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/

General contents:
Gardening and environmental group
Railway heritage



Darlington Hippodrome: This Is Elvis will be in the building from 25 to 30 June. The show recreates all the drama leading up to ‘the 1968 Comeback Special’ TV show – it’s the musical that puts the king back on the throne.

For lovers of comedy, Joe Pasquale stars as Frank Spencer in an all-new stage show Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (2 to 7 July) while All Or Nothing – the Mod Musical (10 to 14 July) follows the rise and demise of the Small Faces.

  • 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.

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.


Next gig at Opus 4 Jazz club

The club takes place at the Travellers Rest, 2 West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tickets £10. Doors are open at 8pm for an 8.30pm start and it is advised to be early to secure a table.

Voodoo Café 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.

June Events at The Forum
For the full list of gigs and events, please visit www.theforumonline.co.uk

Friday 22nd – Gasto Promotions Presents
Rebecca Downes Band
Tickets £12. Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 23rd – Bootleg Blondie
Paying tribute to Debbie Harry & Blondie
Advance tickets advised
Tickets £12. Doors 7.30pm

Friday 29th – Keep It Cash
Tickets £10. Doors 7.30pm

Darlington Folk Club meets every Thursday at the Copper Beech in Neasham Road, 8pm start.

Darlington Folk Club

More details available on the website www.darlingtonfolkclub.com

Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Club
Check out their programme at the Forum at www.darlington-r-n-b-club.co.uk

Darlington Orchestra Summer Concert 2018
The next Darlington Orchestra takes place on Saturday 7th July 7.30pm in Central Hall at the Dolphin Centre, DL1 5RP.

The concert will, as ever, present an eclectic selection of light classical music – ranging from Beethoven to Burt Bacharach, and from a Hungarian folk opera to the summery sounds of a Gershwin medley.

More details and special guest performers are to be announced nearer the time. Tickets will be available from The Dolphin Centre about one month before the concert.

Tickets £7 and £5 for concessions

Follow the orchestra on Facebook and Twitter


Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club

Saturday 7 July brings the chance to hear ‘the hottest man in town’ when the multi-talented Spats Langham brings his Hot Fingers band and guest star Miss Emily Campbell back to the Club. Hot Fingers celebrates the golden age of music, visiting the red-hot jazz of 1920s New York through to the early days of sophisticated 1930s Swing; Spats and the band’s members are leading experts in this style of music.

Spats visited Darlington last year and the club organisers Graham and Ray got so many requests for another appearance they booked him again as soon as they could – and the sound will be hot, hot, hot.

There’s a licensed bar and tea and coffee is available; and everyone is very welcome to bring their own food along for a picnic.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.

  • Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club meets at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington 12.30pm on the first Saturday of every month (except January). Entry is £10 on the door, and children 15 and under go free.
  • Darlington for Culture members are eligible for discounted entry on production of their membership card.
  • For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk

Darlington Music Society stages six concerts of classical music each year. Tickets are £14 per concert or £52.50 for a season ticket. Tickets can be obtained from the Dolphin Centre or season tickets from Mr. R. Tooze, 66 Headlands, Darlington. DL3 8RZ. Tel: 01325 467163.



The Crossing the Tees Book Festival returns for 2018. Library services for Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland and Darlington present the Book Festival for the Tees Valley. As always, there will be something for all of the family including plenty of talks and children’s activities, all taking place from 9th to 23rd June.

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

Darlington Historical Society programme of summer walks. The walks usually cost £1 per person, no booking necessary.

Sunday 22 July
‘North Road’s Railway History’ walk with David Howlett
Meet at 1.30pm at the Head of Steam, North Road Station Museum forecourt

Sunday 19 August
‘A dead interesting walk around the West Cemetery’ with Richard Stephenson
Meet at the front entrance at 1pm

Darlington Lecture Association
Darlington Lecture Association welcomes £5 visitors to its meetings at Carmel RC College (7.30pm). Details of £25 membership covering eight lectures from 01325 363350 or at www.darlingtonlecture.org.uk


Darlington Comedy Festival in July: Comedians from popular TV shows such as Mock the Week including Chris Ramsey and Gary Delaney are set to perform at the 2018 Darlington Comedy Festival.

Now in its seventh year, the month-long festival takes place at various venues including Darlington Hippodrome, The Forum, Old English Gentleman and the Hole in the Wall throughout July.

The festival kicks off on 7 July at The Forum Music with a trio of top-notch comedians including Russell Hicks, Paul Pirie and host Freddy Quinne who won the Hilarity Bites’ New Act Competition in 2013.


Rejig’s new season of Skills Courses started on Saturday 26th May 9.30am-2.30pm. The first one was fun with batik.

‘Wax and Colour: Modern Batik’ is a three-hour workshop introducing participants to the ancient art of batik, with a modern twist. A mixture of demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on practical time, the session will teach new techniques and help you gain the confidence to use them in creative ways. By the end of the morning, you will have completed a self-contained project and will leave with a finished piece.

The courses at South Park Education Centre, Darlington£25, includes materials and light refreshments.

