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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“Michael Norton had always had a thing for her she knew that. The thing was she was not attracted to him. Yes, he was charming and tall with film star looks but he wasn’t Ben; no man could make her feel the way he did.

Martha had been out on dinner dates with other men but she had not slept with anyone other than Ben. “She came close with Frank Walker at a Christmas party at the university in Sheffield where she was studying to become a lawyer. She had had a lot to drink that evening and Frank had offered to take her back to her digs. Once inside the small bedsit he tried it on and was groping her. She knew enough to keep him off and brought her knee sharply up into his groin. Frank doubled up on the floor in agony.

“You know where the door is snarled Martha.’ as she went to her room. She heard him slam the door on his way out moments later.

“She had thought about no other man but Ben since he was convicted.’ She had told him that she would wait for him as he was led away by the police. She was his and his alone; no other man would take his place.


Two weeks after her conversation with Michael Norton He rang to ask if they could talk; he said that he had news from Professor Edward Drain regarding the Leonard case. They agreed to meet in the Golden Duck, a quaint little Cantonese restaurant on Westgate Road.

Martha was early; she found a seat and ordered a glass of Spritzer whilst she waited for Michael to arrive.

He was punctual and walked up to her table; Martha stood up and greeted him as he Undid his over coat and placed it on the back of his seat. The waiter came over and asked if he would like his coat hung up in the cloakroom.

“Yes thanks he replied and he then ordered a bottle of sauvignon.

Then he picked up the menu. He already knew what he wanted. He usually ate the chicken and sweet corn soup as a starter then barbecued pork ribs and lemon chicken with mushrooms and pepper sauce and fried rice. Martha ordered battered king prawns and salad; followed by chicken, noodles in a curry sauce with peppers and onions. Michael ordered his then sat back and looked at Martha who was now more beautiful than he remembered. She was wearing a light blue half sleeved dress it had a rounded neck and she wore a string of pearls. She was wearing a gold watch and a cheap bracelet on her wrist that Benny had bought her and she refused to take off.

She wore white stiletto’s that accentuated her long legs. Her hair was French plaited and hung loosely over one shoulder. She looked like a Hollywood actress sitting in front of him and she took his breath away.

“I must be the envy of every man in here tonight he said as he looked into her sapphire eyes and her near perfect smile that showed a set of brilliant white teeth. Martha didn’t smoke and carried a toothbrush and a miniature tin of toothpaste with her in her bags everywhere.

She ate delicately and Michael couldn’t help himself as he watched her every move.

Martha was aware of his staring a blushed a little.

“It was Martha who spoke first; she had waited for news all day.

“So has the professor looked at the case? I sent him copies of the trial for his perusal.’

Yes, and he says he would like to speak with you when you have time.

“I’m free tomorrow afternoon if he will see me. Michael slid a card with the professor’s number on it. She took it and placed it in her bag.’

“Did the professor give you any indication that this was a mistrial and that Ben needs psychiatric help?’

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