dfc for jazz festival

Hello and welcome to our weekly newsletter, updated on April 23

Fifth Darlington Arts Festival
Please SIr
We are gearing up for the fifth Darlington Arts Festival – themed A Celebration of Talent – due to run at a wide range of venues across the borough so it’s time to get dates in the diary and book those tickets!. Co-ordinated by Darlington for Culture (DfC), the festival has more than 60 events at 18 venues between April 27-May 31.
Many of the organisations and individuals supporting the event are reflected in the programme which you can see at is the poster for one of the films being screened by Darlington Film Club during the festival

Blinded by the Light a4150ppiAnother side of Dillon a4150ppi
Exhibition at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts Yarm Road Darlington DL1 1ED 8 April – 2 June 2017
‘Another Side of Paul Dillon’ and Blinded by the Light’
Paul Dillon started work in Darlington in 1975 drawing souvenir prints for the 125th Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, 5 years later he began teaching Science Fiction and Fantasy illustration at the newly opened Arts Centre in Vane Terrace. When it closed he was still there, running the Media Workshop and teaching landscape painting. He moved to the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts on Yarm Road in 2012.
Paul is celebrating his 65th birthday at the Bridge, with a joint celebration and two new exhibitions. The Bridge is celebrating achieving charitable status and independence from the council which ensures its future.
‘Another side of Paul Dillon’ has work from his 40 years of painting and design work in and around Darlington.
‘Blinded by the Light’ has portrait photographs taken in the early 1980’s by Paul of people who used or worked in the Arts Centre.
Paul is taking a break from teaching but is not retiring, he will be back in September running his popular landscape courses at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts, and he is planning future exhibitions including something special for the 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
For more information
t: 01325 244 174

STARS perform Vicar of Dibley If this does not open go to
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Darlington Historical Society has announced its summer walks programme:
14 May Eastbourne: Railways, Freeholders and Garden Suburb with David Howlett
Meet outside St John’s Church (junction of Yarm Rd / Neasham Rd) at 1.45 pm

18 June Hurworth Wander withJean Kirkland
Meet in Blind Lane, Hurworth, opposite the Spar shop, at 1.00 pm

9 July Westbrook Villas with Shirley King
Meet at the Head of Steam railway museum at 1.30 pm

20 August West Cemetery with Richard Stephenson
Meet at the cemetery main entrance at 1.30 pm

Non-members welcome – no booking required.
Walks cost £1 per person. They last around 1½ hours and are circular.

Bright Water Wanders bright-water-landscape-partnership-logo-d
The Bright Water landscape project has organised a series of walks, including several in Darlington. The project covers 200km2 within the lowland area of County Durham and Darlington, the surrounds of the River Skerne. The Bright Water area runs from Hurworth Burn reservoir in East Durham to the point where the river enters South Park in Darlington. The project will develop initiatives to restore or record fascinating heritage sites such as the area’s deserted medieval villages and important industrial and agricultural sites. It will also restore a number of grassland, woodland and wetland habitats as well as educating the public, in schemes that bring together everyone from ecologists and historians to artists.
Bookings for the walks can be made at and also via

Monday 24th April @ 2pm, Saturday 1st July @ 11am Historic Darlington
3 miles
Come and discover historic Darlington. On this walk you will see some of the highlights of Darlington’s industrial heritage including North Road Station, the Skerne Railway bridge and Edward Pease’s house. Meeting point is the Head of Steam Railway Museum.

Thursday 27th April @10:30am Rockwell Park and the Skerne in Darlington
2 miles
On this relaxing circular walk we will take in the banks of the River Skerne and Rockwell Park Nature Reserve. The meeting point will be the Skerne Railway Bridge.

Thursday 1st June @ 1pm/Tuesday 27th June @ 10:30am, Barmpton and Ketton
3.5 miles
Come with them to explore Ketton Ox country. We will walk a circular route from Barmpton, which takes in Ketton Packhorse bridge.
The meeting point is Barmpton village.

Music news
There is loads of brilliant music coming up in Darlington, including folk, piano, rock and jazz. You can check out on our The Town Is Alive With the Sound of Music blog at

Jabberwocky Market is back
You can check out the latest Jabberwocky Market events at

Literary news
Open mic nights vintage_microphone_144611

The Open Mic nights for authors will continue on Thursday April 27 at the beginning of Darlington Arts Festival.
The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture and which offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.
Now in their sixth year, the nights have given dozens of writers from Darlington and further afield the opportunity to read work including poetry, short stories, novel extracts and scripts to appreciative audiences.
Readers range from published authors to those just starting out on their writing careers, and pieces read out range from completed pieces to work in progress for which the authors are seeking feedback. It all makes for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Each session starts at 7pm and the cost of entry is £3 paid on the door. More information is available from Inscribe Media Limited at
A share of the proceeds are donated to Darlington for Culture to help further its work supporting arts and culture in the town.

