Darlington

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This article is about the town in England. For other uses, see Darlington (disambiguation).
Darlington
Darlo town centre.JPG
Darlington town centre
Darlington is located in County Durham
Darlington
Darlington
 Darlington shown within County Durham
Population 106,000 [1]
OS grid reference NZ289147
   – London 219 mi (352 km)  
Unitary authority Darlington
Ceremonial county County Durham
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DARLINGTON
Postcode district DL1, DL2, DL3
Dialling code 01325
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Darlington
Website www.darlington.gov.uk
List of places
UK
England
County Durham

Coordinates: 54°31′37″N 1°33′09″W / 54.5270°N 1.5526°W / 54.5270; -1.5526

Darlington is a large market town in County Durham, north-east England. It is also the major settlement in the unitary authority and Borough of Darlington, with a resident population of 106,000 in 2011. The town lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river.[2][3] The town owes much of its development to the influence of local Quaker families during the Victorian era, and it is famous as the terminus of the world's first passenger railway. Darlington railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line.

History[edit]

St Cuthbert's Church

Early history[edit]

Darlington started life as an Anglo-Saxon settlement.[4] The name Darlington derives from the Anglo-Saxon Dearthington, which seemingly meant 'the settlement of Deornoth's people' but by Norman times the name had changed to Derlinton.[4] During the 17th and 18th centuries the town was generally known by the name of Darnton.[4]

Darlington has a historic market area in the town centre. Built in 1183, the Grade I listed St Cuthbert's Church is one of the most important early English churches in the north of England.[5]

Visiting during the 18th century, Daniel Defoe noted that the town was eminent for "good bleaching of linen, so that I have known cloth brought from Scotland to be bleached here". However he also disparaged the town, writing that it had "nothing remarkable but dirt" (the roads would typically be unpaved at the time).[6]

The Durham Ox came from Darlington.[4]

19th century industry[edit]

Russian Crimean War Cannon from Sevastopol in South Park

During the early 19th century, Darlington remained a small market town.[7] As the century progressed, powerful Quaker families such as the Pease and Backhouse families were prominent employers and philanthropists in the area. Darlington's most famous landmark, the clock tower, was a gift to the town by the industrialist Joseph Pease in 1864.[8] The clock's face was produced by T. Cooke & Sons of York, and the tower bells were cast by John Warner & Sons of nearby Norton-on-Tees.[5] The Darlington Mechanics Institute was opened in 1854 by Elizabeth Pease Nichol, who had made the largest donation towards its building costs.[9] The 91-acre South Park was redeveloped into its current form in 1853, with financial backing from the Backhouse family.[10] Alfred Waterhouse, responsible for London's Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall, designed the Grade II listed Victorian Market Hall in 1860, and also the Backhouse's Bank building, now a branch of Barclays, in 1864, the latter taking three years to complete.[5] George Gordon Hoskins was responsible for much of the town's architecture in this period, such as The King's Hotel. The Darlington Free Library was built with funding from Edward Pease, and opened in 1884.[11]

Railways[edit]

Darlington is known for its associations with the birth of railways. This is celebrated in the town at Darlington Railway Centre and Museum. The world's first passenger rail journey was between Shildon and Stockton-on-Tees via Darlington, on the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825.

The town later became an important centre for railway manufacturing. An early railway works was the Hopetown Carriage Works (est.1853) which supplied carriages and locomotives to the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The engineering firm of William and Alfred Kitching also manufactured locomotives in the 19th century. The town developed to have three significant works; the largest of these was the main line Darlington Works, whose main works were known as the North Road Shops which opened in 1863 and closed in 1966. Another was Robert Stephenson & Co. (colloquially: "Stivvies"), who moved to Darlington from Newcastle upon Tyne in 1902, became Robert Stephensons & Hawthorns in 1937, were absorbed by English Electric around 1960, and closed by 1964. The third was Faverdale Wagon Works, established in 1923 and closed in 1962, which in the 1950s was a UK pioneer in the application of mass-production techniques to the manufacture of railway goods wagons.

