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/

The categories to be found below the Contents list are:

Darlington for Culture

General, including lectures



Events at the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts



Knitting Café




Wildlife, gardening and environmental groups


Railway heritage

Outside Darlington

Darlington for Culture


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:
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.


Darlington’s lunchtime jazz helping just gets hotter
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 make a return visit to the club on Saturday 5 August 2017 at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, and doors open at noon for a 12.30 start. 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.
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.
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.
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
Coming up next:
There’s a sizzling September ahead when the club welcomes back fantastic pianist, goodtime vocalist and all round performer Jeff Barnhart on Saturday 2 September. He’ll have people on the edge of their seats as he brings his larger-than-life personality to performances of tunes familiar and obscure, along with the other members of the Mr Men Quartet – returnees Keith and Bruce plus one of last year’s best loved visitors to the club, reedsman John Hallam.
The ever-popular New Century Ragtime Orchestra is back on Saturday 7 October, bringing a big band sound to the lunchtime gig. There’ll be ragtime entertainment, banter, virtuoso group performances and some stunning solos from the Tyneside-based band. It’ll be a packed house as well as a big band, so make sure you arrive early to secure a seat.
All sessions start at 12.30, doors open from noon

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.

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

July @ The Forum

Tuesday 25th – Hilarity Bites Midweek Special
Featuring Spencer Jones & Lloyd Griffith
Tickets £10 – Doors 7-30

Friday 28th – Northern Soul Night
4 Dj’s spinning quality Northern Soul Oldies
Entrance £3.50 – Doors 7pm – 11.30pm

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

August @ The Forum

Wednesday 2nd – Open Mic
Just turn up, plug in and play
Free Entrance – Doors – 7pm

Friday 4th – Total Stone Roses
Tribute to the Madchester Rockers Stone Roses
Tickets £12adv/£14otd – Doors 8pm

Saturday 5th – Hilarity Bites Comedy Club
Tickets £10 – Doors 7-30pm

Friday 11th – Darlington R’n’B Club
The Blue Bishops
Tickets £12- Doors 7-30pm

Saturday 12th – Chris Pryke EP Launch
Local singer /Songwriter with special guests
Tickets £8adv/£10otd

Saturday 11th – Slade UK
Always a sell out! Advance tickets strongly advised
Tickets £12 – Doors 8pm

Thursday 16th – Limehouse Lizzy
This great band return paying tribute to Thin Lizzy
Advance tickets advised
Tickets £12 – Doors 7-30pm

Friday 17th – Gasto Promotions presents UK Rock Legends
Tickets £10 – Doors 7-30pm

Friday 24th – Northern Soul Night
4 Dj’s spinning quality Northern Soul Oldies
Entrance £3.50 – 7pm until 11.30pm

Saturday 25th – Ultimate Bowie
Brilliant and popular tribute to David Bowie
Advance tickets advised
Tickets £12 – Doors 8pm

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
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)


LEGO Exhibition at The Head of Steam
Saturday 8th July until Sunday 3rd September 2017
10am-4pm. Normal entrance fee.
LEGO® appeals to almost as many adults as children with models becoming more advanced and detailed. This exhibition demonstrates just a small sample of what can be built from this popular construction toys today. facebook.com/brickalleylug

Meet the Gruffalo at the Head of Steam
Sunday 23 July 2017. Normal entrance fee.
At intervals between 10am and 4pm
Come along to meet The Gruffalo! Plus lots more fun for all the family, including face painting, mini train ride, arts and crafts and more. The Gruffalo will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day.
For more information, please email headofsteam@darlington.gov.uk

Art, crafts, exhibitions

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 Laurence.ward@darlington.gov.uk

Knitting Café
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

The seventh season of Open Mic nights for authors will start on Thursday September 28 after the summer break.
Supported by Darlington for Culture, the nights offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it and run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.
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.
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.


