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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June 1969 saw Paula and Dougie married by the Reverend Ralph Mason The Dock Hotel was sold and with the money that her mother left her they bought a house near the Park Hotel in Tynemouth. Dougie Cook learned to drive and bought his own mini cooper, a red coloured one. The Christian continued sailing out of the Tyne with the other boats moored there. Basek, Cezar, Donek, Heniek, Danek, and Janko worked for Dougie for the next twenty years they then bought their own boat which they called “Spirit of Gdansk” Basek got more of his friends to work with him and Dougie and they became friends for the rest of their lives. In 1972 Paula got her degree in theology she travelled to Kenya and worked there as a missionary for three years before working within her own church. In 1975 they had a baby girl who they named Minnie, Charlotte Cook. Ron Lee brought his five year old son called Charlie over and they spent a trip out on the Roaring Venture. Charlie loved it and wants to be a fisherman when he grew up. They never caught Minnie Beck’s killers; the theory was that she had thrown out some Russian sailors and they had came back as she was closing and beat her to death before robbing the place.

Sheila Hamil and Angela Maughan continue to work as missionaries building schools and teaching in Cambodia.





The houses were all re-modernised by the end of 1976 in the Ridges and the name of the Estate changed to the Meadowell. Nearly all the street names were changed and the place lost its identity. Gone was the close knit community that once was. Many shops closed Rutherford’s Potsies, Harry Newham’s, John Day’s fruit shop, The Library, Gibson’s wool shop. The Hadrian store Fine fare all went in the late 1970’s. 2016 Hoults the pork butchers is now run by Bob Mather his wife Carol Hoult and his sons still continue to serve the folk of the Meadowell Estate after the death of Mrs Hoult. The people who live there still struggle to survive. They now look for a modern day Moses to lead the Ridgalites out of poverty.









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