Our Streets Are Numbered

by Ribbon Road

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    DVD with a film of Carl Joyce’s photographs taken in Horden Collery, 2015/16 with original songs by Brenda Heslop, performed by Ribbon Road

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about

When Horden pit closed in 1987, 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. They are called The Numbered Streets because they have no names, just numbered from 1 - 13, 14th Street is the cemetery.

‘Our Streets Are Numbered’ is the result of our Leverhulme Artist In Residence post in Durham University Geography Dept. in 2016.

Thanks to everyone in Horden, Co. Durham and Durham University Geography Dept. for all the help they gave us during this project. In particular Pat and John Barnett, Maureen and Billy Leek, Paul Stradling, Edna Connor, Jean Spence, Eddie Hardiman and family, Ian Blevins, Jane and the staff of the Heritage Centre, all at Horden Youth and Community Centre and at Cotsford Junior School, and to Terry for the story of ‘Daddy For You’. A special thanks must go to Rachel Pain who shepherded us through the choppy waters of academia with such a kind and gentle hand, and to Carl Joyce, our eyes and ears of Horden.

credits

released September 11, 2016

Brenda Heslop – Vocals
Jill Heslop – Vocals, piano, accordion
Geoff Heslop – Vocals, instruments

Arranged and Produced by Geoff Heslop
Recorded at Shipyard Studios, Northumberland
All Songs written by Brenda Heslop c and p 2016
Sleeve Photos ( and Films for DVD) by Carl Joyce with additional photos by Patrick Ward.

www.ribbonroadmusic.com
www.carljoyce.co.uk

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Ribbon Road UK

Ribbon Road are:

Brenda Heslop
Jill Heslop
Geoff Heslop

For the last 20 years, Brenda Heslop has been one of the undiscovered talents of songwriting. Only now is she starting to get the attention she has so long deserved, with singers taking up her lovely songs and spreading the word.
... more

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Track Name: Sons of Horden
Running strolling rocking rolling
Bottles smashed and windows broken
Boarded up just like a war zone
Wasted like the Sons of Horden

Bricks and mortar clash together
A coal house in me mam’s back yard
Empty now left to the weather
Keep out of sight the night’s are hard

1 2 3 the streets are numbered
4 5 6 without a name
7 8 9 I hear the thunder
Thirteen streets to take the blame

Running strolling rocking rolling
Bottles smashed and windows broken
Boarded up just like a war zone
Wasted like the Sons of Horden

One time every door was open
Children playing, pigeon’s floating
Washing lines a good wind blowing
The pit closed down, they all got going

1 2 3 our days are numbered
4 5 6 they have no shame
7 8 9 our lives are plundered
Fourteenth street the last to take

Running strolling rocking rolling
Bottles smashed and windows broken
Boarded up just like a war zone
Wasted like the Sons of Horden

Young and old, the lads of Horden
Left to die or made to pay
Broken-hearted streets of Horden
Prisoners there or moved away

1 2 3 it’s all for sale
4 5 6 this bread is stale
7 8 9 and we can’t leave it
Thirteen streets to be set free

Running strolling rocking rolling
Bottles smashed and windows broken
Boarded up just like a war zone
Wasted like the Sons of Horden
Track Name: The Numbered Streets
Be there for me
they told us tales as tall as trees
Be there for me
the breaking day is breaking me
me rent is paid, me head is laid upon the block
of damp and cold and numbered housing stock

Be there for me
for I am all alone and cold
In hungry streets
the rats all live on 9 days old
And if at school they say that I’m a fool
It’s just the price you pay for living poor

Look out to sea
I wish that I was out there free
Far away
from Horden’s prison colliery
They said they’d mend and make the houses dry
But politicians hate the miner’s cry

Be there for me
They say in accent loud and clear
that money is to make
And not for buying beer
It’s not for us but just the chosen few
They bite the given hand that much is true

Be there for me
I cannot feel the stars tonight
That glimmer in the sky
above the dimming light
Me dreams are boarded up, the people’s hands are tied
They will not let us live and love has died

Be there for me
The walls are going higher now
They’re not for me to try
And I can’t show you how
The day has come and gone before we speak
There is no mercy for the poor and weak

Be there for me
they tell us tales as tall as trees
Be there for me
the breaking day is breaking me
me rent is paid, me head is down and I don’t sleep
behind the blinds in Horden’s Numbered Streets
Track Name: Daddy for You
Chorus
Daddy for you
Take it, it’s for you
All the money in the box
You and Mam can have the lot
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do

I miss you in the morning, waking us for school
I miss your dirty duds about
And you playing the fool
I miss me Mam singing, brushing out her hair
I miss us all laughing
When you catch her unawares

Chorus
Daddy for you
Take it, it’s for you
All the money in the box
You and Mam can have the lot
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do

I miss you being at work, feeling safe and sound
Knowing you’ll be coming back
That you’re just underground
I miss the sun that shines on me out through your eyes
It’s dull and grey on strike today
And sometimes Mam just cries

