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Original Writing Coursework Gcse

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Longstone

The wind howled and huge waves struck the break water at Seahouses harbour. The small fisherman’s cottages that made up most of the coastal village shook with each onslaught from the vicious storm. Most of the men of the village had gone for the safety of their local pub, Ye Olde Ship, to wait out the storm.

However, no one touched their drink now, as the patrons of Ye Olde Ship were staring out of the harbour side window and over the stormy sea. There loomed the Farne Island. Normally a place of ill-repute, avoided by local fishermen and regarded with fear, today it looked doubly threatening. Ten foot waves pounded the cliff face of the north side and lightening flashed above. The rocks clawed at the sky, hungry for the blood of sailors. Many lives had been lost around the Farne Island, there were countless submerged rocks and dangerous currents waiting to catch the unwary and carry them to a watery grave.

But that was not what was commanding the attention of the men in the tavern. No it was Longstone lighthouse sitting upon the Farne Island that was so captivating. Tall and imposing it was a lifeline to those daring and foolhardy enough to try and navigate the dangerous waters surrounding the Island. The light was preserved by the three lighthouse keepers who lived on the island; they performed any necessary repairs and generally maintained the light. However Longstone was not performing its duty. It was pointed directly at Seahouses and flashing out a message in the code used by the lighthouse keepers: Help us! Then quite suddenly the light died.

George Shiel was not a happy man, being dragged from his bed and told he had to go out in a raging storm, in the middle of the night by the harbour master was not his idea of fun; but the light must go on. Who else had his knowledge and expertise? Who else could navigate the waters around the Island in a storm? No one, so there he was, pulling on his fisherman’s waterproof overalls and attaching his bright yellow hat.

George was quite a large man, just over six foot, and he had the weather-beaten complexion that comes with growing up by, and working a living on the sea. Rosy cheeks and blue piercing eyes accompanied a balding pate, and there was a bulge around his middle that wasn’t there a few years back. “Relaxed muscle,” he called it!

There were none in the village who could match his skills when it came to navigating the dangerous waters around Seahouses, which is why he was chosen to perform this mission. If any ships or trawlers happened to pass by now they would be in dire straits, for without the light to guide them, passing through the shoals would be near impossible.

As he miserably trudged down the rain-soaked, cobbled street he was joined by his crew, Jack and David Shiel. Jack was a spitting image of George, but with more grey in his hair and less of a strut in his walk. David was a huge man, around George’s height, but at least six stone heavier. However looking into his eyes you could see a resemblance to the other two. Being a small village nearly everyone was related, most people at any time were someone’s cousin however many times removed, which resulted in a close-knit, almost clannish community consisting of the “Shiels”, “Dawsons” and “Rutters”. Anyone who wasn’t related but lived or worked there was known as an “interloper” pronounced interlouwper by the locals.

The three Shiels continued their reluctant passage down to the harbour, each were silent, pondering on what could have happened for the light to be extinguished. Anxiety rising, silence provided a faзade to mask their fear. The last time this had happened was too traumatic to contemplate…

As they turned the corner to the harbour, the gale force wind hit them full in the face. Without the shelter of the buildings the men felt the full fury of the storm. They staggered down the harbour hill and out towards the slip way, where the Golden Gate was waiting.

It was a small boat, consisting of a cramped wheelhouse and a seven foot deck. Its varnished wood gleamed and the powerful roar of the engine was drowned out by the shriek of the wind. It laboured through the mountainous sea like a sick whale and the bail pump was being sorely tested by the torrential rain and the huge waves crashing over the deck. George and his men were crammed into the wheelhouse, fighting desperately with the wheel to make the boat head where they wanted it to go; any error now would almost certainly cost them their lives. George loved this boat but the familiar smell of diesel, damp wood and old fish failed to comfort him as it usually did; he was unable to stem the feeling of unease rising in his stomach.

The progress was agonisingly slow; the voyage alone would have terrified most sane people out of their wits. Every so often they would

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