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.


68. 68

That was beautiful Sheila did you write that?’

Yes; I write many songs.’

You have a lovely voice; I would like to learn how to play the guitar; would you teach me.’

“Yes of course, I am teaching Angela too.’

Sheila showed Paula how to play the chords and it wasn’t long before she was able to play the whole verse and chorus on her own.

When I go back at the week end I am going to buy myself a guitar from Windows in Newcastle.

“They can be expensive Paula but if you look in the Evening Chronicle you will pick one up fairly cheaply in the for sale feature.

Later that week Paula drove to Sacriston; she went to Holly Crescent where she paid forty pounds for a Yamaha guitar that had hardly been used. Mr Tony Parker had bought it two years previously for his daughter Emily but she didn’t take to it; she liked the piano better. There were some instruction books, a guitar strap, capo, guitar case, and tuner for the guitar all thrown in for the price. Tony wished her many hours of playing it. She placed it carefully into the boot of her car before thanking the young man and driving away.

When Sheila saw it she said that Paula had got a bargain as it was a lovely sounding instrument. Sheila had a twelve string Gibson but when the all played together the sound was incredible. Paula spent many hours learning syncopation and tablature.

Sheila taught her how to read music and six months after buying the guitar Paula could play almost anything. She had good ear and was able to tune the guitar herself.



Cezar made ready with Danek Chlebek as the first trawl was shot. They were three miles from the Coast of Nolsoy and four from the Roaring Venture.

Heniek Flipek had fixed the radio and Dougie kept Eddie up to speed on their progress. The weather was fairly light with swells of eight feet; there was rain forecast later that day. It would be a real test for Doug having to navigate in the rain but at least the swells were relatively light. Doug trawled for an hour and a half before signalling to Cezar that he was bringing in the nets.

This would be the test to prove to the other boats that he could be a good skipper and lead his boat and men to productive fishing grounds. He remembered where Eddie had cast his nets two years previously and he made a record of the coordinates in his log on the first page. Twenty minutes after the nets were being hauled. Doug looked out of his cabin window as the Cod end came on board. The rope at the bottom was released and the fish spewed on board. The catch was good with cod and haddock. He had four large halibut on board and plenty of good sized plaice too.

He radioed Eddie to tell him as the fish was sent down the chute to be filleted by the waiting men.’

“Good lad said Eddie; you are now a fisherman; see you back in Shields for a drink.’

Janko Gorski was in charge of boxing and icing the fish whilst Cezar and Danek got the net out again for a second trawl.

Donek, Heniek, and Basek worked away gutting fish after fish. They all began to sing

“Som, som, som, w stawie rybecki.’ (Fish, fish, fish, tiny little fish) The men were happy because they would be taking home money to feed their families. It had been a long time since these men had steady work so no wonders they were pleased. The second net came aboard one hour later and it was as good as the first.’

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