The History of Darlington

You know all about the present and the future, but what about the history of Darlington? This time line lists key dates since Queen Victoria granted Darlington a Charter of Incorporation in 1867, sparking 150 years of ingenuity.

Charter of Incorporation established

Prior to the grant of this Charter under an Act of Parliament, the Governance of the Borough through the ages had been by the Bishop of Durham, the Freemen and Burgess of the Town, and the rich industrialists, many of which were Quakers as members of The Board of Health. The granting of the Charter, gave the citizens more say in the direction and development of the Borough, through the democratic process of a Council. The first Mayor to be elected was Henry Pease.

John Donnison – Last Bellman and becomes first Macebearer.

The Office of Bellman, or Town Crier is an ancient one. On the granting of the Charter of Incorporation to Darlington Borough Council, the position of Macebearer was created and John Donnison became the first person to hold that post. He died in 1891. The Mace that we use today was purchased by Public Subscription and this was largely due to the efforts of Donnison.

Darlington became a political Constituency and Edmund Backhouse became its first Member of Parliament

Prior to this date Darlington was part of the South Durham constituency and was influenced by those outside the Borough. The impetus from the granting of the Charter in 1867 succeeded in securing this political influence, and local representation could be made in the Houses of Parliament. The first Member of Parliament was Edmund Backhouse, whose Bank many will recognise on the High Row, as being Barclays Bank.

Frederick Dickens the younger brother of Charles lived in Darlington, writing, entertaining and drinking until he died of asphyxia from a burst abscess on his lung.

Charles had been Frederick’s father figure and he regularly paid off Frederick’s debts and unfortunately they became estranged over money. Frederick became friends with a Jonathan Ross Feetum from London, who inherited a Cabinet – making business in Darlington and moved here with him. Feetum had supported Frederick’s lifestyle until his death. Charles unfortunately found out about his death after the funeral and sent a letter to Feetum thanking him for his kindness. It is believed that Charles paid for his Headstone in west Cemetery. He wrote ‘It was a wasted Life, but God forbid that one should be hard upon anything in this World that is not deliberately and coldly wrong’

The Northern Echo, the country’s first half penny morning Newspaper was published, following an acrimonious period between Henry King Spark and the Pease Family over political power of the Borough

Spark had successfully campaigned for Darlington to have a democratic Town council and also its own Member of Parliament. This was somewhat against the wishes of the Pease family who had a significant political power at the time; Unfortunately Spark failed to become Darlington’s first elected mayor and stood against Pease’s Candidate, Mr Edmund Backhouse to become MP for Darlington. He used his Newspapers (The Darlington & Stockton Times, and the Darlington Mercury) to put the reputation of Pease and Backhouse in serious jeopardy. After some legal skulduggery Spark lost the vote, and the Pease family employed an experienced Newspaper man John Hyslop Bell to start a Regional daily paper to ensure such embarrassment would never again occur.

Darlington's greatest poet

Ralph Hodgson was born in Garden Street, close friends of Siegfried Sassoon, Walter de la Mare, and T S Eliot

Civic Chains presented to the Town through public subscription

The Mayoral Chain was purchased by public subscription and was presented to the Town by Mr Edmund Backhouse MP. The Chains were made by Buller & Hutchinson, from Gold Sovereigns from Backhouse’s Bank, which is now Barclays Bank. The two chains have 20 Links and 28 Links and are made up of an English Rose connected by two D’s, (Darlington & Durham). It was the wishes of the subscribers that a Rose and links should be added with the name of every successive Mayor, until there were to be Twelve Chains in all! The Ceremonial Chains are one of the finest examples in the Country.

Farrier Major Michael ‘Spud’ Murphy, Victoria Cross bearer

Murphy was awarded the VC in 1858 for his bravery during the Indian Mutiny, when he sustained five serious injuries and killing at least five attackers whilst protecting the body of an Officer. He was promoted through the Ranks in the Transport Division. He was convicted at a Court Marshall of allowing a Sack of Oats, and a Barrowful of Hay to leave the barracks. Sir Henry who served in the same conflict supported Murphy with employment until his death in 1893, he also followed his coffin and paid for his Headstone. In 1920 George V restored Murphy’s VC saying that it was awarded for outstanding split second valour, not for a life time of good behaviour. Michael ‘Spud’ Murphy’s Headstone can be seen in North Cemetery.

The Great Blondin (or Jean-François Gravelet) High Wire walker over the Niagara Falls was star attraction of the Grand Fete Champetre held at Polam Hall.