Chorus
Daddy for you
Take it, it’s for you
All the money in the box
You and Mam can have the lot
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do

I miss the life we had before it all went wrong
I even miss the washing day
With the tumble drier on
Me uncle comes around to help us all get by
But when he cannot cheer us up
A tear runs in his eye

Chorus
Daddy for you
Take it, it’s for you
All the money in the box
You and Mam can have the lot
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do

Daddy for you
Take it, it’s for you
All the money in the box
You and Mam can have the lot
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do
To make you smile for a while
Like you used to do
Track Name: Kiss All Me Troubles Goodbye
When you haven’t got much, you’ve good days and bad days
When you haven’t got much to make the sun shine
Well, we’re not asking much for wor good days and bad days
We just need enough to get by

And if I had money I’d fill up me fridge
And I’d buy us a bottle of wine
And just for a minute I’d put up me feet
And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye
I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye

When you haven’t got much, you’re worried and trying
When you haven’t got much, you’ve to watch the kids cry
You can’t go to the vets with your pets that are dying
And you haven’t the heart to lie

And if I had money, I’d give them it all
To see them all happy and not let them fall
I’d look into the mirror to see meself smile
And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye
I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye

When you haven’t got much, your T-shirts are shabby
When you haven’t got much, you lose all your pride
And you can’t pay your bills, the electric or telly
It’s a red letter day all the time

And if I had money I’d buy us new clothes
I’d have Sky Sports and Netflix, yes I’d have all those
I’d switch on the heating and leave the door open
And kiss all me troubles goodbye
And kiss all me troubles goodbye

When you haven’t got much, you’re alone and you’re frightened
When you haven’t got much, you’ve not many friends
When you’ve sold all your jewellery to buy the potatoes
Your memory of love’s at an end

And if I had money I’d sleep for a week
And nobody nowhere could hurt us or speak
I’d buy back wor memories and your wedding ring
And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye

And if I had money, I’d hold up me head
And if I had money we’d all be well fed
And if I had money the kids wouldn’t cry
And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye
I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye
Track Name: Eddie's Tattoo Studio
There’s more to life than meets the eye
There’s more today to make you cry
And I have seen the lads in torment
I have watched the lights go out

And people need a life to live
And people need a place to live
And people need a helping hand
A place where they can go

Chorus
And me arms are covered in love and death
And a map that’s right across me chest
And I thank god for all that’s left
Me tattoo studio

There’s more to life than hurt and pride
There’s more to life where I have died
And I have seen the families break
It’s more than any man can take

I draw the pictures on the skin
To say the stuff that’s kept within
When all wor hearts are caving in
We need a place to go

Chorus
And me arms are covered in love and death
And a map that’s right across me chest
And I thank god for all that’s left
Me tattoo studio

There’s more to life than food to eat
There’s more than feeling just dead beat
And I see all the faces grey
With worry hollowed from the day

They come to me for mercy’s sake
It’s a party then it’s a funeral wake
We never know which road we’ll take
But it’s just the place to go

What’s under the skin is kept inside
What’s under the skin is real and live
And we can draw the dark and light
And give it some expression

Chorus
And me arms are covered in love and death
And a map that’s right across me chest
And I thank god for all that’s left
Me tattoo studio
And me arms are covered in love and death
And a map that’s right across me chest
And I thank god for all that’s left
Me tattoo studio
Track Name: A Place Where You Can Be
When you’re hurting and it’s hard
And you need somewhere to be
And your friends are in the yard
But they just don’t seem to see
When you have to go to school
But there’s trouble left at home
There’s no-one you can talk to
There’s no money on your phone

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be

When you’re happy and forget
Just children playing in the sun
It can do that for you sometimes
Teasing teachers just for fun
When you’re tired, shadows fall
And you wish you could let go
And be like all the others
But you never let it show

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be

When you’re wandering home from school
And you’re dreaming of the day
When people wouldn’t argue
And throw their lives away
And wishes could be changes
You wouldn’t need to ask
Not burning up with shame
‘Cos the windows would be glass

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be

When there’s noises in the night
From the empty house next door
Then someone’s in a fight
And you’re hiding on the floor
It’s confusing in the day
As you think about the night
You can’t be in the wrong
But you never get it right

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be

There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can find
Understanding of the passing
Where you won’t be left behind
It’s a place where you can wrestle
With the questions and the answers
In quiet, you can settle
All the monsters of your mind

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be

Chorus
There’s a place beyond the classroom
Somewhere safe where you can see
Understanding of the passing
Just a place where you can be
Track Name: The Ghost
Chorus
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And I wish he was passing by
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he says get up and try
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And it makes me cry

He’s always there behind the mirror
He’s always there and I can’t keep him in
Sometimes I’m free then he’s there getting bigger
Oh this life I’m living in

He’s on me shoulder in the street
He thinks that I can’t hear his feet
Shouting threats to bring me down
Oh my God, this mining town

