Monday, December 01, 2003

My parents finally moved house a couple of weeks ago. They've lived in the house where I was brought up for over 30 years. It was a nice place when they first moved there - one of those New Towns, built in the 1960s. I remember it as a sunny place in the 70s, with lots of green open spaces. However, by the 1980s it had gone to the dogs (both my junior and senior schools were burnt down the year before I was due to start them respectively). The 1990s saw an influx of drug pushers and crime. Peterlee really was the trashiest place in the world to live. It was designed by architects who wanted to do something a bit different and interesting. However, the cubist council houses with their weird designs were wasted on the working class locals - it later transpired they had been built using asbestos and all had to be dismantled. And the famous Passmore Pavillion, which looked like it had been made out of building bricks soon became a dumping ground for shopping trolleys and empty beer cans.

Here are some things that the locals have said about my home town, from knowhere.

The Best Things

  • the a19leading out of peterlee
  • The road out!
  • the A19 road out of Peterlee that is taking my bag and baggage away from here to glorius Devon very soon
  • The Central, the Dene , most people in the town support Sunderland A.F.C. got to be a good thing.

The Worst Things

  • nightlife
  • everything apart from the pubs and the bus station (your means of escape)
  • The carvers - more or less anyone who went to Shotton Hall or Dene House Comp's
  • Building in progress, and lot's of it!
  • Peterlee is full of cheap shops rubbish clothes and plastic ornaments there are plenty of cheap sports shops.This is because people here think its trendy to wear nothing else but track suits and scruffy trainers its like a uniform Perhaps because there is no money about (no one seems to work they are all on the dole) There is also lots of betting shops bingo halls and fag shops.
  • Non existent public transport, Job centre queue (anyone whos been there will know).No decent club. Its in serious decline and probably wont ever improve.
  • The town council website that says it jealously guards all of the open green spaces where the young people can play - then immediately grants planning permission for a new police office and magistrates court to be built on the best site!! Hypocrites!!
  • All the boy racers in their NO FEAR max power sticker cars.

I can sympathise with a lot of this. When I was young my bedroom window overlooked the fabled A19 road and I would watch the cars speeding past, wondering where they were going and dreaming of the day when I could simply get into a car of my own and drive away, off into the night, never to return. Now my parents have left, there is no reason why I should ever return.

This building was the local haunted house when I was young. It later got converted into council offices. However, even looking at this picture now kind of scares me. It was known as "Jack's" and we were all convinced that Jack (whoever he was) was going to kill us for trespassing. A game that we used to play involved running up to the building and touching it, then running away again (OK we were 7 - Playstations hadn't been invented yet, that passed for fun).

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