Glimpse history through old images of Darlington, in County Durham, North East England.
Darlington, a large market town in County Durham, is widely and affectionately referred to as ‘Darlo’ by the local community.
In the 1920s the town’s railways saw both a Royal Visit and later several terrible train collisions.
Darlington in 1776
This image of the town’s South East aspect was etched and engraved in 1776.
Views of Darlington in County Durham, rewound through time, show us how the familiar scenes of today looked centuries ago.
“Darlington: A Town Through Time!” – James Fox on YouTube
Royal Visit 1925
On Thursday 2nd July, 1925, the Duke and Duchess of York arrived by train to watch a parade celebrating the anniversary of Stockton to Darlington’s first passenger railway service.
“The Anniversary of the Stockton to Darlington first passenger railway service, 1920’s – Film 681” – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube
Fatal Train Collision 1929
Vintage film of a fatal express collision. The night mail train and a light locomotive crashed on the same spot as a terrible disaster the previous June.
Various shots of the front of the engine smashed in and the other engine completely destroyed.
“Fatal Express Collision (1929)” – British Pathé on YouTube
“From Sunderland to Darlington by foot is no vacation,” says Barry Barnes. An amusing short film, probably from the 1930s.
“Walking. Sunderland to Darlington” – British Movietone on YouTube
World’s Largest Casting 1931
In 1931, a huge new stern frame weighing hundreds of tons was cast at a Darlington foundry, for the new 73,000 ton Cunard liner, the 534, later called the Queen Mary.
We see workers in the foundry, as well as the steam train called ‘Unity’, which pulls the huge castings along the foundry’s rail track.
There’s also a scene showing a model of the ship undergoing tests in a water tank, to determine how the real liner would behave out at sea under various conditions.
“Another Record For Britain! (1931)” – British Pathé on YouTube
Cine Film of 1960s Trains
Filmed in Darlington, the cine film captures the 1960s railway, in the dying days of the age of steam.
“A Railwayman’s Film Darlington 1960 ” – Anthony Alexandrovic on YouTube
Photos of 1960s Steam Trains
Photos of steam trains taken at Darlington in the 1960’s have been assembled into a video montage slideshow.
“British Railways 1960’s Darlington Station” – Agdenyer on YouTube
Darlington Carnival 1967
Nick Pearson’s dad Ron filmed the Darlington Carnival on cine film in 1967, which has later transferred to digital and uploaded to YouTube. There’s no sound, but it’s a rare vintage clip of this popular local event.
“Darlington carnival 1967” – Nick Pearson on YouTube
Buses in the 1970s
Darlington’s buses in the town centre back in the 1970s.
“Bus Darlington” – mickhymans on YouTube
Bank Top Railway Station in the 1970s
Bank Top railway station was originally built to serve the Stockton & Darlington route and today is a stop on the East Coast Railway Service from London to Edinburgh.
This is vintage footage of the railway station back in the 1970s.
“Darlington top bank railway station 70’s pre-tops” – Dave W on YouTube
Darlington Lions’ Carnival 1975
1975 was the 150th anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. As part of the celebrations, there was a parade for the Darlington Lions’ Carnival on 23rd August.
“1975 Darlington Lions’ Carnival Day” – Nick Pearson on YouTube
Antiques Roadshow 1991
The popular TV series Antiques Roadshow visited Darlington for a show broadcast on 6th January, 1991.
“Antiques Roadshow UK Series 13 Episode 2 Darlington, County Durham” – UK VHS Archive on YouTube
Haughton school, first opened in 1959, had a capacity of over 1000 students.
A £27 million multi-school campus was built on the same site in 2006. The Education Village, as it was now called, housed Haughton Secondary School, Springfield Primary School, and Beaumont Hill Special School.
Tony Blair, then the Prime Minister, came to open the new campus, which now had an overall capacity for 1,350 school pupils.
Once the three new schools were opened, the original Haughton School building was demolished and replaced with a sports ground.
Today, the original main entrance to Haughton School is marked only by the location of two houses, facing sideways.
“Haughton Community School, Darlington” – Aviation Madness on YouTube
Darlington’s Buses 1994
This is a trailer for a DVD showing Darlington’s buses in action in November 1994. You’ll see local buildings, cars and people, as well as the buses you may have used back in the 90s.
“DARLINGTON BUSES NOV 1994” – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube
The Town In The 21st Century
Short video of the fire at the Kings Head Hotel in Darlington on 15th August 2008. Video supplied by the Civil Contingency Unit (works in partnership with Darlington Borough Council).
“Kings Head Hotel Fire” – Darlington Borough Council on YouTube
A trip by road through the town centre on Sunday, 3rd May 2009, showing points of interest and landmarks along the way. Filmed by Peter Crooks.
“Darlington Town Centre Road Trip” – Lovely Planet on YouTube
Trains in and around Darlingtown between 1993 and 2013.
“DARLINGTON AREA RAILWAYS 1993-2013″ – RMPOWLS on YouTube
More County Durham pages
With thanks to Youngfoto from Pixabay for the main image on this page.