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.


9. 9

Good, stay on that course Billy; pack those fingers in ice and keep pressure on the wound. Don’t remove the bandage or there will be claret all over the boat and he will bleed out. Keep his arm up as high as he can, hold it above his heart over.’

“Cheers Sainty; I owe you one.’


Right get off the blower whilst I call the coast guard,’ over

“Okay Sainty, see you for a pint in Shields,’ out.’

Eddie called in the Mayday and gave the co-ordinates they said that they would get a helicopter  out as soon as they could and would get back to him as soon as they had sight of the vessel.

“It was some two and a half hours later when Jimmy was winched aboard a Sea king helicopter and airlifted to hospital along with his severed fingers in a bag of fish ice.

The surgeons managed to reattach two of his fingers but he had lost his little finger.’

He would need months of physiotherapy and Jimmy Marsden would never hold a filleting knife in his right hand again.


The next morning the rain had stopped and the sea was a lot calmer; they could now make good time back to North Shields. Dougie was glad to be getting back home especially as he’d won over thirty quid off them all playing “Chase the Ace”

There was again high expectation as the boat past the Shetlands and they knew that they would be home soon. Eddie made a list of the supplies that they would need for their next trip away. All the fish had to be unloaded placed on the market and sold.


On the Friday morning they passed the bar at Tynemouth. The seagulls followed the boat into port and they reported to the harbourmaster that came aboard to check the boat over before allowing them to unload their catch. The gut became a hive of activity as poppers and hand carts made ready to take the fish away once it had been sold.

As expected the fish made twelve pounds a box and all the lads received their wages then headed off to the Dolphin for a few pints. They sat in the corner as Dougie got the round in with his card winnings. He bought himself some crisps and peanuts then went to the toilet. Whilst he was away to the toilet they squashed the crisp bag and ate his peanuts.’ He came back and looked at the empty peanut bags

Dougie shook his head then brought out another pack of crisps and two packets of nuts.’

“I take it no one wanted the crisps then.’

He opened the bag of squashed crisps and tipped the contents into his mouth and chewed. He had a big smirk on his face as he then opened the ones he’d bought for himself and began to eat those.

Eddie came into the bar with Billy and the crew of the Provider 11. Pint lads said Billy and everyone supped nearly a pint then nodded as he walked to the bar. Margaret Harman served him and his crew brought the drinks over for the lads.

“Cheers lads it’s a good job that Sainty here was at hand to help out. Jimmy is not going to lose all of his fingers. He’s going to need lots of physiotherapy.

“Aye the first exercise they give you to do is make you eat a piping hot vindaloo curry then they strap your good arm behind your back so you have to use the bad one to scratch yer arse with. “ Heals in no time said Des.’

The crew all saw the funny side and laughed hysterically as they tried to imagine Jimmy trying to scratch his arse. At half past nine Dougie was about to leave when Des shouted for him to sit down.’

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