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.


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“The Outcast had been out some two hours and the long lines were in. The marker buoys were the only indication that there was nets out. Tom steered the boat with Chris Lorrimer and Steve Aplin making ready to bring the string of crab pots aboard. Once they had located them which Tom seemed to have some innate sense of guidance and was able to locate them in the worst of weathers; It was bitterly cold and both men banged their hands together to warm them up It was now mid December 1924 it would be Christmas soon. They had to make as much money as they could before the winter set in. It would be too dangerous to go out in rough seas even though Tom was an experienced skipper and this coble had been modified to withstand the bad weather conditions. They were all going to sail to the Isle of Barra to meet Margaret’s parents before the wedding. It was a journey which would take them several hours to reach. Tom had been checking the shipping forecast on the radio to ensure that they weren’t sailing into a storm.

“We had better take some warm clothing with us when we sail for Barra next week.’

It is very cold there at this time of year I’ve been told from Margaret.’

“Are we taking the long lines with us whilst we are there skipper?’

“I don’t think so Steve we’ can take crabs and lobsters though we can sell them on our way.

“I guess so.’ I hope the seas aren’t too rough out there then.’

“No worse than here I would say.’

Barra is on the southerly part of the Hebrides, it has a beach to the west so we can launch the boat there with the help of a neighbouring tractor from one of the farms.

“How big is the island?’

It’s about eight miles long and four wide Chris.’

“It’s bigger than I thought then.’

They talk Gaelic which is their first language so don’t be offended if they speak it when arrive. There are a few islands, Stornoway, Lewis, which is the capital and Belbecula. There are only 788 residents on the island; we are guests so be on your best behaviour you two.’

“Aye, aye skipper they both voiced.’

“Well you are my best men and I don’t want Margaret’s family or anyone else to think badly of us. North Shields is in the spotlight here, so let us show them how hospitable we can be.’ No drunken brawls snapper do you here me?’

“What you tellin’ me for what aboot Chris here?’

“Both of you; you spoil my wedding and you will feel my foot up your arses.’

“We will be the Epitome of best behaviour skipper don’t worry.’

“I know what you are like with drink in you.’

Come on Skipper the last time them blokes were askin’ for it.’

“Well it didn’t help when you told that Irishman to stop singing Irish songs.’

“Aye but hang on a minute skipper, he was the one who offered me outside.”

“Aye an it didn’t help that he was a big bastard as well as his pals and we got our arses kicked by him and his big navvy pals.’

“Cheeky bastard came back in the bar after an aal and started singing fuckin’ Danny Boy over an over as well.’

“You were antagonising them by singing the Blaydon races back at them Steve.’

“Hahaha laughed Chris out loud; it was comical when Steve saw the size of the guy when he stood up. “ Hey I nearly shit mesel when I saw the size of his pals.

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