Writers meet
Bennet House Writers meet every Monday at 10.30am at Age UK, Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington DLI 5SX. The group read and discuss new and old work from members that includes poetry, short stories and novels. Further details can be obtained from Mary Sweeten on 01325 283401.

Regular events

Courses, workshops and crafts groups, including for children
Fancy learning a new skill or brushing up on an old one? Then this section is for you, whatever your age!

jonny drawingA new not-for-profit life drawing organisation is launching in Darlington on April 13th.
Lust For Life Drawing is the brainchild of local artist Jonny Lancaster and his partner Grace Wakes.
Held on a monthly basis, each session will invite those who want to try drawing from life without the commitment of signing up to a regular course. The sessions will be untutored, with a relaxed atmosphere and hopefully a few surprises along the way.
Jonny is a self-taught artist and has previously held an exhibition in the Darlington Arts Centre and more recently had a piece at Crown Street Gallery. Some more of Jonny’s work has also being auctioned off to help raise funds for Oxfam through the town’s successful Oxjam Darlo music festival.
Grace Wakes, who is conducting the marketing for the sessions said, ‘For quite a while, we’ve been wanting to add to Darlington’s already flourishing arts scene and thought of what better way than organising casual life drawing sessions. We’re aware that there is a several other life drawing classes happening in Darlington and we encourage people to attend them if they want to learn something more structured, however we hope to offer something different. It’ll be a very relaxed affair with music playing, artists can get a drink from the bar and just draw what they’d like.”
Lust for Life Drawing’s first session is set to be held in the Hole in the Wall’s spare room with female life model Chris. Chris has modeled for art classes for 15 years after first seeing an ad in a local newspaper. Chris says she finds the process therapeutic and “provides calmness in an otherwise hectic world.”
As well as having some regular venues, Jonny and Grace hope to have some sessions at some non-traditional venues around the town in the future and as the year progress, the more imaginative the theme, the better. Eventually, Lust for Life Drawing wants to be able to provide drawing tools for those in the town who don’t currently have the income to afford art materials but still have a passion for being creative.
Entry for the first session at the Hole in the Wall on April 13th costs just £3 to cover the cost of the life model.
To keep up-to-date with all the latest Lust For Life Drawing events and news, don’t forget to like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram.
For Further Information contact: Grace Wakes Tel: 07849 38 68 47 Email:
New mosaic class

Craft sessions for children < Making Time for Arts and Crafts make-time-logo_1
Art and craft sessions for parents & children (18 months to 5 yrs)
Wednesdays 9.30 at Danesmoor House Nursery, 158 Carmel Road North, Darlington DL3 8RH) Classes open to the public from 30th November 2016.
Fun, themed, art and craft sessions designed to:
 Encourage children to explore their own creativity and imagination,
 Develop motor skills, problem-solving and social skills,
 Learn through play, art, craft, music, rhyme and movement
 Extend play at home with things made in the class.
Enjoy making some time for arts and crafts with your child today!
Contact: Dawn on 07845 137856
Email: Facebook @MakeTime2 Also available for parties and events.

Time to learn a new instrument
new piano

Spring courses programme for The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts. The centre is on Yarm Road in Darlington, on the corner of Hundens Lane, and the entrance is on Hundens Lane. Phone 01325 244174

For details of the new Experimental drawing course at The Bridge, click on

Beading group set up
A beading group has been created in Darlington. Beading poster Tennyson

Rejig Sewing Sessionsrejig
New Rejig Sewing Sessions for 2017
Rejig are offering a bigger range of friendly, drop-in sewing sessions in community venues each week, along with short monthly textile skill courses and our popular, free ‘Sew Saturday’ sessions in the South Park on the
last Saturday of each month. uk/sessions/sew-saturdays/
This month’s Rejig Textile course is a 3 hour Wax & Colour session on Saturday 28th January from 9.30 – 12.30 in the South Park Education Room. Come and learn how to use wax resist batik and fabric dyeing techniques to pattern your own unique fabric. All materials included
Cost: £20 per person
For further details about these sessions, book a course or view more photographs about other Rejig projects please visit: uk/courses/wax/

Fun with artscrap store 3
Scrapstudioarts runs arts and recycling-based workshops, projects, events, parties and a scrap store in Darlington, for all ages.
The studio is the base of visual artist Yvonne Preston, tutor and facilitator, who works with local businesses that have clean waste materials which can be reused in creative projects and art activities. She is always looking for donations of clean, safe waste material. To find out more about the studio in Borough Road, contact: Yvonne on T: 07727706335
Website: & Twitter: Yvonne_preston@ Address: Scrap Studioarts, Borough Rd, Darlington DL1 1SG.

