dfc for jazz festival

Hello and welcome to our weekly newsletter, updated on July 22

Arts organisation makes small grants awards
Arts organisation Darlington for Culture (DfC) has made the latest awards from its new small grants scheme.
Voluntary organisation DfC launched the scheme after receiving a donation from a company with Darlington connections, and is working in conjunction with Creative Darlington to administer the programme.
DfC has long believed that small grants can allow everyone from music groups to art organisations to achieve great things and the scheme will offer grants of up to £500.
One grant, of £300, went to Cassie Cooper , for her event Darlington Family Arts Day at the Central all at the Dolphin Centre on 29th October 10-4.
She said: “I’m a mum of three and a community supporter and event organiser and I wanted to create this day to enable all families an affordable art and culture experience showing what diverse opportunities Darlington has to offer.
“ I will be combining traditional and unusual art opportunites as well as music, dance, sculpture and drama. There will be showcases throughout the day for families to enjoy with parents hopefully benefiting, too. If you ever have dreamt of trying something new there will be something for everyone.
“I am honoured that with the support from Darlington For Culture I am able to provide this day for the wonderful families in this town. Tickets will be available soon through Eventbrite and will be affordable for all.”
The second grant, of £500, went to Neasham Reading Room, originally commissioned by Sir Thomas Wrightson and opened in 1903. It is a small village hall which continues to thrive as a vibrant community hub.
To add to its range of events, the Reading Room has more recently branched out into local drama and ‘Rural Arts’ performances. Funders are being approached to help with the purchase of a modular stage.
Tina Murray, Reading Room Treasurer, said: “The grant from Darlington for Culture is a great start to our fundraising for the stage which will make a huge difference to what we can host in the village of Neasham. Applause Theatre are performing ‘Cluedo – Our American Cousins,’ a murder mystery evening in September and the next Rural Arts performance ‘Wolves’ is due to be staged in October.”
More information on the small grants scheme can be obtained on the home page

Comedy Festival
The Darlington Comedy Festival continues until the end of July. The annual festival is organised by Hilarity Bites Comedy Club, which started in 2007 and brings the best of UK and International comedy scene to local venues. For more info about the festival events and venues click here.

Darlington Hippodrome has unveiled a packed spectacular opening season following a multi-million pound restoration. Following 18 months of expectation the opening season of the newly restored Darlington Hippodrome has been revealed. See the full story

A selection of art work from Darlington’s Community Art Project will be on display at Darlington Building Society’s Tubwell Row branch from Friday 28th July until Friday 29th September. The venue is open 9am – 5pm weekdays and 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays. For further information contact

Successful pupils
Forty four Darlington pupils have been successfully moderated for three Arts Award projects, thirty nine students at Explore Level and five students at Bronze.
The award has gone to six pupils from Marchbank Free School and thirty three from Springfield Academy. All thirty nine children will receive a nationally recognised qualification: Trinity Entry Level Award in the Arts (Entry 3).
An additional five students who have completed their Bronze Award are members of Hippodrome Youth Theatre and they will receive a nationally recognised qualification: Trinity Level 1 Award in the Arts.
Arts Award provides opportunities for children and young people to develop their skills as young artists/arts leaders.
The Arts Award qualification has been completed in conjunction with Darlington Hippodrome as part of its partnership schools scheme.

Head of Steam museum event
Your chance to “Meet The Gruffalo” in the museum and gardens on Sunday 23rd July.
The Gruffalo will be making personal appearances at intervals between 10am and 4pm and there will be lots of fun for all the family including face painting, mini train rides, arts and crafts and more.
Normal entrance fee applies. More information from the museum on 01325 405060 or click here.

History walks
DHS Walks 2017
Darlington Historical Society has announced its summer walks programme. Still to come:
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.

Music news

Darlington Folk Club
There is loads of brilliant music coming up in Darlington, including folk, rock and jazz, among it plenty to enjoy at The Forum. You can check out on our The Town Is Alive With the Sound of Music blog at

Darlington New Orleans Jazz club is delighted to host another visit from red hot gypsy jazz king Keith Stephens and friends
Keith Stephens’ Hot Club Trio will return to the club on Saturday 5th August. Keith’s a master of the guitar, banjo and ukulele and likes to play the gypsy jazz style of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, but the trio also enjoys performing a large repertoire of jazz standards – and more.

Entry to the gig is just £10 on the door (no need to pre-book), and children 15 and under go free. Darlington for Culture members are eligible for discounted entry on production of their membership card. There’s a licensed bar; tea and coffee is available; and everyone is very welcome to bring their own food along for a picnic whilst the band is entertaining.The club takes place first Saturday of the month at St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street Darlington, from 12.30pm to 3pm, doors open noon. Free on-site car parking.

For more information go to or contact Ray Sams 07860 368022 Graham Foster

Tickets now available for a ‘1940s’ dance

Join in a 1940s dance on 17th November at St Augustine’s Church Hall, Darlington. Tickets cost £10 until 1st September.
Music is by the Doo Wop Dollies and vintage DJ Murray, they’ll show you the moves and you can join in solo and couple dances.
For tickets and information, email or book through this link (+ fee):

Literary news

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 launched 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.
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:

Craft sessions for children
Making Time for Arts and Crafts
Sessions for parents & children (18 months to 5 yrs)
Wednesdays 9.30 at Danesmoor House Nursery, 158 Carmel Road North, Darlington DL3 8RH)
or Fridays 11am at Adventure Point, Morton Trade Park, Darlington DL1 4PT

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 piano new ad
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Courses at 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
The details of Summer courses at The Bridge can be found on this pdf
summer courses 17

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.

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 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.
June 27th 2017 Business Meeting
July 25th 2017 Summer Outing Destination to be agreed

Darlington Historical Society talks:
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
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

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 Media Officer, and the DfC team