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.


29. 29

John Ellis and Billy Bones were fishing out of Nolsey and had done well with three good hauls each with cod up to ten pounds in weight each. They radioed Eddie to ask how he was doing and Eddie told them about the net that that had got tangled up in which lost them precious fishing time. John told them that they would be heading back within the next hour ad that he’d see them in the Dolphin for a pint.

Eddie had only filled two hundred boxes so they would be fishing throughout the night. The net was shot and this time left out for two hours before hauling it in and this time they were rewarded with some big cod. It was five the next morning when the lads who were now exhausted; went to their bunks as the skipper headed for home. Dougie Cook lay in his bunk thinking about Paula it wouldn’t be long before he would be seeing her again. He wondered if she had missed him as much as he had missed her.’

After two hours Des Baldwin relieved the skipper and he went for a lie down. The weather had held out this time which was a blessing and they would make good time on the journey back. They had over twenty tons of good quality fish on board. All ready to take to market.


Olive Weir was hanging out her washing in the back garden of Marina Avenue;

There was a conversation going on with Minnie Partridge and Doreen Johnson about the sugar shortage. Apparently people were panic buying and many shop keepers had pushed the prices up to cash in. Ronnie Hancock never one to miss out on an opportunity bought several pallets of it from the wholesaler after a friend had tipped him off. He doubled the price of a two pound bag of granulated sugar. Making himself a tidy profit as people were either forced to buy it or go without.

“Nae bloody wonder’s they call him Robin Ronnie.’

“Robin’ bastard more like.’

“They reckon there is going to be a butter shortage next said Olive as she hung out a sheet on the line.’

“What ever next said Doreen yer na these buggers in government diven’t care as they diven’t gan withoot.’

“That bloody Macmillan will be oot on his arse in the next election; the sooner we get a labour leader in the better I say replied Olive.’

“Aye that Harold Wilson will take care of us; he smokes tabs and likes a pint so he won’t put the prices up in the budget.

“A diven’t na what I’m ganna do if wor Geordie doesn’t get a job; I’ve already taken oot a provi’ order oot and it’s ganna be Christmas soon and me kids won’t get nowt again this year.’

“Poor buggers, whey am in debt up to me elbows an aal mind. I had t’ hide behind the cooch when the rent man came knockin’ on me door last week.’

Wor Tommy went t the door after a telt him t tell him that a wasn’t in. stupid bugger opened the door and shooted “Me ma say’s she not in and slammed the door in his face.’

“Whey a nearly borst oot laughin’

“Well a haven’t a clue what t’ give wor lot for tea the neet as there’s nowt in the bloody hoose. The dole money the government gives you doesn’t last five minutes. Yer cannot gan t the bingo; and a can’t buy a packet of tabs and I’ve been gaspin’ for one.

“Yer haven’t got a spare few slices of bread in yor hoose have yer Minnie?’

“Whey I might have a few an a pan of broth yer can have. A waddn’t see the bairn’s gan hungry Doreen.’

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