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FREE - November 2017


What to see and do this month It’s another packed events calendar The latest LEGO movie rated Was our reviewer left bricking it? A visit to Nottinghamshire We take a look around Newark-on-Trent

The George Hotel

Pages 4 & 26

Find genuinely local trades, all background checked with verified reviews. Car Diagnostics

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TONY SIMPSON LTD We offer a comprehensive range of services From MOT testing to engine diagnostics| at our fully equipped garage in Darlington Call us on: 0132 578 7278

RAPID RESPONSE DRAIN CARE LTD 24 hour emergency response service. Specialist sky vac gutter cleaning equipment with CCTV! No call out charge, free assessments & quotations Please call Graham on: 0132 578 7281

WEIR QUALITY TILING Specialising in all aspects of tiling work We undertake all wall & floor tiling, bathrooms, kitchens & much more. No job too big or small! Please call: 0132 578 7283 for a free quote



uPVC Doors, Windows and Cons.

RM LANDSCAPES & DESIGN Japanese & oriental garden specialist. Landscaping paving & patios, decking, artificial grass, driveways. Call now for a free quote Call:0132 578 7289

JW DRIVEWAY & PATIO SPECIALIST All aspects of driveways & patio work From paving to patios, driveways & much more Experienced, professional, friendly & local firm Call on: 0132 578 7282

BESPOKE WINDOWS DARLINGTON LTD Specialists in windows & door production & Installation, from composite doors, French doors, Bi-Folding door, conservatories & much more. Call on: 0132 578 7275 for a free quote

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uPVC Doors, Windows and Cons.

RAM SECURITY Specialist installers of Intruder alarms, CCTV Systems, access control, door entry & more for all our services Please call: 0132 578 7280

THE COBBLERS OF NORTON Specialising in all aspects of new & old car keys We can cut & code new, remote or standard keys for all vehicles. 24hr emergency service available Please call: 0132 578 7291

VALUE DOORS DURHAM & TEES We supply a wide range of Composite & uPVC doors of all varieties at affordable prices! High quality service assured! Please call: 0132 578 7279

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners

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DARLO CARPET CEANING SERVICES We specialise in all aspects of cleaning work from carpet and upholstery to car valeting & much more, free no obligation quotes available Please call: 0132 578 7288

KEVIN BROWN DECORATORS All aspects of painting & decorating undertaken Whether you need a single wall painting or an entire house makeover - we can help! Please call: 0132 578 7276

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A PARKER PLUMBING LTD All plumbing & gas work undertaken, radiators, Taps, power flushing & Landlord CP12's certs. No job too small & free estimates Call: 0132 578 7290

A CLOSE ROOFING & MAINTENANCE We specialise in all aspects of roofing work From repairs to full new roofs & much more. Fully insured and experienced firm. Call us on: 0132 578 7285

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It’s hard to imagine someone you love ever needing care. We find lots of families simply aren’t informed when that time comes around. North Park Care Centre’s team are always happy to provide friendly advice or help in understanding the different types of care available. Barchester Healthcare: proud to have been providing care and reassurance for over 25 years. Care, safety and happiness are at the heart of everything we do

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The George Hotel Piercebridge

Wedding Fayre

11am - 3pm Sunday 26th November 2017 Free entry


To book or for further information call 01325 374576

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Welcome to the November edition of Darlington Monthly! Last month we held an incredible evening of local businesses getting together at The Croft Hotel to chat and toast to the continued success of Darlington Monthly.The team at Darlington Monthly would like to thank Nathan from The Croft Hotel for allowing us to host the event at such a beautiful venue. As a community magazine, our goal is to champion local businesses and provide local people with useful, interesting content. Since the very beginning of Darlington Monthly, we’ve printed and designed the magazine and worked closely with former owner, Angela Ming. However,Angela decided in July that the time was right to move on to pastures new and we’ve taken full control of the magazine. The reason for having the ‘re-launch event’ last month was not only to bring local people and local businesses together, but to let everyone know the plans we have and the things we’ve already put in place. For example, since taking over we’ve increased the number of magazines we print to a level that the magazine has never been at before! The magazine is also going into more businesses than ever before and new areas in and around Darlington are seeing the magazine for possibly the first time.