It was written that the feats that Blondin performed on the high wire included; Walking in a Sack, cooking an Omelette, carrying a man, riding upon a bicycle, and others of an equally surprising character, all of which were gone through in a manner which fully sustained the reputation of the hero of the Niagara and gave unbounded satisfaction to the Spectators.

W G Grace brought his Cricket Circus to Feethams to play against a Darlington team.

It would appear that W.G.Grace and his team were not as good as the local team on the day. The Crowd were expecting some great display from the man himself; however not even the antics of the Great man remonstrating with the Umpire when one of his teams’ top players was caught out, or his exceptional piece of cheating helped; however it did cause some great entertainment but unfortunately due to some skillful bowling and fielding Grace’s team lost by 32 runs.

The Statue of Joseph Pease was unveiled to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington railway.

The Statue now located as Pease Place, at the end of the High Row, was unveiled by His Grace, the Fourth Duke of Cleveland to commemorate this event, which confirmed Darlington as the Birth Place of the Passenger Railways. The Ceremony was attended by the Lord Mayors of London & York. The Statue was handed into the care of the Mayor and Corporation, with every care that it would be protected and handed down to posterity. This event was declared a Public Holiday in Darlington.

An Anglo-Saxon Burial Ground was discovered in Dodds Street, near to Green Bank Memorial Hospital, during the development of a new Housing Estate

This Cemetery has proved to be one of the largest and richest of its kind to be discovered in the area north of the Tees. It’s siting on the top of a hill, occupying the area between Dodds Street and Selbourne Road and its location being adjacent to Bondgate has given rise to speculation that this was possibly the focal point of the early settlement of Darlington. The Archaeological dig unearthed six skeletons of Males, females, and a child. It also produced many fine examples of Grave goods, which unfortunately many were either sold or deposited with the Ashmolian Museum in Oxford.

Cleveland Bridge Company Est. (Built Bridges over the Nile, Amazon, Tyne, Transporter Bridge Middlesbrough, and Sydney Harbour to name a few

Cleveland Bridge Company was established by a number of small investors from Darlington, Stockton and elsewhere subscribed to its capital of £10,000, in 200 shares of £5. The stimulus for its foundation is said to have come from former employees of the struggling Skerne Ironworks. Its main shareholders were Henry Isaac Dixon, Merchant, and Henry Ernest Dixon, gentleman, both of Sheffield. The Skerne Ironworks was run by a Quaker partnership, Edwin L. Pease, Henry Fell Pease, Joseph B. Pease, Walter Pease, Edward Hutchinson and W. I. Ledward, trading as Pease, Hutchinson and Ledward. Notable constructions are; 1892 Swing Bridge, Ramsey, Isle of Man, 1905 Bridge over Victoria Falls, 1911 Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough, 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1964 Forth Road Bridge, Scotland, 1982 Thames Flood Barriers, to name but a few.

Bank Top Cattle Mart opened

Until the opening of this Cattle market, beasts were still driven into the centre of town and sold, and it wasn’t until the end of the nineteenth century before the Bull Ring, set into the pavement on the East side of the Market was finally removed.

The Opening of a Cocoa Palace in Melville House, Northgate by the Temperance Movement to tempt people away from the demon Drink

Although the Cocoa revolution reached Darlington in 1879 with the first Cocoa palace being opened to offer Cocoa, Tea, or Coffee, and Spice Cake at reasonable prices. They disappeared in the early 20th century. Mr Lockhart, the North East Cocoa King had twelve such Palaces on Tyneside and opened Palaces in Prebend Row, Houndgate, Parkgate, and Albert Hill; opening at 5.00am for workmen.

Theodore Fry, Past Mayor and MP for Darlington. (His Family are the well -known Manufacturers of FRY’s Chocolate Cream, Bristol)

Sir Theodore Fry, 1st Baronet (1 May 1836 – 5 February 1912) was an English businessman and Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 to 1895. Fry was the son of Francis Fry, of Bristol, and his wife Matilda Penrose, daughter of Daniel Penrose. He was educated at Bristol. He was active in business in the North East being director of the Bearpark Coal and Coke Co, director of Shildon and Weardale Waterworks and head of Fry Janson and Co iron manufacturers of Darlington. He was mayor of Darlington 1877 - 1878. At the 1880 general election Fry was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Darlington, and held the seat until the 1895 general election. He was made a baronet, of Woodburn in the parish of Blackwell in the County of Durham, in 1894. Fry died at the age of 76 at his residence, Beechhanger Court, Caterham.

