Yee Nivvor Knaa

     There is not a more imbalanced town in all of the UK than the town of Alston, when it comes to Men:women ratio. Perhaps its half namesake 'Bere Alston' might stake claim of it. Together they have the most imbalanced Men:Women ratio (17:1) Women are rare commodity at Alston. Even the lads at the town wanted to address this issue and they set up a website appealing for the regeneration of the society at Alston. Vincent Pearle was one among them.

"Hey Vinnie isn't time for yer work at the market" his dad, Tim pearle shouted at him.

"Aye dad! yee mind yer own, I knaa" said an annoyed Vinnie. Who left the place as his mam was yelling " Hey pet! Take yer breakfast pet!"

Tim was very worried about Vinnie, as he was growing restless and lonely day by day "Look how wor laddie is taakin". It has been a long time since they had a father and son time.

   Vinnie was working as an accountant in one of the metal shops in the market. After all the region was known for its rich minerals and was a mining area. He would work from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening. That day he finished up early and went into the Turks Inn near the market place. His eyes caught a blonde lassie. It was his ex, Mae, who had dumped him. She was with a tall, well built guy. He just could not watch her being with another guy that soon. He then stormed off the inn.

   He went to his room, shut the door and was thinking hard watching the ceiling of his room. He just couldn't be there. He wore the coat and then took off to his favourite hang out when he was low, The Alston Station. At 1000m above sea level it is quite a high place to be there. Perhaps that would make him feel high when he is actually feeling low. He would gaze the stars and the majestic South Tyne. Alston Station once used to host trains that carry limestone, coal and zinc from this area to Carlisle. It was a terminus between Newcastle and Haltwhistle. Nowadays its just a heritage line and a tourist spot.

He was sitting in one of the benches at the station. Suddenly he felt a hand touching his shoulder and his balls were in his mouth. "Divvent fear me laddie it's yer dad" consoled Tim. "Why wont yee leave me alaine" Vinnie was seemingly annoyed at his dad's presence "Yee divvent knaa what i feel" Tim's voice was raised and replied "I divvent knaa what yee feel? Ah knaa! Ah knaa!"

1975, Alston Moor, Alston Station

  The Train carrying the miners from Newcastle was arriving at the station. A pale guy with black hair got down at Alston "hoo, Where's the netty" He was asking for the toilet to the station master.
"There's the toilet" the station master Mcklusky showed him the way to the toilet.

The Train was about to start. Tim Pearle was in a hurry as the train was starting its journey to Carlisle, he thanked  Mcklusky and alighted the train on the move. While doing so, he saw a pretty lass sitting in the cabin. He was waving at her like he was waving at Mcklusky. The girl was smiling back at him. He was leaving for Carlisle to carry out his mining job.

"Hey chief, put me in alston mines i'll work yonder. Put me there! Put me there" Tim was asking his Chief Mr Macintosh.

"Okay Tim, I'll put you there but what will i get? Are you ready for a wage cut?" Macintosh asked jokingly.

"Ah'll get yee a laddie to call yee uncle Macintosh" said Tim. Two weeks later he was posted at Alston. He stayed there along with the other workers.

The next day, he went by to Mcklusky's office. No one was around but for the pretty lass.

"hoo, what's yer name? Ahm Tim", Tim tried to make a conversation.

"I'm Sara, daughter of Mr Mcklusky and i dont understand a word you are saying" retorted Sara.

"I am Geordie I am a toon nar Newcastle" as Tim tried hard to speak in posh recieved pronunciation.

"Miss, Would like to have dinner with me tonight?" asked Tim.

Sara said that she would and said "your 'Recieved Pronunciation' is a mockery, just tone down your geordie". As they were talking, Mcklusky entered in and then Tim told that he was working at Alston and had a short conversation with McKlusky.