To commemorate the town's contribution to the railways, David Mach's 1997 work "Train" is located alongside the A66, close to the original Stockton–Darlington railway. It is a life-size brick sculpture of a steaming locomotive emerging from a tunnel, made from 185,000 "Accrington Nori" bricks. The work had a budget of £760,000.

For 19 years, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust[12] built a 50th member of the long withdrawn LNER Peppercorn Class A1 engine, called 'Tornado' and numbered 60163, from scratch in the 1853 former Stockton and Darlington Railway Carriage Works at Hopetown. Many of the original fleet had been built at Darlington locomotive works in the late 1940s.

Engineering[edit]

Darlington has long been a centre for engineering, particularly bridge building.[4] Bridges built in Darlington are found as far away as the River Nile and the River Amazon.[4] The large engineering firm Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company still has its headquarters in the town. The firm built the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and the Humber Bridge, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.[13] One of the leading engine building firms, Cummins, has major premises in Darlington, and it houses the industrial headquarters of AMEC.[14] The engineering companies Darlington Forge Company (cl.1967) and Whessoe also originated in Darlington.

Other[edit]

In 1870, The Northern Echo newspaper was launched. It is based in Priestgate and is a long-standing part of life in the North East. Although a local paper, it is a full-bodied newspaper in its own right and includes national and international news in its scope. William Thomas Stead was a notable editor of The Northern Echo. Opposite The Northern Echo building is The William Stead public house, restaurant and beer garden. It was announced on 9 April 2011 that The Northern Echo are to relocate to make way for the Cornmill Shopping Centre expansion.[15]

Recent history[edit]

In 1939, Darlington had the most cinema seats per head of population in the United Kingdom.[5] The town centre has undergone a full refurbishment entitled The Pedestrian Heart, which has seen the majority of the town centre pedestrianised.[16] Initially, the project received criticism surrounding changes to public transport, and removal of Victorian features along High Row.[17][18] There is now growing evidence, however, that the now-completed changes are meeting with local approval.[19]

In August 2008 the King's Hotel in the town centre was devastated by fire, severely damaging the roof and 100 bedrooms. Several shops, including Woolworths, were damaged and had to close for weeks afterwards. No one was killed in the blaze. Work on the restoration of the building was completed by the end of 2011.

Government[edit]

On 1 April 1997, the Borough of Darlington became a unitary authority area with the formation of Darlington Borough Council, which separated it from the non-metropolitan county of Durham for administrative purposes only, as the town is still within County Durham for ceremonial purposes. Currently a Labour seat, the current MP is Labour's Jenny Chapman. Former members of parliament for the town include Alan Milburn, the former Secretary of State for Health under the Tony Blair Labour Government and Michael Fallon, the current Secretary of State for Defence under the David Cameron Coalition Government.

Geography[edit]

Darlington in 2004

Darlington is located in South Durham close to the River Tees which acts as the border between Durham and Yorkshire. Both the River Tees and River Skerne pass through the town, the River Skerne later joining the River Tees which then flows through Teesside and into the North Sea.

Darlington railway station lies on the East Coast Main Line. There are also local services from the historic North Road railway station and associated Darlington Railway Centre and Museum.

The nearest large towns are Stockton, Middlesbrough and Durham.

Suburbs[edit]

There are several suburbs of Darlington. In the north are Harrowgate Hill, Harrowgate Village and Beaumont Hill and to the north-east are Whinfield and Haughton Le Skerne. To the east is the suburb of Eastbourne with Firthmoor and Skerne Park to the south. Situated in the west end are Hummersknott, Mowden and Blackwell. Finally, to the north-west are Branksome, Cockerton, Faverdale, The Denes, West Park, High Grange and Pierremont which is associated with the notable Henry Pease (MP).[20][21]

Twin towns[edit]

Darlington is twinned with:

Economy[edit]

Darlington memorial hospital
Darlington market hall
The Cornmill Centre

EE are the largest private sector employers in the town, hiring 2,500 people. Another major employer in the area is the English division of the Student Loans Company, Student Finance England, who are based at Lingfield Point and employ over 1,000 people.[24] Nevertheless there are major engineering sites, with both Cleveland Bridge and the industrial arm of AMEC headquartered in the town. Another major firm within the engineering industry based in the town is Cummins which has a large scale engine building facility in the Morton Park area of Darlington. UK retail company Argos have their largest warehouse distribution centre in the North of England located in Darlington, within Faverdale Industrial Estate to the North West of the town. Other large service sector companies with offices in the town include Darlington Building Society, Bannatyne Fitness Ltd and the national vehicle rental company Northgate, which is headquartered in the town; also within the Morton Park area.