Chorus
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And I wish he was passing by
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he says get up and try
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And it makes me cry

He’s on the buses sweeping past
With a blacklegs cover and a blacklegs mask
And then it’s now all in a flash
Oh me heart must break at last

He’s in the kitchen, the cupboards bare
He stands in the Welfare Hall and stares
I’ve had me tea but he doesn’t care
Oh my God I’m running scared

Chorus
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And I wish he was passing by
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he says get up and try
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And it makes me cry

He’s always coming through the walls
The picket lines and police cat-calls
The kicks and cracks at our expense
Oh leave me alone to rest

He’s in the school yard with the kids
Poor little souls with shoes that skid
Cold at nights and hungry days
Oh save us from Tory ways

Chorus
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And I wish he was passing by
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And he says get up and try
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And it makes me cry
There’s a ghost knocking at me door
And it makes me cry
Track Name: Easy Pickings
Here they come again
Dirty politicians
Cannot wash it off their hands
Cannot get it dead and buried
Picking at the bones
Stealing all our money
When they think nobody’s home
Don’t they love the easy pickings

Here they come again
Houses empty shuttered up
Just like the Accent men
They know when their bread is buttered
They weren’t born to care
Never tried or shared their winnings
Never stayed around just legged it
Don’t they love the easy pickings

Chorus
Watch these trees that keep on bending
Shifting sand, it’s never ending

Here they come again
With their private educators
Horrid bully yes-men
With their canes and caps and blazers
Breaking all the rules
Stealing all the public land
Driving on till we’re all sickened
Don’t they love the easy pickings

Here they come again
Telling us we’re scroungers, wasters
Heartless to the end
Slap their sanctions on and hate us
They don’t want to know
Driving us below the footfall
Don’t they love their easy pickings
They don’t even know their football

Chorus
Watch these trees that keep on bending
Shifting sand, it’s never ending

Here they come again
They won’t keep us safe at nights
Neglected on the edge
They don’t know their wrong from right
They’ve left us here for dead
They just look the other way
Cut us up and close us down
Don’t they love the easy pickings

Here they come again
There’s nothing good around the corner
They don’t feel the pain
They refuse us law and order
Stretching the divide
Opening up a can of worms
Dumb us down with all their lying
Don’t they love the easy pickings

Chorus
Watch these trees that keep on bending
Shifting sand, it’s never ending
Watch these trees that keep on bending
Shifting sand, it’s never ending
Here they come again
Track Name: When Times Are Tough
There’s a girl in the Numbered Streets
Out there with nothing on her feet
And her Mam doesn’t know she’s missing
‘Cos her Mam wasn’t really listening
And her sister’s looking for her now
She’s the one who shows her how
Well, we’ve all got troubles of wor own
And I’ve heard they’re both safe home

Chorus
When times are tough
A little’s got to be enough
When love is thin
You’ve gotta live the life you’re in

There’s a woman on the Numbered Streets
And she hasn’t got much to live on
And her chair’s out in the yard
Well, they’ve seen more times than hard
There’s a man in a second-hand shop
Who says twenty-five pounds for the lot
It’s a lovely three-piece suite
She’s gonna pay me back next week

Chorus
When times are tough
A little’s got to be enough
When love is thin
You’ve gotta live the life you’re in

There’s a boy in the Numbered Streets
And he hasn’t got much to eat
He’d like a saveloy dip from Peterlee
He’d like something good from somebody
He plays poker in an empty house
Playing cards with his teenage friends
And he wished he was in Las Vegas
With money not copper pipe ends

Chorus
When times are tough
A little’s got to be enough
When love is thin
You’ve gotta live the life you’re in

There’s a man in the Numbered Streets
And he used to work down the pit
Then he worked in the Welfare Park
And he loved not living in the dark
He spends time on his allotment
And he’s happy with his lot in life
But nobody lives next door
And it’s hard living in a war

Chorus
When times are tough
A little’s got to be enough
When love is thin
You’ve gotta live the life you’re in
When times are hard
You never get a winning card
And when you try
It’s love that’ll make you cry
Track Name: All The Difference In The World
Someone was kind to me
I felt different, I felt free
Someone looked to me
And saw that I was frightened

Someone listened to me
I felt something shift inside
Someone heard the words
And knew that I was crying

Chorus
It makes all the difference
In a world so cold
We could make a difference
For others I’ve been told

Someone talked to me
I stopped running, I stepped down
Someone understood
And saw that I was losing

Someone touched me arm
Ah was broken, I felt warm
Someone spoke my name
And knew that I was lonely

Chorus
It makes all the difference
In a world so cold
We could make a difference
For others I’ve been told

Someone came along
Felt better, I felt strong
Someone walked with me
And saw that I was tired

Someone’s loving me
I feel different, I feel free
Someone cares for me
And now I’m not so frightened

Chorus
It makes all the difference
In a world so cold
We could make a difference
For others I’ve been told

Chorus
It makes all the difference
In a world so cruel
We could make a difference
For others, me and you