06 12

We’d also like to thank Jenny from Harvey & Hugo for saying a few kind words and promoting their PR services during the event. Once again, a huge thank you to Nathan and his team at The Croft Hotel; we’ll certainly be back and I’m confident a lot of the visitors to our event will be, too! The Croft Hotel is a grade II listed hotel offering an intimate, luxurious accommodation perfectly situated near Darlington, but also close enough to explore Richmondshire and the surrounding areas.


The Croft Hotel, Dalton Road, Croft-on-Tees, Darlington, DL2 2ST. Call 01325 720319 or email to learn more about their beautiful rooms and suites, restaurant and wedding packages.

Available to read online Visit /DarlingtonMonthly

Competition Winners



Disclaimer... Whilst we take every care to ensure accuracy in this magazine, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for any incorrect information. All advertisements are accepted in good faith as to their veracity and we are not responsible for views expressed by contributors or other sources. The copying of any material within this publication is strictly forbidden without the publishers or Studio Managers consent. By providing your email address and entering our competitions you agree to receive email communications from the competition sponsor/prize provider.

The Croft Hotel Vue Cinema Shirley Sutton, Darlington Mrs. C. Hazlett, Darlington Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online:


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What would a ‘no-deal’ Brexit actually mean? What would a ‘no-deal’ Brexit actually mean? Yes, we know you’re probably more than a little sick of publications like ourselves here at Darlington Monthly still ‘banging on’ about the UK’s impending departure from the European Union - but let’s be honest, it’s something we still have to talk about. That is not least the case amid recent intensifying talk that we may end up leaving the EU in March 2019 with no formal agreement in place at all. Whether you’ve heard it described as a ‘no-deal’ Brexit or a ‘hard’ Brexit, a lot has been speculated about what departing the EU in such circumstances might entail. How many people want a ‘no-deal’ Brexit? Despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s early insistence that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, it doesn’t seem to be an eventuality relished by too many people. President of the European Council Donald Tusk, for example, declared earlier this year that “a no-deal scenario would be bad for everyone”. Meanwhile, according to a Survation poll just after the election, as many as two-thirds of Brits believed that an EU departure without “a mutually agreed deal” would be bad for the country, with just 26% reckoning it would be a good thing. Such scepticism was mirrored in similar polls. So, will there be chaos? With supporters of leaving the EU having long decried what they have described as ‘Project Fear’ scaremongering among those who campaigned in favour of remaining in the bloc, it might not be a great surprise that there have been many headlines suggesting chaos would reign from the first day of a ‘hard’ Brexit.


In July, for instance, New Statesman’s Julia Rampen outlined a series of things that she expected to happen on “No Deal Brexit Day”, including legal chaos, the reappearance of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, food price rises and trading with the EU defaulting to World Trade Organisation rules. She added, of the latter: “In practical terms, this means lorry queues at border points like Dover and Calais.” Or are we all getting a bit ahead of ourselves? Of course, the other school of thought is that we’re all getting slightly overdramatic about the whole thing. That certainly seemed to be the sentiment of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson back in March, when he told ITV: “I don’t think that the consequences of a no-deal are by any means as apocalyptic as some people like to pretend.” Much more recently, in early October, in a debate with Labour MP Mary Creagh in City A.M. about the potential consequences of a ‘no deal’, BrexitCentral deputy editor Hugh Bennett said that “the key factor in determining whether ‘no deal’ can work for the UK comes down to whether the government commits serious resources to planning for it. “There are issues to resolve whether the UK leaves with or without a deal, but none will ultimately prove too challenging if the right preparations are made in good time.” So, there you have it. Could a ‘no-deal’ Brexit be the catastrophe that it has been predicted it will be in some quarters? The balance of opinion seems to be... possibly, but possibly not. Keep your eyes peeled for further updates on the matter in future months’ issues of Darlington Monthly.

