Our Streets Are Numbered - Ribbon Road
A behind the scenes look at the years since the Miners Strike and pit closure in a Durham mining town
Our Streets Are Numbered is a powerful film and music performance project between songwriter Brenda Heslop, her band Ribbon Road and photographer Carl Joyce, looking at life in the town of Horden in Co. Durham since the 1980s.
This project comes from Brenda and Geoff Heslop's work as Artists in Residence in Durham University Geography Dept, looking at social housing issues in the Numbered Streets, ex-colliery houses in Horden, Co.Durham, it follows Ribbon Roads last project No Redemption Songs about the Miners Strike in nearby Easington Colliery.
When the pit closed in 1986, the houses were passed on to a Housing Association who, despite many promises over the years, have not seen fit to invest in keeping the properties in a good state of repair. Most of the houses are now empty, many of them vandalised plumbing and electrics stolen. The few owner/occupiers are surrounded by empty houses and many social problems, issues of alcoholism, drugs and anti-social behaviour. People talk of how friendly and clean the streets used to be. The Housing Association are now selling off the properties at auction, with no interest in who it is that buys them, resulting in further feelings of insecurity about the future.
In this ex-mining area it is easy to see the results of lack of investment coupled with the government housing policies over the years. In the present day, as the feelings of isolation and disregard gain momentum in places such as Horden, being seen in the European Referendum vote, these songs and films are potently topical.
The Mining Institute (View)
Neville Hall, Westgate Road
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE
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