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Sunday, July 05, 2020

5 Locations in Pearl of Pit Lane

Would you like to know more about the locations I use in my novels? I hope that if you read the book, or if you've read it already, that these pictures might give some context and background and add a bit of depth to the locations I've written about.

Pearl of Pit Lane is available now in paperback, hardback, e-book and audiobook and you can buy it here or if you'd like a signed copy and some free bookmarks, you can order direct from me here.

Here we go with my top 5 favourite locations in Pearl of Pit Lane.

The Colliery Inn

The Colliery Inn is a Ryhope pub that always used to be the last pub on the colliery bank before Ryhope turned into Tunstall Bank and then Silksworth. And because the pub was at the top of the bank, it was nicknamed The Top House, the name by which it's now known.  The Colliery Inn plays a pivotal role in 
Pearl of Pit Lane for the main character Pearl and her aunt Annie. It is where landlord Bobby Mac grieves the death of his wife Ella and where Bobby's son arrives to take over the reins. But how does Bobby's life become entwined with that of Pearl and Annie's? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Watson's Grocers

I based Watson's Grocers on a tiny little shop called Straughan's which used to sit at the southern edge of Ryhope village green. Here it is in all its glory. When I was a child, and my family would head to the beach on a warm summer's day, we'd all pile into Straughan's en-route to stock up on lemonade, sandwiches and sweets. If I close my eyes I can conjur up the smell of the shop, a sweet and dense sherbet smell.  

I thought I had created Watson's Grocers in my mind, but when I was talking to Brian Ibinson, a member of Ryhope Heritage Society, he told me that there had been a grocers called Watson in the village. I was dumbfounded. I still don't know if I came up with Watson's Grocers because I must have read it somewhere and it had lodged in my sub-conscience or whether it was just a wonderful coincidence. 

Water Trough on Village Green

The water drinking trough on the village green was placed there for use by the horses, sheep and cows who grazed on the village green. It's still there to this day. And in 
Pearl of Pit Lane it plays an important role when Pearl runs away from her aunt Annie to try to make a new life for herself. But can she survive on her own?

St Paul's Church

St. Paul's church in Ryhope village features in all of my books set in Ryhope in 1919. In some books, the church is there to celebrate a wedding or christening, or to witness a funeral. But in Pearl of Pit Lane the church plays a different kind of role, that I won't spoil for you here. The vicar at the time I write my novels was Canon Knight and I've used his name as inspiration for my fictional vicar of Reverend Daye (Knight/Daye ...  Night/Day ... see what I did there?)

The Grand Electric Cinema

The Grand Electric Cinema was simply known as The Grand. It's still there, still in Ryhope, although it's now in the process of being moved brick by brick to be rebuilt at Beamish outdoor museum. In Pearl of Pit Lane the cinema plays an important role for Pearl's friend Joey, a character I adored writing and one I'd like to bring back to a future novel.

You might also like to read my blog post Prostitutes and Proggy Mats in Pearl of Pit Lane

And if you'd like to find out more about locations in my Ryhope-set novels, here you go: 
Pearl of Pit Lane is available now in paperback, hardback, e-book and audiobook and you can buy it here or if you'd like a signed copy and some free bookmarks, you can order direct from me here.

Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

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