Visit the website www.luckyfisharts.co.uk/courses

‘Of Equines and Others’ is an exhibition of mixed-media drawings and prints from Darlington-born artist Louise Pallister and it runs until Saturday 28th July at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts, Yarm Road, Darlington.

These widely exhibited large-scale drawings were developed from time spent observing thoroughbreds at the Queen’s stud in Berkshire, a racing stables on Merseyside, and Tatton Park, Cheshire. In looking for essential truths about the creatures she depicts, Louise often focuses on anatomy or elements she sees as conveying fundamental information about the nature and qualities of individual animals.

Visit the exhibition at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts, Yarm Road, Darlington DL1 1ED, Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9.30am-4.30pm. Free admission

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)

A variety of courses take place 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. Web address http://thebridgedarlington.org.uk/

5th July: Workshop at Southpark Education Centre

Make a monoprint

Workshop for beginners and experienced printmakers.

Workshop is in South Park education centre (next to the clock tower) on Thursday 5th July from 10.30am to 4pm, £30 includes materials.
Booking essential.

Fb message: MissPrintDarlo or email greenwoodpack4@gmail.com.


Meet, Make, Mend: provides drop-in sewing sessions throughout the week covering all sorts of skills, from quilting, to clothes making, and beyond.
Saturday 26th May
Saturday 30th June

Oil painting for beginners: one-day course

Established artist and tutor Jo Pickering is hosting a one-day painting workshop at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts on
Saturday 28th July, 10am to 4pm, £40.

Jo will provide a variety of still-life images to work from and will demonstrate materials for a highly enjoyable day. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided but please bring lunch.

Jo will demonstrate two techniques – oil underpainting for oil painting and acrylic underpainting. Jo will also demonstrate the grid drawing method. Please bring: a canvas or board, 12” x 16” or 20” x 16” will be sufficient; a set of oil paints (Jo will provide acrylic inks on the day should you wish to try this medium); water pot, pot for oil thinners (white spirit); a selection of brushes; basic drawing equipment.

  • To book, email Jo or call 07930 422041

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


Dance Show “A Panorama of Movement and Dance” is on Saturday 23 June 2pm at The Dolphin Centre, Darlington DL1 5RP.

The Annual Festival Show of Movement and Dance features participants from all over the North East, from children to mature movers, including performances fresh from the national festival show at Birmingham Symphony Hall.

This colourful display of dance and movement, to a variety of music, is organised by KFA Moves North East Region, part of EMD UK (Exercise, Movement and Dance UK), the lead National Governing Body for exercise, movement and dance, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the development of exercise, movement and dance.

Its teachers take classes in venues throughout the region, including church halls, schools and sports centres and there are opportunities for class members to train for dance performances.

  • Tickets: £11 adults, £5 children
  • For information and tickets, call 0191 388 8125 or email: marilynlaverick@yahoo.com

Hurworth Charity Ceilidh takes place on Saturday 23rd June at Hurworth Village Hall from 6.30pm to 22.30pm.

Bring your own picnic and beverages. There will be locally brewed real ale on tap for generous donations.

£10 a ticket – All profits go to charity Headway The Brain Injury Association.

For tickets please call Pippa on 07500 048379 or 01325 721495.


Morris dance team seeks members

The CotswoldROSMM Morris Team/Black Diamond Mixed Cotswold Morris is seeking new members.

Named after one of the first steam locomotives to operate on the Darlington and Stockton Railway/Black Diamond, this new Cotswold Morris team is based in Darlington.

Dancing traditional dances from the Cotswold villages, this team comprises of both women and men.

They practise in the upstairs room of the Voodoo Cafe Bar on Skinnergate in Darlington from 7.30 pm until about 9.30pm.

They welcome any dancers and musicians who would like to join them and if you’re not a dancer or musician then you are still more than welcome to come and join and learn these traditional dances.

6th Street Swing

Transport 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.

Tuesdays 7.30 – 8.30 followed by social dancing at Voodoo Cafe, Skinnergate

Cost: £3 – first class free

Contact: Angeline a.unique.rose@gmail.com

Love Tango Darlington

This group dances both traditional Argentine and modern Nuevo Tango.

Class every Thursday 7.30pm followed by dancing until late with John Paul Tango at Haughton Le Skerne Working Men’s Club, 25 Haughton Green, Darlington DL1 2DD.

More details: call 01325 468738 or visit group’s Facebook page.


Open Mic nights for authors: The next event is on 28 June.

The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture, offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, in the upstairs room at HASH, 14 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington DL3 7RG (usually  on the last Thursday of the month, except July, August and December).

Now in their seventh 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. A share of the proceeds is 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.



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Darlington Amateur Gardening Club: meets 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.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE Darlington: meets in the Upstairs Restaurant, Dolphin Centre, Darlington, at 6.30pm. 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.


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 www.sdr1825.co.uk/  Or at their Facebook page; where notice of regular meetings and events can be found www.facebook.com/groups/304912612980375/. The Friends hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7.10pm, usually at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams. Email info@sdr1825.co.uk for information.


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, call  01325 367375 or search for National Council of Women Great Britain on Facebook.

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.