What’s On

Welcome to our what’s on section, divided into sections for ease of use

For details of courses and workshops, including arts and crafts for all ages, dance classes and creative writing classes, please go to http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/courses/

festival-logo-2017For Darlington Arts Festival, please go to http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/darlington-festival-program-2014/
The categories to be found below the Contents list are:

Darlington for Culture

General, including lectures


Children’s Events


Events at the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts



Knitting Café




Wildlife, gardening and environmental groups


Railway heritage

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


Cockerton Tea Dance to be held – if this does not open go to http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/cockerton-tea-dance-held/

Darlington Historical Society has announced its lecture programme 2015 – 2016
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 www.darlingtonhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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. There are also lots of opportunities to attend other discussions/seminars/meetings both locally and nationally during the year to keep up to date with what’s happening. Want to know more then check out the NCW website www.ncwgb.org 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
More details on the programme can be found here:
May 23rd 2017 Developments from the Care Act 2014
June 27th 2017 Business Meeting
July 25th 2017 Summer Outing Destination to be agreed

Darlington Lecture Association
Details from 01325 363350 or on www.darlington lecture.org.com.
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: dlecture@live.co.uk Web: www.darlingtonlecture.org.uk
Membership: 01325 356876 General enquiries: 01325 265930

Keeping fit
Darlington Keep Fit Association is celebrating its 55th year of movement to music with fregular 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.


Children’s events
Little Big Gigs – musical fun for all ages – if this does not open click on

Musical fun for all ages


Darlington Orchestra Summer Concert 2017 takes place on 15th July 7.30pm at the Dolphin Centre
In this informal and accessible event, the orchestra presents a wide variety of classical music.
The programme will include lots of great pieces by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, Copland, Holst and James Horner. The music ranges from opera overtures, to movie medleys and different dances from around the world, plus special guest performers.
More programme detail nearer the date. In the meantime, follow the orchestra on Twitter @DarloOrchestra or Facebook/Darlington-Orchestra.

There’s an international treat in store for New Orleans jazz fans
There’s a real international treat in store for Darlington New Orleans jazz fans when Sammy Rimington comes to town in early June.
On Saturday 3 June , Sammy Rimington, the highly creative master of New Orleans Jazz clarinet will entertain at St Augustine’s parish centre, Darlington. Sammy is famous in both America and Europe and has played with an impressive range of New Orleans greats.
The event is being staged by joint club organisers Ray Sams and Graham Foster. “Getting such an international star as Sammy to play for us is something we’re very proud of,” said Ray.
“We’ve been trying to secure him for a while and we know the gig will be one of the best we’ve ever had. We’ve got a reputation now for putting on top class jazz in a great venue, and this one certainly won’t disappoint.”
Sammy made his journey from the UK to New Orleans in the heady 1960s, where he replaced Butch Thompson in the Hall Brothers Band, recorded with Kid Thomas and George Lewis, and regularly collaborated with visiting jazz legends like Don Ewell and Max Morath.
After returning to Europe in the 70s he toured with stars including George Webb, Barry Martyn´s Legends of Jazz, Duke Burrell and Chris Barber. By the mid 90s he had played and recorded with every American and European New Orleans -style jazzman of note.
Graham added: “Sammy will be backed by pianist Ian Wynne with Emily Bacon’s Good Time Band. Ian’s one of the hottest young New Orleans stars around just back from a year playing in Paris, and he’s a great Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club favourite”.
Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club meets at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington 12.30pm on the first Saturday of the month. Entry 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. 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.
There’s the added benefit of plenty of free onsite car parking. It’s also just a short walk from the bus stops on Tubwell Row and Darlington railway station. For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk or contact
Ray Sams ray@darlingtonjazz.co.uk 07860 368022
Graham Foster graham@darlingtonjazz.co.uk
Upcoming diary dates:
On Saturday 1 July Spirit of New Orleans will display their virtuoso skills when they perform the music of Jelly Roll, Satchmo, Bix and Bunk Johnson, with occasional forays into the works of Ellington, Basie and Fats Waller. There’ll be lots of jazz standards, rousing old pop tunes, and a hint of country.
Next up is another visit by Keith Stephen’s Hot Club Trio on Saturday 5 August 2017. 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. With Keith are Roly Veitch on rhythm guitar and vocals and Bruce Rollo on slap bass. There’s an extra treat on offer as well – the trio is joined by Caroline Irwin on vocals, ukulele and cornet. You can be sure she’ll perform to great acclaim, and add a special dimension to the band.