As months grew by, Sara grew fond of Tim's boorishness and Tim, Sara's tenderness. They say “unlike poles attract”, it was happening live here. Mcklusky didnt approve of their relationship. He refused that he wouldnt let her girl marry a miner who is at best, a boor. Sara argued that she could change him. Mcklusky made a vow that if she managed their community accept him at the the ball just a week from then, he would consider.

Sara was trying hard to change Tim, from a boor to a gentleman. He taught him how to walk, exchange pleasantaries, keep a smiling face when they are actually mad at the person? Sara said "Lets start with 'Would you care for some tea?', now repeat!
"Waad yee care fre sam tea!" Sara lost it and yelled "Not in geordie you fool in proper english" It was getting tougher and tougher as she was teaching etiquettes, perhaps the toughest was to make him dance. He stepped on her feet plenty of times.

The day arrived when Sara had to present Tim to her community. Sara was waiting for Tim to arrive and she was very anxious. There he came, clean shaven, with a boe, vest and a nice suit to go with it. He looked one with her community but that was only a part of the problem. He had to mingle with them. He went to the place where all the men were standing and introduced himself. "A toast fre Alston" he said. People where staring at him and Sara quickly came to the rescue "A toast for Tim's attempt at geordie mockery". Sara was whispering "Ask me for dance! Right now!". Tim grabbed Sara's hand held her by her hips and majestically started dancing. They were truly the apple of their eyes. They looked perfect together.

Tim was enormously happy, as everything was going as per the plan. He got bit carried away with the booze. One became two, two became four and it started multiplying. Tim was totally drunk and he approached the stage and the band stopped playing. When a person drinks he does not only vomit food but also the truth.

“Hey fowks I’m just a miner trying te fit in so tha I could marry Sara. Yee leik it or not I will marry Sara”

Sara quickly pulled him off the stage but the damage had been done. Mcklusky had a smug “I told you so” look. Sara took Tim to his room at the mansion where the workers stayed.

The next morning Tim with a bad headache tried to meet Sara. Mcklusky confronted him “Hey geordie! You are not getting my daughter, she doesnt want to see you, get away!”

Tim's bad headache and anxiousness to see Sara and apologise made him throw a punch at Mcklusky and he went down screaming. Sara came rushing out and yelled at Tim “You boor! get away I dont want to see you again” A heart broken Tim went back to his place.

Tim was posted at haltwhistle for 3 weeks. Rumours were doing rounds that people where getting laid off and Alston Station was getting closed and that they are unmanning the stations, that means no Station masters. The were gradually closing down the route because the roads unusable during winters. Three weeks had passed and Tim got laid off. Tim returned only to know that Mcklusky and Sara had left Alston on the last service that commenced on May 1976. Tim was seated in one of benches at Alston sobbing over him losing his job and love.

Tim told all of this to Vinnie. Vinnie was caught unaware that his father had got such a past.

“It wez actually the same time in May ah wez bubblin(crying) leik yee in this exact bench. Yee knaa laddie Sara left me cos I was a boor an then yer mam held on to me cos I was a gentleman. since then we have lived a happy leif. crazy world! Yee nivvor knaa  what comes next in leif, laddie dont lose hope” Tim wiped his tears and both walked back home.

It was an emotional night for both father and son. Vinnie was very happy that they opened up to each other. When you share sorrows to others, the burden in your heart decreases and you sleep hard. That is what he did that night.

It was 10 am the next day. Vinnie was still in bed. The phone was ringing, his mother picked up and woke Vinnie.

 “Hey pet! there’s someone on the phone fre yee, pet!”

Vinnie reluctantly took the receiver. “Hi am Adele from Middleborough. I saw your profile on the Alston regeneration society website and i quite like it and your geordie. Are we good here? Can we meet?” Someone had seen his profile in the regeneration society website and had called him.

Vinnie was shocked pleasantly and he repeated what his father had said last night “Yee nivvor Knaa what will come next in leif” and continued his conversation with the woman.

Credits Image - Alston Station by Wandering Soul Courtesy - 

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