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:
Events at the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts
Knitting Cafe
ardening and environmental group
Railway heritage


Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club stages Saturday lunchtime gigs at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington. All sessions start at 12.30pm, doors open from noon.

The club presents a variety of performers on the first Saturday of each month at St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, from 12.30pm, £10. Discounts for DfC members with membership cards.

Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club has promoted live jazz in the town since 1996, from ragtime to swing, through the hot dance music of the 1920s, to the revivalist years and the 1960s, with perhaps some be-bop and jive, we try to provide a programme which has something for everyone.

For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk

Darlington Music Society will stage six concerts of classical music during the 2017/2018 season as they have in previous years.

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 remaining concert during the year:

  • Marmen Quartet on Saturday 21st April, playing Mozart, Beethoven & Janacek.

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.





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 

April events:
Friday 20th – Gasto Promotions
10CCLO ise a tribute to both 10CC and ELO
Tickets £10, Doors 7.30pm (Advance tickets advised)

Saturday 21st – The Weller Connection
Paying homage to Paul Weller and his music
Tickets £8, Doors 7.30pm

Friday 27th – Hayley McKay Album Launch
Talented Local Singer/Songwriter and her band performing her new album and more.
Tickets £7adv/£8otd or a special ticket £15 for ticket and new album.
Doors 7.30pm

Saturday 28th April – Shine On
Excellent tribute to Pink Floyd returns to The Forum
Tickets £12adv/£13otd, Doors 7.30pm

May events:
Thursday 17th – Dom Pipkin
Renowned Blues Piano Player to the stars performs his solo show ‘Smokin’ Boogie
Tickets £10, 7.30pm

Friday 18th – The Marley Experience
Brilliant tribute to Bob Marley & The Wailers
Tickets £12, 7.30pm

Saturday 19th – Gasto Promotions Presents
The John Hackett Band + Support Moonshine Grove
Tickets £12, 7.30pm

Friday 25th – Northern Soul Oldies Night
4 DJs spinning quality Northern Soul Oldies, Motown, 60s plus much more
Entrance £3.50, 7pm to Midnight
Happy Hour drinks promotions from 7pm to 8pm

Saturday 26th – Roxy Magic
First class tribute to the music of Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
Tickets £12, 7.30pm

Darlington Folk Club meets every Thursday at the Copper Beech in Neasham Road, 8pm start. Please see below the weekly programme until April.

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


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/

Painting classes start 23rd and 25th April: To develop your skills, join one of the friendly groups at The Bridge, Darlington DL1 1ED. The groups work in a wide variety of materials and methods. Students should bring their own materials.

All levels of expertise are welcome, from complete beginners to more advanced artists looking to improve their range of skills and techniques.

Classes cost £6 per session, this is payable in 5-weekly blocks. The Bridge courses cost £65 for 10 weeks.

  • Monday 5.30pm-7.30pm, starting 23rd April
  • Wednesday 5.30pm-7.30pm, starting 25th April
  • For more details, call tutor Andy Taylor on 0191 373 2485 or visit durhamartworks.co.uk


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

Wednesday 18 April 2018
North Road Head of Steam Museum

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

‘Dr Dresser’s Dream – an Art Appreciation Talk’ takes place on Wednesday 13th June, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Dorman Museum will be giving a talk about one of the pioneers of independent design at The Bridge centre, which is on Yarm Road in Darlington, on the corner of Hundens Lane. Postcode is DL1 1ED and the entrance is on Hundens Lane. Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


18th April: Make a printing plate using scraps of card and found objects.

Print with it in different ways, by hand or with an etching press. Whether your passion is for bold black and white or vivid colours you will take home your own fabulous set of prints.

Workshop is in South Park education centre (next to the clock tower) on Wednesday 18th April from 10.30am to 4pm, £30 includes materials. Booking essential.

Fb message: MissPrintDarlo or call 07971 073396


Rejig’s new season of Skills Courses start on Saturday 26th May 9.30am-2.30pm. The first one is 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 course is at South Park Education Centre, Darlington£25, includes materials and light refreshments.

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)


Art, crafts, exhibitions

Meet, Make, Mend: provides drop-in sewing sessions throughout the week covering all sorts of skills, from quilting, to clothes making, and beyond.
Saturday 21st April
Saturday 26th May
Saturday 30th June

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


Mass Dance 2018 Express yourself!

The Mass Dance takes place on the first weekend of Darlington Arts Festival 2018 – Sunday 20th May from 1pm.

The event brings local dance schools and community groups together to perform one mass dance choreographed by Debbie Harbin of the D project and Darrien Wright of Dance Wright Studios. At last year’s Mass Dance, 800 dancers strutted their stuff in the market place (pictured: photo by Scott Akoz).

If groups want to take part, the organisers can come to you and teach the Mass Dance, or you can attend weekly open sessions each Friday from 20 April to 18 May at 1pm in the Dolphin Centre and evening sessions at Dance Wright Studio on Thursdays 11th and 17th May at 7pm.

The event is organised by Darlington Dance Festival Association – a voluntary group who come together to get Darlo dancing.

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


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.


Open Mic nights for authors: 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.


The Touring Consortium Theatre Company has presented some of the most thought-provoking theatre in Darlington including To Sir With Love, A View From The Bridge, Regeneration, Brassed Off, Brave New World and Of Mice And Men. This season they return with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (15 to 19 May) starring Phil Daniels. Celebrating the world’s greatest entertainer, Thriller Live is a spectacular concert featuring the songs of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 (28 May to 2 June). Broadway’s smash hit musical comedy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Hayley Tamaddon comes to Darlington Hippodrome from 11 to 16 June swiftly followed by This Is Elvis (25 to 30 June) which 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 we have one of the best as 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..]

More big names and blockbuster shows are in the pipeline for 2018 and beyond.
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.


juniper 001

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.