Ceremonial Mace presented to the Town through public subscription

The Darlington Mace was paid for by public subscription, through the efforts of the first Macebearer, John Donnison in 1881. It is 99cm in length with an Ebony Shaft, with Head, Base, and knobs of Gold on Silver Gilt. The Head is crested with four St. Cuthbert Crosses, together with an open arched Crown supporting an Orb, which has St. Cuthberts Cross mounted on the top. On the Head is a copy of the current Mayoral Coat of Arms. The Mace was probably the descendant from the original Club pre-historic man had used to defend himself. In more recent times the Mace was commonly known as a metal Bar with a Ball and Spikes attached. It was ideal for Close combat and an ideal weapon for those who required close protection. King Richard I and King Philip of France had Sergeants of Arms or Macebearers for this purpose. However over time the Weapon took on a more Ceremonial role as the Handle became more ornate with Gold and Silver attachments, and Heraldic Coat of Arms and Emblems. The Ball and Spikes disappeared, and due to the imbalance the Mace was reversed, (Carried upside down). The Mace in Darlington is used to Escort the First Citizen (The Mayor) on Ceremonial occasions and also when full Council meets. As the Council process is based on the Westminster system. Oliver Cromwell once referred to the Mace as a ‘Fools Bauble’. It should be noted that the Mace is carried the correct way when in the presence of the reigning Monarch.

Arthur Wharton, who was the World’s first Black professional footballer

(Shaun Campbell local Darlington Businessman and Founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation was instrumental in raising awareness of Wharton’s achievements and the creation of the above Statue ). Arthur Wharton (28 October 1865 – 13 December 1930) is widely considered to be the first black professional footballer in the world. He played for Darlington FC in 1887, although he did play for many other teams. Wharton was born in Jamestown, Gold Coast,(now Accra, Ghana). His father Henry Wharton was Grenadian, while his mother, Annie Florence Egyriba was a member of the Fante Ghanaian royalty. Wharton moved to England in 1882 at age 19, to train as a Methodist missionary, but soon abandoned this in favour of becoming a full-time athlete. He was an all-round sportsman - in 1886, he equalled the amateur world record of 10 seconds for the 100-yard sprint in the AAA championship. He was also a keen cyclist and cricketer, playing for local teams in Yorkshire and Lancashire. However, Wharton is best remembered for his exploits as a footballer.

Edward Pease Free Library established

Lady Beatrice Lymington opened the Library, which bore the name of her late Father, Edward Pease. The Library had been designed by the well renowned Quaker Architect, G.G.Hoskins. Apparently her Ladyship had been given a guided tour by the first Librarian, Frank Burgoyne, whose biggest problem in the early days was the large group of illiterate men waiting on the library steps for someone to read the Racing Tips from the days’ Newspapers. Edward Pease failed to convince the Ratepayers of the Town of the need for a Public Library during his lifetime, and therefore left £10.000.00p in his Will to finance the building and fitting out of the Library. The Opening took place the year after completion.

Green Bank Maternity Hospital opened

Green Bank Maternity Hospital opened, a Statue of Pharaoh’s daughter carved by Giovanni Battista Lombardi in Rome, was gifted by the Backhouse Family stood at the entrance until transfer to the Darlington Memorial Hospital in 1989.

Willie ‘Darlington’ Smith, World Champion Billiards & Snooker Player

Willie ‘Darlington’ Smith, World Champion Billiards & Snooker Player, was born in Taylor street, Darlington, later played in the first televised Snooker competition in 1937.

Bank Top Railway Station Opened

Bank Top Station was designed by N.E.R. Chief Architect William Bell as an ‘Island’ Station, that tracks were either side of the platform. Although the Grand Entrance was at the top of Victoria Road, and access was to be gained by the use of elevator. However due to cost of staffing such facilities; passengers were encouraged to use the ‘Goods’ entrance from Parkgate, which is mainly used to this day.

Explosion at Joseph Smythe’s Gunsmiths in Blackwellgate

Joseph Smythe’s Gun Store was located roughly where Binns Department Store starts in Blackwellgate. Joseph was a well-known Gun Maker and made weapons for the nobility. However a huge explosion at his store in 1894 reduced buildings on High Row, Skinnergate, and Mechanic’s yard to rubble. Amazingly his shop survived, but sadly his young apprentice, Thomas Howe, aged 14 died from the blast. GG Hoskins, Darlington’s well known architect of the day was also injured whilst visiting nearby Skinnergate.