Darlington College to stage musical – if this does not open click on

There is a chance to enjoy some terrific disco-based music in Darlington – Double Entendre – DJ Soul, Funk, Acid Jazz, held on the 4th Friday of the month at Voodoo Café, Skinnergate 8.30pm until late
vodoo disco night

It’s all happening at The Forum /strong>
The Forum in Borough Road has got a terrific programme. For the full list of gigs and events, please visit www.theforumonline.co.uk November

June Events @ The Forum

Saturday 3rd – Hilarity Bites Comedy Club @ The Forum
An evening of first class comedy from 3 Top stand-up comedians
Tickets £10 – Doors 7-30pm

Wednesday 7th – Open Mic Night
Our monthly open mic night where our stage is set for you
Just turn up, plug in and play
Youth spot 7pm
Regular Spot 8pm. – Free Entrance

Friday 9th – Darlington R’n’B Club
This month the club present Tim Aves & Wolfpack
Tickets £12 – Doors 8pm

Saturday 10th – Keep It Cash
Brilliant tribute to Johnny Cash, always a sell out so advance tickets is advised.
Tickets £10adv/£11otd – Doors 8pm – Show Starts 8-30

Friday 16th – 10CCLO
Gasto promotions present this brilliant tribute to 10Cc & ELO
Tickets £10 – Doors 8pm

Friday 30th – School Disco
Taking you back to your school disco days
Tickets £7adv – Start 7-30pm

Darlington Folk Club meets every Thursday evening at the Copper Beech in Neasham Rd at 8pm. Darlington Folk Club

Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Club
Check out their programme at the Forum at www.darlington-r-n-b-club.co.uk The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts

The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts Can be found at the junction of Yarm Road and Hundens Lane DL1 1ED and runs programmes of 10 week courses in a variety of arts media throughout the year as well as a programme of exhibitions by local artists and art groups. The Bridge houses a variety of local groups and is available for private hire. Information on programmes can be found on www.thebridgedarlington.org.uk and Facebook page (link from main web page)

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 info@thebridgedarlington.org.uk


Art, crafts, exhibitions

Knitting Café/strong>
knittting image
The Knitting Cafe holds its Monday night sessions at Lingfield Point, off McMullen Road, taking the craft of knitting home to the site. The Café meets at Lingfield House on the site which was home to Patons and Baldwins, at one time a leading manufacturer of knitting yarn in Darlington. The Monday evening sessions are designed to introduce people to knitting, and also for experienced exponents of the pastime, and take place between 7-9pm. Sessions cost £3. For more information, contact Becky on 07550002773


Your chance to try Morris Dancing
Fancy trying something new? Why not consider Morris Dancing?

a title=”swing” href=”http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/swing.png”>swingTransport yourself back to the swinging world of the 1940s and learn the dance sensations that took the era by storm. 6th Street Swing are a group of local swing dancers keen to encourage more people to take up this fun and sociable partnered dance style. We run informal beginners classes weekly as well as evening socials every few months. No partner is required.
When Tuesdays 7.30 – 8.30 followed by social dancing
Where Upstairs Voodoo Cafe, Skinnergate
Cost £3 first class free
Contact Angeline a.unique.rose@gmail.com


Crime writer John Dean will give a free talk at Crown Street Library at 2pm on Thursday June 8 as part of National Crime Reading month. If this poster does open try http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/crime-writer-to-give-talk/vintage_microphone_144611
The Open Mic nights for authors will continue on Thursday May 25 as part 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 deangriss@btinternet.com
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.