As well as the large engineering sites based in the town, Darlington is also home to many businesses within the modern and developing industries including Information Technology. With large firms such as Infoserve Ltd having offices within the Morton Park area to the east of Darlington, located next to the A66 Darlington Eastern Bypass.

Close to the Darlington A66 Bypass is also the Link66 redevelopment scheme, which is a large plot of land close to the Morton Park site. It is hoped developers will see potential in the site due to its excellent transport links with fast access to the town centre and central park regeneration zone via the new Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor constructed in 2008. While also being in close proximity to the A1(M) Motorway which heads south to London and north to Edinburgh.

In November 2012, a deal was signed between Darlington Borough Council and developer Terrace Hill for a £30 million re-development of the site of the former Feethams bus depot. The proposed development includes a new multiplex cinema run by Vue Cinemas Entertainment to serve Darlington and the wider South Durham area, as the area currently has no multiplex cinema. Residents currently have to travel to Teesside for the nearest multiplex cinema. The development will also house a new 80 bedroom riverside hotel, and various food and drink venues. The proposal has an expected completion date of late 2014.[25]

Darlington Borough Council has announced the neighbouring site currently used as a car park for the town hall is also to be redeveloped to house riverside office space for the Department for Education in an effort to safeguard Darlington jobs.

The international telecommunications company BT Group recently announced Darlington as one of the economically important locations in England to have BT fibre-optic cables installed underground as part of the company's BT Infinity superfast broadband rollout project. BT Group cites their decision to include Darlington in the national rollour of multi-provider fibre optic (cable) broadband as necessary due to the towns relatively large amount of IT demanding firms and future plans for developments including space for high-tech firms. Darlington Borough Council, residents and local businesses praised the decision by BT Group and it is hoped the investment will attract enterprise to the town, potentially creating employment for residents and boosting the economy.

The Morton Park area of Darlington is currently undergoing a partial redevelopment, with areas of unused waste land being redeveloped into modern industrial and office space, the developments add to the plans for redevelopment of the current Council depot on Central Park which is also to be redeveloped into commercial space and the Link66 scheme also close to Morton Park. Other commercial spaces in Darlington include North Road Industrial Estate, which includes a Morrisons superstore supermarket; Cleveland Trading Estate and Faverdale Industrial Estate.

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Darlington at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[26] Agriculture[27] Industry[28] Services[29]
1995 1,115 8 377 729
2000 1,192 6 417 768
2003 1,538 6 561 971

Darlington is historically a market town with a well established weekly outdoor market and a thriving indoor market located underneath the town clock on Prebend Row. Also located on Prebend Row is the Cornmill Shopping centre which is the main retail area of Darlington. The market square is one of the biggest in the country.[30]

Darlington attracts people from a wide area to its newly pedestrianised town centre. The retail is remaining strong even through the economic downturn of 2009. House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer both have outlets in the town centre, with Debenhams scheduled to open in 2014.[31]

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

Darlington has excellent road transport links with the North East's major trunk route the A1(M), which bypasses the town to the west. It was completed in 1965 replacing the Great North Road route which is now known as the A167. The town is served by 3 close junctions of the A1(M): Junction 57 A66(M), Junction 58 A68, Junction 59 A167. Junction 59 is the access exit for Darlington Motorway Services (Newton Park), with an onsite filling station, Hotel and a 24-hour restaurant with a drive through. Darlington is also close to other major trunk routes, including the A66 transpennine route connecting Darlington to Stockton and the A19. The £5.9 million five-mile (8 km) A66 Darlington Eastern Bypass opened on 25 November 1985. The Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor, linking the Central Park regeneration zone (Haughton Road) and Darlington town-centre to a new roundabout on the A66, was opened in the summer of 2008.