The Royal Agricultural Show was held at Hummersknott

Attended by Nazrulla Khan the Shahzada of Afghanistan, along with the Duke & Duchess of York.

Darlington Rural District formed

Charter to Darlington Rural District Council granting of Coat of Arms

Although there have been many bridges over the river Skerne near to St. Cuthbert’s Church

One having 9 Arches stretching approximately 150 yards, the current Bridge made of Metal has retained its old name of Stone Bridge.

The Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Record book

Started in the Town Hall to record occurrences of interest in the Borough.

Darlington revived its traditional Royal celebration of a public Ox Roasting for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

This was repeated in 1902 & 1911 for two further Coronations.

The North of England School Furnishing Company’s Building

Opened on the corner of Coniscliffe Road / Skinnergate. Designed by George Gordon Hoskins

Daniel Crosthwaite became the first person to be Cremated in Darlington a year before Cremation was legalised in Britain

Daniel Crosthwaite became the first person to be Cremated in Darlington a year before Cremation was legalised in Britain

The Ringing of one of the Town Clock Bells

to summon volunteers for Fire Brigade duty stopped, as the crowds that came to watch the Brigade turn out impeded the progress of the Fire Engine.

Post House Wynd derives its name from the Talbot Inn

which was once a Posting House had its entrance on High Row but stabling extended into Post House Wynd, it was demolished in 1902

The last of Darlington Horse Drawn Trams came to an end

The last of Darlington Horse Drawn Trams came to an end.

Arthur Henderson, who will win the Nobel Peace Prize

and become the first Labour Minister in a Government; becomes Mayor of Darlington. (See 1935)

Darlington Workpeople’s Horse Ambulance Service started

Based in the Fire Station in Borough Road

Earl Frederick Roberts, 1st Baron of Kandahar in Afghanistan was the first Freeman of the Borough

Unveiled the South African War Memorial in St. Cuthbert’s Church Yard

The Darlington Hippodrome & Palace of Varieties opened

The Hippodrome opened under the personal management of its first Director Signor Rino Pepi, who ran its affairs for 25years, and is reputed to still haunt the building! The legendary ballerina ‘Pavlova’ danced there in 1927 and Dame Margot Fonteyn also in 1976. With the advent of Television, audiences dwindled and the Theatre closed in 1956; until 1958 when the Darlington Operatic Society with financial support from the Council formed a non – profit making company to rescue and run the building. In 1964 the Council purchased the building and have been running it until this day. The Theatre is renowned to be one of the finest outside the Capital. Further development in 2017 will see the Theatre continue its prominence in the Country

The Darlington Golf Club was founded and designed by Dr Alastair Mackenzie

The designer of ‘The Augusta National’, Georgia, USA, home of the US Masters.

An exceptional consignment was transported from Darlington Forge, Albert Hill to the shearlegs at Union Dock, West Hartlepool

It was the Cast Steel Stern Frame, Rudder, and brackets, which were manufactured for the Titanic.

Mary Lawson of Pease Street

Was engaged to Fred Perry, one of Britain’s best Sports Stars, but later married Film producer W L C Beaumont.

Florence Trusler 18yrs set a world Record

In the Kendrew Street Baths by swimming over 12miles non-stop in a little over 9 hours.

Stooperdale Offices, ‘Buckingham Palace’ North Eastern railways opened

The design of this building was copied from Buckingham Palace


Nearly 2000 Darlington Men gave their lives in the first World War, including the Bradford Brothers, Roland and George; who are the only brothers to have won the VC in the War.

Clara Curtis Lucas became Darlington’s first Lady Councillor, voted in by men

Clara was elected as Councillor for Cockerton Ward, Darlington on 31st March 1915. She was born in Thirsk but spent most of her life in Darlington. She was a Pioneer in her advocacy for Women’s Rights, and played a big part in securing the right to a Parliamentary Vote for Women and the access to areas that were once barred to all females. Her greatest interest was in Education and she represented the Council on the Education and Library committees. Clara and her younger sister Alice also provided private Technical education classes for men and women before such subjects were formally introduced. She was also involved in the Women’s Liberal Association, the Woman’s Suffragist Society, the Temperance Movement and Students Association all within the Darlington Area. Unfortunately she died having served only four years on the Council, she was 76 yrs. old. Her funeral was attended by the great and the good. The cortege was headed by a Posse of Police, under the direction of Inspector Muir, and Capt Porritt of the Corporation Fire Brigade.

