A Place Beyond The Priory

 "A Place Beyond the Priory " This is a story about Life in North Shields during the 1900's-1920's Tom Farrow is a third generation coble fisherman, Who meets and falls in love with a young herring girl who has travelled from the isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides looking for work. Margaret Linnie, her two friends Kerstin McDonald and Beth Munro all end up on the gutting line in Tyne Brand - their unscrupulous foreman Albert Mortimer treats all the girls on the line like animals including his wife Lizzie who bares him 11 children. forced into a marriage she did not want, Lizzie is abused by Albert for his own sexual gratification. She was in love with a young Greek boy called Leonidas Kostalas whom she had known from her days at school and lost her virginity to but her father will not allow them to marry- this is a story of love and betrayal and will keep you riveted until the last page is read.


15. 15

 The Yorkshire puddings were a little burnt but they didn’t complain they just cut away the offending parts and ate the bits that weren’t. The cabbage, carrot’s and peas were alright but the roast potatoes were hard in the middle; they were left on the plate

“I have some apple pie and a bit of custard for afters if you would like.’

“Lovely said Margaret hoping that her dessert was better than the dinner that they had tried to eat.’

Val removed the plates and scraped the remaining food into a bowl that she fed her English bull terrier with. The dog was called Fletcher, why she would name a dog after an arrow maker she did not know and never asked. The black and white dog promptly wolfed down the food. It was obviously used to Mrs Valerie Harper’s cooking.

The first mouthful of apple pie and custard confirmed that the landlady was no cook and as soon as Mrs Harper had gone through to the bar to serve a customer Margaret scraped the bowls into the dogs bowl and Fletcher ate it up.

“No wonders that bloody dog is so fat; the customers must all feed it the crap that Mrs Harper puts out said Kerstin.

They poured their own tea and added milk and sugar then gently stirred.’

“At least the tea is nice said Beth with a long face.’

“What was that said Mrs Harper as she returned.’

“I was just saying that it was a pity that we would be missing your tea tonight.’

“My you made short work of those puddings didn’t you?’

Fletcher stood there licking its lips; it had some lumpy custard on its jowls and Margaret hoped that the dog would lick it off before Mrs Harper saw it.

Gerald my husband; has a delicate stomach you know and doesn’t eat much;  

 “He goes to see his poor mother every night.’ She’s ill you know; I run the pub and hotel whilst he’s away.’ I think it’s all the stress of his mother’s illness that’s upsetting his stomach you know.’

Margaret could see why he wasn’t present at meal times.

They finished their tea then excused themselves and went to their room. The three of them were sharing the one room to save money as they only got eight shillings a week wages. The room was costing them two shillings a week each with meals thrown in. but the meals were being thrown at the dog mostly.

The only thing that Mr Harper didn’t burn was a hard boiled egg. She said that she could never get a soft boiled egg right; the toast was always burnt as well.

“We have got to find a better place to stay Margaret or we will all starve to death.’

 “I will ask Tom tonight, he may be able to tell us where we can stay with good food.’

They washed and changed then came down stairs and out of the door. Walking up the bank to train station Beth said I hope that they show up tonight.’

“They will replied Kerstin, men just cannot resist my good looks you know; imitating Mrs Harper who had a habit of saying “You Know’ at the end of nearly every sentence.’

Both Margaret and Beth laughed out loud as they turned the corner of Nile Street which led to Russell Street where the picture house was.

Beth spotted Chris who was standing and smoking a cigarette, he waved when he caught sight of her and she waved back at him.

There was no sign of Tom or Steve as they approached.’

“Are you on your own Beth asked?’

No, Tom and Steve have gone to get the tickets to get in. There’s a queue you see.’

Oh, good idea.’

They all walked around the corner and there was a queue right along Russell Street.

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