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.


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“Wonderful; I feel as if I’m walking around in a daze half the time. I don’t have a care in the world and that nothing can ever hurt me.’

“I never really knew what love was until I met you Doug but I’m glad that I did.’

“Me too he said as they sat holding hands together.’

“Let me know how you got on at University wont you.’

“How can I do that when you will be out at sea silly?’

“I forgot; now if I don’t get out tomorrow I will come around then you can tell me can’t you.’


They spent another evening together just watching television together and happy in each other’s company.’

Then she left him again and he felt lonely as he lay in his bed thinking about her.



Charlie Cervantes, George Clark, and Eddie Turner were at the allotment Gardens feeding their pigeons before heading of to the Neptune Yard in Howdon. They let out the birds at five thirty each morning and they flew around and around until Eddie shook his tin with some corn in; they all flew down again to be fed.’ Lillian his wife had put up his sandwiches and a Norrie pie which he liked along with a flask of Camp Coffee. Once the birds had been fed they locked up the pigeon hut and they took the bus at six thirty to work. All three men were arc welders and had served their time together. They shared the same passion for racing pigeons; they had won many ribbons and trophies for their birds. Each Saturday morning a wagon would collect all the birds to race and they would be taken over to France. The clocks were set and the time recorded when the birds returned by placing a rubber band on the birds leg into a sealed box upon its return to the loft. It recorded the number and the time in which the bird had returned. The mysteries surrounding how homing pigeons were able to navigate their way back was discovered in the early 1900’s when it was found that homing pigeons used magnetoreception to guide their way home. Some birds were able to maintain a speed of 50 miles per hour all the way back from France and in some shorter races the top birds flew at 90 miles per hour. A bag of corn weighing a stone cost you seven and a tanner (75p) and it lasted a week; it was a relatively cheap hobby once you had made your hut and bought your pigeon crees. Many birds were raised from champion stock and were worth a lot of money. There was a lot of friendly rivalry amongst pigeon fanciers. A lot of them spent most of their lives around the pigeon lofts and would attend the shows held in the clubs around the area where they would receive prize money for the best birds in show. Another Hobby that took off in the early sixties was keeping a tropical fish. These exotic fish set off many a home in the Ridges. Red sword fish, gourami’s, Neon tetras, guppies, and Siamese fighting fish could be seen swimming around in peoples homes. Gerry Burt who owned the fish and chip shop near West Percy road had one of the biggest collections of tropical fish in the area. His tank was nearly sixteen feet long and five feet high. The aquarium held many gallons of water; Gerry prided himself on his fish tank that looked more like it was in some coral reef than inside his living room he would sit for hours just watching them swim around which was very therapeutic in some ways.

 Gerry would help many other enthusiasts with his vast knowledge. Especially about fish diseases which was common in some species. He had a vast library of books which he had read over the years and would give people advice on how to treat the diseases. Some of these fish were worth a lot of money in those days and Gerry also 

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