Keen to be a writer? Then this could be your chance
Creative writing tutor John Dean is taking bookings for the Summer 2017 term of his popular courses at the Friends’ Meeting House in Skinnergate, Darlington.
The adult learning courses deal with all aspects of creative writing, focusing primarily on prose, including short stories, novels and other forms of writing as well as occasional forays into the world of stage, theatre and radio.
Each course is different and deals with everything from characterisation to plotting, creating strong sense of place to how to edit. Each session runs between 7 and 9pm.
Summer term 2017 (8 weeks)
First session April 25
Half term No class May 30
Final session June 20
First session April 26
Half term No class May 31
Final session June 21
Cost £32 (Concessions £26)
More information is available from John on 01325 463813 or email

Knitting Cafe
A reminder that the Knitting Cafe holds Monday night sessions. The sessions introduce people to knitting, and are also for experienced exponents. For more information, contact Becky on 07550002773

Group meets
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington, meets in the Upstairs Restaurant, Dolphin Centre, Darlington, at 6.30 pm.. Meetings are informal and usually held the third Tuesday in the month. They cover mainly planning applications and so give the opportunity to air any views on issues which could affect your quality of life. Please ring 01325 485107 to check dates and inform them of your attendance.

Talks and lectures

Darlington and Teesdale Naturalists’ Field Club
24 President’s Lecture Sue Weston
Visitors are most welcome – a donation of £2 is suggested

Darlington Amateur Gardening Club,
They meet in Bondgate Methodist Church, Winston Street entrance, and the talk starts at about 7.20pm, after tea/coffee. For club information contact the club secretary on 01325 468870.

National Council of Women Great Britain
The National Council of Women (NCW) wants to ensure that women play a full role in our society. In Darlington they meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month between 10am and midday at the Millennium Centre, All Saints Church, Ravensdale Road, Darlington DL3 8DT. They welcome women from around the wider area. Want to know more? Then check out the NCW website or Twitter @NCWGB or search for National Council of Women Great Britain on Facebook or for the local group ring Mary Drury on 01325 380665.
April 25th 2017 Children’s and Adult Social Care
May 23rd 2017 Developments from the Care Act 2014
June 27th 2017 Business Meeting
July 25th 2017 Summer Outing Destination to be agreed

Darlington Historical Society talks:
Fascinating History in Croft and Hurworth – 19 April 2017
Talks and meetings are held at the Friends Meeting House, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7NG (accessed via the archway on Skinnergate) starting at 7.30pm.
Annual membership £10 covering all talks. Visitors £3 per meeting.
More information at

Darlington Lecture Association
Monday 10th April at 7.30pm – Michael Green Piles, Priests and Paradise
The sub-title here is Medical Mysteries of the Old Testament and the tone is suggested by the introductory quote chosen by this emeritus professor of forensic pathology: “And the Lord shall smite thee with Emerods”.
You don’t have to be overly au fait with 16th and 17th-century translations of biblical Aramaic to guess we are talking haemorrhoids here; and it’s a cruel fact of life that, vicariously, piles is a seriously comic affliction.
Those who a few years ago heard Professor Green’s often hilarious musings on the seamier side of great art will know we can expect another evening of erudite irreverence. Did 5,000 soldiers or sinners really die simultaneously of a medical condition that gets regular mention in Ken Dodd gigs? Were King David’s maladies in his declining years all down to meningo-vascular syphilis?
Michael Green has had a varied career alongside 25 years as a Home Office pathologist, often in his native Yorkshire, especially university, hospital and GP posts in Leeds. There were two years as an Australian flying doctor and HIV work in Africa. Since “retirement” he has had roles in inquiries including Bloody Sunday and the Marchioness sinking as well as major child-abuse cases.
He has lectured worldwide. Leisure: from music to motorbikes and Morris Minors, from lantern slides to model railways. His fee is paid direct to a charity.

