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.


17. 17

“There is a spare room apparently but I don’t know how many beds there are. We are moving in tonight or we will end up having to pay Mrs Harper for another week if we don’t.’

“That’s great news; at least we can cook some decent food to eat.’

“We will all take our turns each night to cook and we must keep Tom’s house clean too, saying that he is allowing to stay.’

“How much is he charging us to live in his house?’

“Tom didn’t want to take anything at all, however we will all contribute towards food and the coal. It is only fitting.’

“I agree said Beth,’

“Me too replied Kerstin, anywhere has got to be better than The Golden Fleece.’

“Right then it’s settled we move in tonight. Leave Mrs Harper to me I will just tell her that there has been an illness in the family and we are leaving to go back to Barra on the late train from Newcastle tonight.’

“You are a clever one Margaret; what if she see’s us working on the quay.’

“She won’t, we work inside don’t we; when we come out we can walk up the stairs and onto Penman Street. From there it is but a short walk to Tom’s house.’

“We just have to be careful when we go shopping that’s all said Beth.

“Anyway she can be spotted a mile away wi that wee dog so don’t worry.’

Tom informed the lads of his plan to move the girls into his house and that they had accepted.’

They came back to their seats from the ladies room as the main feature was about to start.

“Thank you Tom said both Beth and Kerstin as they sat back down in their seats.’

“You told them then?’

“Aye a did that.’

“How did they take it?’

“They said anywhere was better than the Harper’s place.’

“Good said Tom as he took hold of Margaret’s hand again in the darkness.

Margaret squeezed it and then smiled at Tom as Harry Ham and Henry Vibart starred in the Four Feathers.’

It was a tale of alleged cowardice in Sudan during General Gordon’s relief expedition in 1884. The film was very good and everyone applauded once it was over.

 The lights came up and Tom stood in the aisle to allow Margaret and the other girls to get out they got outside and the cool air hit them. Margaret turned up the collar on her coat and Tom put his arm around her shoulder as did Steve and Chris with the other girls.’

“I have an idea; why don’t you take Beth and Kerstin to my house and Margaret and I will go to the Golden Fleece and pick up your cases. “ It seems daft us all walking down there.’

“Great idea Tom, they walked down Bedford Street then turned left past the police station then walked further along to Queen Street. Tom left them and he and Margaret walked through Dockwray Square then down the stairs onto the fish quay.’

“It’s going to be a bugger coming back up with the cases said Tom.’

“Och I ken but if we just take our time it won’t seem as bad.’

They walked along the cobbled street past the wooden doll monument.

“Who was that woman asked Margaret?’

“She wasn’t anyone in particular she just represents every herring girl who’s ever worked down here.’

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