Darlington Hippodrome

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.
As a curtain-raiser and emotional homecoming we welcome DarlingtonOS with Strictly Musicals 2 – a song and dance extravaganza featuring some of the best-loved musicals of all time including Mamma Mia, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Jersey Boys and many, many more. Be one of the first to see inside the new venue from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 November.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a pantomime, and this year we have the fairest of them all – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Starring boy band and soap star Lee Ryan alongside Darlington’s own West End leading lady Zoe Birkett this year’s pantomime will be packed full of comedy, songs, dance numbers and the usual Darlington pantomime magic between Saturday 9 December and Sunday 14 January.
On Monday 1 January, we usher in the New Year in style with New Year in Vienna 2018 which will whisk you away to a fairy-tale world as a host of singers showcase the very best of popular Viennese music, from waltzes and polkas to uplifting marches.
Just because it’s January it doesn’t mean it’s too late for a party! The music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is as popular today as it was back in the 60s and 70s. New Jersey Nights is a spectacular show direct from the USA and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all time from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 January.
From Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February celebrate the re-opening of Darlington Hippodrome with a specially created show, Anywhere, performed by the theatre’s own acting company. Step through the doors of the theatre and go behind the scenes to explore the amazing stories that lie within the theatre.
A spectacular new musical is heading to Darlington from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 February. Son of a Preacher Man is an all-new production directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood who won critical acclaim for his productions of Sister Act, Chess and Sunset Boulevard. This sparklingly funny and touching new musical features the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield including ‘The Look of Love’, ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and of course, the classic ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’.
If you are a fan of Andy Williams or The Osmonds then we have a real treat on Monday 12 February as Jimmy Osmond presents his own tribute to Andy Williams in Moon River and Me. Featuring award-winning music, nostalgic footage and special memories, this brand new show will touch your heart.
Just in time for Valentines, That’ll Be The Day returns with a brand new show for 2018 for two nights only on Tuesday 13 & Wednesday 14 February. This hugely entertaining line-up of classic gold hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s provides both laughs and nostalgia.
We are delighted to welcome The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia back to Darlington with three great ballet masterpieces: Romeo & Juliet (Thursday 15 Feb), the tragic Swan Lake (Friday 16 and Saturday 17 Feb) and family favourite The Nutcracker (Sunday 18 Feb).
Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi award winning Blood Brothers (Tuesday 20 – Saturday 4 February). Written by Willy Russell, this legendary story tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks only to meet again with fateful consequences. The superb score includes ‘Bright New Day’, ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and the emotionally charged ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.
Having first appeared in Darlington back in the 1960s we welcome back the world class orchestra The Hallé on Monday 26 February.
March strides in with the stage adaptation of Awful Auntie – another classic from David Walliams. When Stella visits London she has no idea her life is in real danger. Waking up three months later only Aunt Alberta can tell her what has happened. Awful Auntie runs from Tuesday 27 February to Saturday 3 March.
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society is back with their multi award-winning production The Play That Goes Wrong from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 March. Hailed a ‘gut-busting hit’ by the New York Times, Mischief Theatre’s sell-out West End comedy is now taking Broadway by storm. Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that’s guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter.
Following recent productions of To Sir, With Love, Brassed Off, A View From The Bridge, Brave New World and Of Mice and Men, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company presents Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 March. Phil Daniels (Les Miserables, This House, EastEnders) stars in the title role in a story of human nature, love and the power of pure evil.
On Monday 19 March the world’s official number one Eagles tribute Illegal Eagles returns for another outstanding show promising more of their trademark musical prowess, acute attention to detail and incredible showmanship followed on Tuesday 20 March by a night of comedy with Stewart Lee with his stand-up show Content Provider, his first full-length show since the award-winning Carpet Remnant World.
Ellen Kent returns with Madama Butterfly on Wednesday 21 March and the smash-hit 70s band Smokie will raise the roof on Thursday 22 March. For the younger theatre fans Peppa Pig has a wonderful adventure on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 March. The opening season draws to a close as Middleground Theatre Company bring the Ruth Rendell classic Gallowglass to the stage from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 March.
Tickets for the Darlington Hippodrome opening season are on sale now; brochures are available from our Cornmill box office and in venues across the region.
For further information and to book contact the box office on 01325 405405, or visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk to choose your own seats online.

Events at the Majestic Theatre

Swashbuckling fun
Ahoy there shipmates why not climb aboard the good ship Naughty Nellie and join family favourites Double Trouble in a brand new swashbuckling spooktacular adventure this Halloween?
Double Trouble and the Curse of the Haunted Pirate Ship will be presented by the same team that brought Sleeping Beauty to The Majestic theatre during the February half term and this time they promise even more spectacular scenery, stunning costumes and laugh out loud comedy for all the family’.
All tickets are just £8.50 if booked before 1st October. All tickets £10.00 afterwards.
Book online at www.majestic-tickets.co.uk or call in at the box office.

The Hullabaloo, the National Centre of Theatre for Young Audiences, has seen Theatre Hullabaloo enter into a new partnership with Darlington Borough Council to offer a purpose-designed theatre space, creative play, family café and a broad range of creative opportunities for children from 0 – 12 years and their families.
The Hullabaloo will open on Monday 11th December with Theatre Hullabaloo’s celebrated Christmas show for 4-7 year olds, Bear & Butterfly, pictured here, and tickets are now on sale at www.theatrehullabaloo.org.uk or via the box office on 01325 405 405 for performances up to and including New Year’s Eve.

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:
Still to come:

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.

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.

Outside Darlington

Baroque at the Bruce – Sunday 16th July at 6:00pm A Cabinet of Musical Delights
Join members of Ad Hoc Baroque For an 18th Century Supper Concert in the elegant surroundings of the East Room in The Bruce Arms, West Tanfield
in aid of the Herriot Hospice Homecare Charity.
The origins of the modern public concert lie in the late 17th Century when composers would hire a room in the pub for performances of their work. Ad Hoc Baroque take us back to the origins of the Bruce Arms with a programme of music at the cutting edge of fashion in the year the Bruce was built in 1760.
Details: Tel: 01677 470 325 | Email philipspellacy@yahoo.co.uk