench further along and sat watching people jumping into the pool. A raven and a black headed gull fought over some tit bit on the grassy bank. Then they Heard a child crying because she had lost her bucket and spade on the beach. Some Chinese tourists were taking photographs of St George’s church in Cullercoats; then a swallow flew passed them; it circled the pool twisting and turning effortlessly on the 

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