Darlington gains County Borough Status

The Council boundaries were extended to take in Faverdale, Cockerton, Branksome, & Harrowgate Hill, and again extended in 1930.

Councillor Clara Curtis Lucas died and was carried on the Darlington Fire Brigade carriage

Led by Captain Porritt of the Fire Brigade and Inspector Muir of Darlington Police

The Borough Accountant’s Office

Which also housed the Offices of the Burial Board, became the Darlington Museum in Tubwell Row.

Alderman William Edwin Pease, Darlington’s Mayor & MP opened the Cocker beck Valley Park, now known as the Denes

William Edwin Pease (Mayor of Darlington)

Anna Pavlova (The meringue Dessert named after her) danced at the new Hippodrome & Palace

Booked by the Italian impresario Signor Rino Pepi, who actually died a few hours after her performance.

The Sir E D Walker homes were opened on Coniscliffe Road. E D Walker made his money from managing Railway Station Newsstands and advertising Hoardings

Sir E D Walker Homes

The Free Library is extended

The Extended Library was opened by Mrs Maw, Wife of the Chairman of the Library Committee.

Opening of Darlington Memorial Hospital

Darlington Memorial Hospital

Arthur Henderson, Mayor of Darlington (1903)

Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1st Labour member of a British Government, and partial founder of Newcastle United died.

Old Blackwell Mill on the River Skerne was demolished. (Was originally owned by The Bishop of Durham)

Stopped being used as a Mill in 1907. Stored Boats for Parkside Lake until knocked down.

Darlington was Bombed by a German Air Raid.

Darlington was Bombed by a German Air Raid

Lancaster Bomber KB726 VRA from Canadian RAF Middleton St George was shot down over France

Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski was posthumously presented with the VC for his actions in trying to save a member of his crew.

William McMullen Pilot Officer of a Lancaster Bomber, RAF Goose Pool, Middleton St. George died at the controls of his plane having ordered his crew to bail out. His actions saved many lives of those living in the area of the road now named after him

Pilot Officer William McMullen stayed at the controls of his stricken Lancaster Bomber as it returned from a training mission to Goose Pool, RAF Middleton St. George. He ensured that all of his crew had bailed out to safety, but he chose to stay on board and steer the plane away from the East end of Darlington; no doubt saving many lives of the residents on its flight path. His actions are marked by a commemorative Stone at the junction of McMullen Road and Allington Way.

Winston Spencer Churchill becomes a Freeman of the Borough

Winston Churchill’s Coat of Arms and Signature are entered in the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Record Book in the Town Hall

Paton & Baldwin’s Wool factory completed at Lingfield Point

Paton & Baldwin’s Wool factory completed at Lingfield Point

Private Brian Chandler was the last person to be executed at Durham, having murdered an 83 year old woman in Darlington for £4.00p

Private Brian Chandler was the last person to be executed at Durham, having murdered an 83 year old woman in Darlington for £4.00p

Councillor Mary Lyonette became the first Lady Mayor of Darlington

Councillor Mary Lyonette became the first Lady Mayor of Darlington

Darlington Rural District Council Granted Coat of Arms

Darlington Rural District Council Granted Coat of Arms

Borough granted 1st Coat of Arms

Borough granted 1st Coat of Arms

Tom Fraser, Minister for Transport, opened the 10.5 mile Darlington Bypass motorway A1(M) and the 2.5 mile Spur Link Road, A66(M)

Tom Fraser, Minister for Transport, opened the 10.5 mile Darlington Bypass motorway A1(M) and the 2.5 mile Spur Link Road, A66(M)

Chrysler Cummins Engines opens in Darlington

Chrysler Cummins Engines opens in Darlington

North Road Railway Shops, closed as part of the Beeching Axe, despite noisy protests and processions on High Row

The Hearts of many residents in Darlington were broken when the Railway Shops were closed as part of Beeching Axe, effectively ending Darlington’s status as a Railway Town. Not only was the Railway Company Engine & Wagon Works at the centre of the Country’s Railway map; it also encouraged many private railway companies to invest and establish themselves in the town. Not only did the works provide engines for the domestic market, but also abroad.

Teesside Airport opened, (Bought from Military Authorities in 1963)

Teesside Airport opened, (Bought from Military Authorities in 1963).

Rock Legend Jimi Hendrix played at the Blue Pad Club, in the Imperial Hotel, Grange Road

His Fender Stratocaster Guitar was apparently stolen after the performance.

