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.


89. 89

It was nearly four a.m. in the morning that Martha called it a day. She had all the information that she needed now including copies of the photos of the deceased.

She thanked the desk sergeant before leaving. She drove home to her house in Jesmond near to the Dene; a place that she still held dear. There was a photo of Ben from the newspapers and she gazed upon it.

“Don’t worry my love; I’m going to get you out she said quietly.’   

She placed the picture next to her clock then undressed and got into bed.’

Martha had lived on her own for five years now she was paying a mortgage on this three bedroom terraced house. She had bought it because the bedroom window looked onto the waterfall. Turning out the light she kissed his photo then put it back.





The Outcast finally made it to Barra; it was just after nine o’clock when they arrived and Steve, Chris, and Tom secured the boat then helped the girls up the iron steps and onto the pier. The wooden gate led to a gravel path. Margaret was pointing out places of interest as they walked along. Most of the houses had grey slate roofs and white limestone painted walls. The wooden windows frames were painted blue; they had very thick glass to keep out the cold winds. There was about a foot of snow.

Margaret knocked on a door of the local doctor and asked if he would phone the Castle bay pub to see if her father was there so he could come and pick them up.

 Margaret introduced the doctor to the men who then shook each one by the hand

Come in please said Doctor Hamish Massinger; it freezing out there. The doctor dialled the number in the hallway then asked to speak with Richard Linnie.

There was a silence and then Richard came to the phone. “Listen I’ve got you’re daughter here; yes she not long arrived I can only drop four of them off in my car can you send someone else to pick up the others.

“Twenty minutes, okay see you then.’

“Twenty minutes he said; you might as well have a seat by the fire and warm yourselves you look chilled to the bone. So how have you all been?’

Fine doctor; Kerstin here got herself married.

“Congratulations, it doesn’t seem five minutes since I brought you all into the world now look at you.’

“I’m to be married on Barra next spring doctor.’

“Really; this is a cause for a celebration.’

The doctor pulled out a bottle of single malt whiskey and poured them all a drink.

Kerstin gave hers to Steve when the doctor stood up to make a toast.

“To the safe return of our family.’

In Barra everyone was related through marriage to someone; the doctor was her grandmother’s sister’s son. The men repeated the toast then downed the whiskey which burned the back of their throats; but left a warming glow in their stomachs.

Has there been much snow doctor asked Tom.’

Not really the bad weather hasn’t really hit us yet.’

“We get gusts of up to ninety miles per hour here and the snow can reach the tops of the roofs. Every house has a large snow shovel so they can dig there way out if need be.

“The food is brought in by sea plane only when it is safe to fly.’

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