Rail[edit]

Darlington railway station is an important interchange stop on the East Coast Main Line and has regular services to London Kings Cross, Leeds City station, Wakefield Westgate, Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and Newcastle. Darlington railway station also serves as the mainline interchange for Middlesbrough railway station, which itself has few intercity services. Darlington railway station boasts a large Victorian clock tower which, in the relatively low rise town centre, can be seen throughout large areas of the town. Darlington also has access to the Tees Valley Line connecting all the main settlements of the Tees Valley and runs from Bishop Auckland to Saltburn via Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough among many other smaller settlements. There is a proposal for the Tees Valley conurbation's Tees Valley Line to undergo an extensive upgrade and rebranding of the service to be known as the Tees Valley Metro, much like that of the Tyne and Wear Metro currently in use across the Tyneside conurbation.

Bus[edit]

Arriva buses in Darlington

Bus transport in the town is provided by Arriva North East and Scarlet Band. Darlington lost out on considerable public receipts when the municipal bus operator Darlingon Transport Company was placed into administration during an attempted privatisation, due to continuing financial difficulties and the Darlington Bus War.

Arriva run most of the bus services in the town, and Scarlet Band operate four routes (all withdrawn from 30 December 2012), primarily the services with fewer passengers. Arriva used to run the routes now operated by Scarlet Band but Darlington Council re-tendered them due to financial trouble in early 2009 after the re-shuffle of the Bus system. .

Stagecoach used to operate in the town (since the Bus War) until 2007, when they sold their operations to Arriva. Arriva therefore became the main bus operator, operating nearly all routes in the town, until Scarlet Band became present in early 2009.

Darlington was chosen by the Department for Transport as one of three national Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns (together with Peterborough and Worcester) in 2004, and has successfully delivered a three-year research and marketing programme to promote sustainable travel choices under the brand name 'Local Motion'. It was also chosen as one of six cycling demonstration towns in October 2005, receiving £3 million worth of funding from the government and local council money.[32] The money has been spent over the course of three years on improving cycling facilities and routes, and linking the town to the national cycle route network. Darlington is the only place to win both sustainable travel and cycling demonstration town status.[33]

Airport[edit]

Durham Tees Valley Airport is 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Darlington town centre and serves County Durham and Teesside. The airport was known as Teesside Airport until 2004. It has flights to a few domestic locations across the UK and international flights to locations across Europe. Many private or General Aviation Flights use the airport. Weston Aviation are there for that purpose. The airport has a Fire Training Centre that trains many airport firefighters from all over the UK. The nearest larger airports are Newcastle Airport (47.6 miles (76.6 km)) and Leeds Bradford International Airport (62 miles (100 km)).

Education[edit]

The town has the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College (former grammar school). There are many other schools including: Carmel RC Technology College, Darlington School of Maths and Science, Hummersknott Academy, Hurworth School and St Aidan's Church of England Academy. Darlington College is the newly built FE College. Teesside University opened a Darlington campus in 2011 offering higher education in the town to students and businesses. The town is also home to two independent schools – Yarm at Raventhorpe (formally Raventhorpe Preparatory School), and Polam Hall School which caters for boys and girls aged three to eighteen. A third independent school, Hurworth House School in the neighbouring village of Hurworth-on-Tees, closed in 2010.

Media[edit]

Darlington is home to the regional daily newspaper The Northern Echo and its sister weekly newspaper Darlington & Stockton Times. Local County Durham radio station Star Radio North East broadcasts from the town.[34]

In November 2009 the town appointed an official 'Twitterer in residence', the first of its kind in the UK. Mike McTimoney (known on Twitter as TheDarloBard) is a local regular Twitter user who has been officially charged with tweeting for and about Darlington,[35] and to help promote The Darlington Experiment 2.0, the town's social media campaign.