Borough celebrates 100years with a new Coat of Arms, Queen Elizabeth II visits the Town, Granting Charter of new Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms 1967 together with Charter Centenary and Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip on the Town Hall Steps.

Princess Anne Opened Darlington Town Hall, and unveiled the Sculpture

‘Resurgence’ Apparently Princess Anne’s comment to Kate Ade was one of Surprise!

A 3 day Northern Ireland Peace process took place at the Europa Lodge Hotel (now Blackwell Grange)

NI Secretary Willie Whitelaw attended, disappointed he couldn’t have a game of golf on the course surrounding the Hotel, he was later made an honorary member in 1974.

Darlington became a District Council under the local Government Act 1972

Darlington became a District Council under the local Government Act 1972

St. Paul’s Church, North Road was burnt to the ground by young arsonists

A previous Vicar from the Church, Revd. Robert Anderson Jardine disappeared and reappeared at the Chateau de Grande, near Tours in France, where he married the Duke of Windsor to Mrs Wallis Simpson

Darlington granted Borough Status (taking in the Rural District 1895 – 1974) and a New Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms & Charter of Granting Borough Status

The Dolphin Leisure Centre opened, officially opened by Sir Roger Bannister

The Dolphin Leisure Centre opened, officially opened by Sir Roger Bannister

The Cocker Beck, runs Bright Green, Black, Bright Blue and Brown

The Cocker Beck, runs Bright Green, Black, Bright Blue and Brown

A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Formed

In 1990 a group of people came together to share an extraordinary ambition – to construct a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific. They formed The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and after nineteen years of incredible effort that locomotive, No. 60163 Tornado, moved under its own power for the first time in 2008.

The £60 Million Pound Cornmill Shopping Centre was opened

The £60 Million Pound Cornmill Shopping Centre was opened.

Darlington gains Unitary Status

In November 1992 Darlington Borough Council submitted its case to become a Unitary Authority. Looking at the progression of political control over the years prior to Incorporation of 1867; the application outlined the case for streamlining services that were more responsive to people’s needs and aspirations; which would remove the confusion and interference from the two tier arrangement with Durham County Council. This seemed to be the best way forward. The Local Government Commission agreed and on 1st April 1997 Unitary Authority was granted to the Borough.

David Mach’s ‘The Train’ Sculpture was completed on the A66 Bypass

Used 185.000 Accrington Nori Bricks.

The Last game of football was played by Darlington FC at Feethams Ground

The Last game of football was played by Darlington FC at Feethams Ground

Reynolds Arena football - Ground Opened.

Reynolds Arena football - Ground Opened.

US President George Bush lands at Teesside Airport in Air-force One to Visit Tony Blair PM at his home in Trimdon

US President George Bush lands at Teesside Airport in Air-force One to Visit Tony Blair PM at his home in Trimdon.

The Education Village Campus – is opened by the Prime Minister Tony Blair

First complex in the country to actively have 5 Schools under one roof ,Haughton Academy, Beaumont Hill Academy, Springfield Academy, Gurney Pease Academy, & Marchbank Free School.

The Pedestrian Heart, Darlington Town Centre completed

The High Row in the Town Centre has been slowly evolving over the years, from being a mud bank, to being cobbled, which sloped down towards West Row and Prebend Row, with no forms of drainage; which hosted many different types of market (Including the sale of Cattle, Sheep, Horses, Goats, and Geese ). Later to accommodating traffic using the main A1 Road through the Town Centre. The pedestrian Heart radically changed the vehicle and pedestrian access in the town centre, which is a once in a Century design. Incorporated into the design was a Waterfall feature, which the artist replicates the practice of washing the Blood from the abattoir down the High row into an open drain. On the steps of the waterfall is a Bar code in Red to denote the blood and the water is the means of washing it away.

A1 Peppercorn Class Engine - Tornado Steamed up for the first time

Tornado arrives at York for Naming Ceremony

The King Head Hotel, Devastated by Fire

The King Head Hotel, Devastated by Fire

On the 6th May 2010 Ms Jenny Chapman elected as the first female Member of Parliament to represent Darlington.

Jenny Chapman was Councillor for the Ward of Cockerton, This was the same seat that Clara Curtis Lucas represented.

Feethams Leisure Complex opens

2016 Feethams Leisure Complex opens

Multi Storey Car Park opens in Town centre.

Multi Storey Car Park opens in Town centre