Theatre town initiative is launched
Darlington Theatre Town is an exciting new initiative to present the most ambitious and high quality theatre in Darlington. The project brings together the expertise of partners Creative Darlington, Darlington Hippodrome, Luxi, Theatre Hullabaloo and ODDMANOUT to cement Darlington’s place in the Tees Valley as a Theatre Town and a place where theatre thrives.
The project, funded by the Arts Council and Darlington Borough Council, grew from the opportunity presented by the redevelopment of the Civic Theatre (opening as Darlington Hippodrome this Autumn), the exciting development of Theatre Hullabaloo’s new theatre for young audiences ‘The Hullabaloo’ (opening this Autumn) and the momentum that has built over the last couple of years around theatre in unusual places by events such as the award-winning Jabberwocky Market.
This creative project is launched with Early Doors, a celebration of community spirit and pub culture, presented by award-winning theatre company Not Too Tame who bring their production of Early Doors The Hole In The Wall in Darlington next week.
Not Too Tame Theatre is founded on the belief of ‘Theatre for All’, that everyone can take something away from. Artistic Director, Jimmy Fairhurst, “Early Doors is a love letter to the local boozer and the people who frequent it. A site specific, immersive show that incorporates live music, comedy, pathos and moments to warm your heart, it’s a great night out condensed into an hour and a half’s entertainment.”
Early Doors comes to The Hole In The Wall, Horsemarket, Darlington on Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and Thursday 25 May at 8pm. Recommended age 14+
Tickets £10 concessions £7
To book contact the Box Office on 01325 405405 or visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

Jabberwocky Market is back
You can check out the latest Jabberwocky Market events at http://www.jabberwockymarket.org.uk/

Darlington Civic Theatre
Box Office: 01325 486 555
Tickets for the Winter / Spring season are on sale NOW! For further information about the full Winter / Spring Season programme, pick up brochures located in venues across Darlington including Darlington Civic Theatre Box Office and the Cornmill Centre Box Office, or contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

Darlington Civic Theatre Listings Winter / Spring 2017 Box Office: 01325 486 555 Website: www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk *Includes £1 restoration levy

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards – Try Hard Tues 13 June 7.30pm Tickets* £16

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is a unique British sporting hero with an incredible story to tell.
In Try Hard, Eddie talks through his incredible life-journey; from self-learning ski-jumping and being shunned by the sporting establishment, to the extensive surgery to rebuild his face and body following years of spectacular crashes on the snow as he set out to break world-records in stunt jumping (10 cars & six buses) and speed-skiing (106.8mph); from bankruptcy through trustees’ mismanagement, to gaining a law degree, and even how he became a most unlikely pop-star in Finland, above all, what will shine through is the steely resilience of a fearless man determined to overcome huge sporting and life hurdles.
Please note this performance takes place at Central Hall, Dolphin Centre, Darlington.

Panto 2017-18 dht202-on-sale-in-jan
Darlington Civic Theatre has announced that their 2017/18 magical pantomime will be the fairest of them all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Running from Saturday 9 December 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be the first major production at the newly re-opened Darlington Hippodrome following its 18 month restoration.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will see the return of the World’s biggest pantomime producer, Qdos Entertainment, to Darlington, bringing with them their trademark combination of large-scale productions with West End production values, stunning sets, beautiful costumes and live music.
Tickets will be on sale on Tuesday 10 January 2017 – 9am online, 10am for telephone bookings – providing the opportunity to be the first to experience the venue following its restoration.
The cast for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be announced later in 2017.dht202-on-sale-in-jan Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018.
Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 10 January 2017 – 9am online, 10am for telephone bookings. To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk.

Gardening and environmental groups
juniper 001

Darlington Amateur Gardening Club,
The next meeting is on Wednesday 15th March. Speaker Mick McQuade will talk about Using Your Greenhouse. 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.

Group meets
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington meet 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.

History walks
DHS Walks 2017
Darlington Historical Society has announced its summer walks programme:

14 May 2017
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 2017
Hurworth Wander withJean Kirkland
Meet in Blind Lane, Hurworth, opposite the Spar shop, at 1.00 pm

9 July 2017
Westbrook Villas with Shirley King
Meet at the Head of Steam railway museum at 1.30 pm

20 August 2017
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 http://www.discoverbrightwater.org/event/ and also via facebook.com/BWSkerne
Still to come: 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.

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 http://www.sdr1825.co.uk/
Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found. https://www.facebook.com/groups/304912612980375/. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7:10 pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email info@sdr1825.co.uk for information.