In 1998 the County Durham town of Darlington hit the national headlines after local man David James Harker murdered and beheaded his girlfriend Julie Paterson before eating parts of her body in the Harewood Grove area, close to the large Sainsbury's supermarket; followed by the dumping of her torso which was later discovered in bushes by residents and reported to Durham Police. Harker was later diagnosed by experts as having Antisocial Personality Disorder, and is remembered as the Darlington Cannibal Killer.

Sport[edit]

The town is home to the football team Darlington F.C., known as The Quakers because of the contributions made to the town by men such as Edward and Joseph Pease, members of the Religious Society of Friends. The town's football club played at the 25,000 capacity Darlington Arena when it opened on Neasham Road in 2003, after 120 years at Feethams. In 2010 they were relegated from the Football League, 21 years after they suffered a similar fate when they were then promoted back from the Football Conference at the first attempt. In the 2010–11 season Darlington won the FA Trophy but were relegated four divisions to the Northern Football League Division One for season 2012–13. Darlington currently play at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland.

Darlington's leading Rugby Union club is Darlington Mowden RFC. Mowden were promoted as champions from National League 3 North in 2011–12 and now own and play at the Darlington Arena, in the fourth tier of the English league system, the National League 2 North. Darlington RFC play at Blackwell Meadows in the seventh tier, North 1 East.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ 2[dead link]
  2. ^ Darlington – LoveToKnow 1911[dead link]
  3. ^ Census 2001 – Population Pyramids – Darlington UA
  4. ^ a b c d e f Darlington
  5. ^ a b c d visitdarlington.com: The Leading Visited Arlington Site on the Net
  6. ^ Vision of Britain | Daniel Defoe | Letter 9: Eastern Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland
  7. ^ A History of Darlington
  8. ^ Darlington town clock keeps up with the chimes (From The Northern Echo)
  9. ^ Lloyd, Chris (10 March 2014). "HISTORY: School for rude mechanicals". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  10. ^ South Park – Municipal Park in Darlington, Darlington – Visit Darlington
  11. ^ visitdarlington.com
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ Project Reference and Timeline
  14. ^ Cummins adds to jobs bonanza (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
  15. ^ Terms agreed for Echo building sale (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
  16. ^ "Main Features of the Pedestrian Heart Scheme". Darlington Borough Council. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Town revamp 'may disrupt traders'". BBC News. 16 September 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2008. 
  18. ^ "Trader hits out at the heart of the scheme". The Northern Echo. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2008. 
  19. ^ "Hearty thanks – Town centre scheme is praised". Herald & Post. 
  20. ^ An ice house was the perfect way for a mansion-owner to keep his cool (From The Northern Echo)
  21. ^ Home, sweet home (From The Advertiser Series)
  22. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Darlington's Twin Towns". Darlington Borough Council. [dead link]
  24. ^ Darlington Borough Council[dead link]
  25. ^ £30m cinema and hotel development to transform Darlington town centre, The Northern Echo, 14 November 2012, retrieved 28 April 2013 
  26. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  27. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  28. ^ includes energy and construction
  29. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  30. ^ Rough Guide to England, p1058
  31. ^ [2][dead link]
  32. ^ "£3 m to make town a more friendly place for cyclists". The Northern Echo. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2008. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Cycling comments needed". The Northern Echo. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2008. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Alpha 103.2 – Public Information File". Alpha 103.2 official website. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  35. ^ "IT teacher employed as Twitterer-in-residence". The Northern Echo. 
  36. ^ "Second Raid on Humber Area Many Casualties, Other Attacks in North Midlands". Issue 48922; col C (The Times). 10 May 1941. p. 2. 
  37. ^ Lloyd, Chris (19 March 2003). "Echo memories – Tragic star whose light was snuffed out too early". The Northern Echo. pp. 6b. 
  38. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-years-honours-2014
  39. ^ "Community centre champion awarded BEM". The Northern Echo. 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  40. ^ ODNB entries for Edward Pease and Joseph Pease Retrieved 31 July 2011, pay-walled.
  41. ^ ODNB entries for Edward Pease and Joseph Pease...
  42. ^ "Player profile: David Varey". EPSNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 

External links[edit]