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.


43. 43

“Do you want the truth?

“Is she fit for scrapping; I mean she has been out of the water a long time.’

“Well Mrs Robinson, the engine which is the main concern that I have is on its way out.’ it is going to cost about seven thousand pounds to renew. Then there is the wheelhouse which is too small and will need altering and a new winch so we are talking somewhere in the region of ten thousand pounds to get her sea worthy.

How much were you asking for her?

“Well I wanted twenty thousand but I am open to offers Desmond.’

“I don’t know Douglas and I are reluctant to pay that for her Mrs Robinson.’

“Please call me Norma; how much would you be prepared to pay for her then.’

Des rubbed his chin then held out both palms and said we could only offer you ten thousand pounds.’

“But that is only half of what I’m asking for her.’

“Yes but if we paid you the full asking price it would cost us too much to put her right and to be fair you would only get two thousand pounds to scrap her.’

“I would rather my husbands boat be made sea worthy than see her scrapped. At least someone would benefit from sailing her. She wiped her eyes then shook hands with Des.

“I will take your offer Desmond and I hope that she gives you as much pleasure as she gave my husband John.’

“Will you accept a cheque Mrs Dillon asked Dougie?’

“Yes a cheque will be fine and the yard has been paid for another six months so you can work here. You may have to pay the boat yard to refloat her once you have finished but I’m sure that you don’t mind paying that.’

Dougie wrote out the cheque and handed it to Norma who folded it and placed it into her hand bag.

“I will leave it to you then said the lady as she went to her car and drove away.’

“You old dog said Dougie; you did it.’

“You didn’t cheat that woman out of money did you asked Paula?

“Well she wasn’t worth twenty grand put it that way said Des as they set to work on her straight away. There were some tools in the cupboard that they were going to rip out and the wood with to convert the cabin. There was several gallons of paint in the cupboard too so there would be no need to buy any. Dougie set to work with Des and Paula’s help unscrewing the wooden door off and ripping out the wooden shelves to make room for more boxes. They worked until after three o’clock that day and had got a fair bit done. The back of the wheel house had been opened up using a saw and the frame work made from the wooden shelving in the hold. They would need some quarter inch plated glass for the windows but it had given them at least four feet more room. The cupboard door was made into a small table  that could be used to lay charts on  Paula and Dougie stripped down the old varnish down to the wood then sanded it down whilst Des worked on the engine. Within an hour she was purring like a cat. Every movable part on board was either oiled or greased.

They finished up for the day then headed into Blyth to the “Waterford arms for Dinner.’ Dougie said that he would take care of the bill and told des to order anything he liked.’

“In that case, I am going for a nice juicy steak with all of the trimmings.’

“Sounds good to me said Paula.’

“The waitress came over and Dougie ordered three steaks all well done.’

“Would you like something to drink asked the waitress?’

Yes please could we have a bottle of you finest champagne?’

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