Details from 01325 363350 or on www.darlington
Membership – Subscriptions are unchanged for the season 2015/2016 are: adults £20 (couples £40), juniors under 18 and students £10, adult visitors £5 for each lecture, students and under-18 visitors £2. During August and early September the annual fee can be paid by taking the completed membership form (see the letter which accompanied this brochure) and your cheque payable to Darlington Lecture Association to: A Fine Yarn, 76a Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LY or by sending them with an SAE to Sue and Roger Colley, 78 Neville Road, Darlington DL3 8NE.
Meetings are held in: John Caden Hall, Carmel RC College, The Headlands, Darlington DL3 8RW
Enter Hummersknott Avenue from Carmel Road North which runs between the A67 and the A68 a mile west of the town centre
Times Lectures start at 7.30pm. In October and April, the President’s Evening and the AGM respectively, those occasions start at 6.45pm, with the lectures following at 7.40pm. Lectures are around 75 minutes, occasionally overrunning. They are usually the second Monday of the month.
Contact information
Email: Web:
Membership: 01325 356876 General enquiries: 01325 265930

Keeping fit
Darlington Keep Fit Association is celebrating its 55th year of movement to music with regular sessions.The first takes place every Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm. at St Thomas Aquinas Church Hall and is choreographed by Catherine Gilsenan and the second is held every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm at Sadberge Village Hall and is choreographed by Margaret Marston. Both are qualified teachers with regularly updated training, costs are £3.50 per session with a view to membership if liked. Ages range from 18 years upwards.

Railway heritage
The Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway were formed in 2013 to take forward ambitious plans to conserve and promote the 1825 line in the lead up to the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the opening of the railway in 2025.
While the development of the modern railway can be traced to a number of places, it was the S&DR where the engineering excellence of Stephenson and Hackworth came together with the economic foresight of Edward Pease and the business community of South West Durham and the Tees Valley to create the first modern railway. In the period 1825-30 the S&DR demonstrated that steam locomotive hauled railways were a viable proposition and ushered in the railway age which changed the face of the world.
The 1823 Act of Parliament allowing the line to be built was clear that this was a public railway which from its inception was to carry not just coal but passengers and goods on a permanent mainline with branches. Innovative technology, financing through shareholders linked to each other through family and faith and the inspiration and model it provided for others mark it out as the place where the modern railway age was born.
Recent survey work by the Friends of the S&DR has shown that much of the original line and its buildings still survives, some of it abandoned, some still in use as a railway. It does however need substantial conservation work and above all interpretation to tell its story to a local and international audience.
The Friends’ vision is to establish a walking and cycling rail trail using the route of the 1825 S&DR from Witton Park to Stockton on Tees. This would ensure that the physical remains of the S&DR are protected, recognised and conserved and also allow a key part of the nation’s heritage to be accessible and interpreted, bringing economic and health benefits to the region and beyond. As part of this the Friends are discussing with Historic England enhanced protection through listing and scheduling and exploring the case for World Heritage Site status to reflect the impact this ‘birthplace of the modern railway’, had on the world.
More information is available on the Friends website
Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7:10 pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email for information.

Darlington for Culture dfc for jazz festival

In the picture
We love to use pictures of events in our social media work and on our website so if you have taken any images at one of your events, please send the jpegs to us at

DfC’s sixth Annual General Meeting
Date: Friday 16 June
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Darlington Cricket Club

Raising funds
thuaf5j929 Do you ever shop online? If you buy clothes, stationery, holidays, home appliances, IT gadgets, train travel or just about anything via you can raise free cash for Darlington for Culture every time you shop – at no additional cost. Many popular retailers are involved (including Amazon, Argos, eBay, Boots, Tesco, House of Fraser, Aviva, Lakeland,, and

Keeping in touch with the news
You can keep in touch with DfC at:
Website – (hosting is sponsored by Ephemeral Web Design. The site was designed by Resilient Business Systems)
Facebook – search for Darlington For Culture the official site
Twitter – @darloforculture
Darlington Arts Festival Twitter link @darloartsfest
Email –
Post – Darlington for Culture Ltd, c/o Heritage House, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF.

Heritage Healthcare Heritage Healthcare - Which Franchise
DfC’s induction events for volunteers are hosted in the Darlington town centre offices of Heritage Healthcare, a leading family-run business proud to offer more than 60 years’ experience and expertise in delivering excellent quality home-based care within the community. They can be contacted via or 01325 370700.

What’s On
There is so much going on that our weekly newsletter is unable to carry everything so to allow you to get the bigger picture, you can check out our What’s On (click on What’s On at the left of this page) featuring everything from films and theatre to dance and music, art and exhibitions to literature and lectures. Also across the left is a link to courses and workshops.

Want to appear here?
Do you want your event mentioning on our website and social network sites? Then please do get in touch at

Thank you, as ever, for your support.

John Dean DfC Chair, and the DfC team