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POETRY CORNER North Penines: Bleak yet Awesomely Beautiful; Stunning falls flow into Deep Pool. The winds are Fresh, even Freezing, so wrap up, even if not looking; ‘Cool’! Hear Grouse and Partridge, Buzzard and Curlew plus many, many more; See them Soar and Dip in Cool, Fresh Air with shrill call warning of you; before! Miles and miles of Moorland, festooned with Sun glistened Heather; A Beauty that must be seen not described, as it Blooms in any Weather. In places Man Destroys the Contours with ‘Off Road’ Vehicle and Bike; Yet Nature will Reclaim the Heath, as forever Nature does its ‘Like’! There is nothing to compare with the Solitude; Bleak and Stark and Cold; Frequented by the Hardy and Lived upon by The Bold!

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What’s on TV This Month Madam Secretary, Sky Living

Tea Leoni stars as Dr Elizabeth McCord, the United States Secretary of State described by The Telegraph as “an appealing blend of Hillary Clinton and Jessica Chastain’s CIA operative Maya in Zero Dark Thirty.” Sure enough, McCord herself is a former CIA analyst of 20 years and subsequent political science professor at the University ofVirginia, who is selected by her old boss and now-President of the United States, Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine), to replace Secretary of State Vincent Marsh after his death in a plane crash.

of their teenage kids, played by Brenock O’Connor and Rosie Day, but their hopes of a dream life go down the pan when they meet its madcap residents. Kevin Nash, Kim Fields, Leslie Jordan, Jimmy Akingbola and Paula Wilcox also star in this debut series, which airs from 9pm on 2nd November on Sky1. In the words of the producers, “Mal’s bought an RV Park with plans for a booming family-run business, but it soon turns out that they are not going to be living the dream they hoped... with culture clashes aplenty, life in Britain soon seems even further away than they’d thought it would. But with the support of each other and their crazy new friends, they begin to learn how to live the American dream.”

Returning for its fourth series, Madam Secretary continues to chart McCord’s adventures as she drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol if needed in her negotiation of worldwide issues. The expert diplomat is valued by the President for her apolitical leanings, Godless, Netflix deep knowledge of the Middle East, lingual flair and ability to Notorious criminal Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) and his gang of think outside the box - and failure to know there is a box. outlaws are determined to exact revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé responsible for betraying As Darlington Monthly went to press, there was no the brotherhood. While he is on the run, Goode seeks refuge confirmation of an exact date for the show’s return, so keep an with a fellow outcast, Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), a eye on the Sky Living schedules. hardened widower residing in the worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, New Mexico, which is governed mainly by women. Living The Dream, Sky1 This expat comedy drama from the makers of Cold Feet focuses on a family who make the big decision to move from When word gets through to the town that Griffin is headed rainy Yorkshire to the Sunshine State of Florida, only for things their way, residents team up to defend against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier. Godless airs on Netflix from to not quite go to plan. 22nd November, with the likes of Scoot McNairy, Thomas Mal Pemberton (Philip Glenister) and his wife Jen (Lesley Brodie-Sangster and Merritt Wever also starring. Sharp) take over a recreational vehicle (RV) park with the help 10

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MORTON OPTICIANS established in 1937 by John Durkin Morton , the first practice was in Thornaby, Stockton on Tees . The second practise was opened in 1953 in Norton Stockton on Tees . Both practises were taken over by Mr Durkin-Morton’s son Terence Morton in 1976 and since 2002 Terence Morton ’s son David Morton current owner , third generation ,continues to care for the businesses. David Morton graduated in Bradford University 1996 and took his initial training at the Sunderland Eye Infirmary dealing with low vision , children's eyecare, and hospital contact lens fitting. David also worked in London at David Clulow practise for three years before

settling down in Darlington and taking over the family business in Stockton on Tees. Morton Opticians is a very family orientated opticians with a focus on high quality service. David ’s grandfather was one of the first opticians to offer home visits to the local community which David has carried on, offering house visit for patients who have difficulty in travelling. The great news is that service is expanded to Darlington area as well . David Morton and his team extend a warm welcome to both existing and new customers , keen to supply the very best options for everybody.

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Pipelay System Order Ardmore Craig, the North East of England based design and consultancy business is pleased to announce receipt of a contract award for concept and detail design of a modular pipe-lay spread for an un-named customer.

summer months and concerned modifications and supply of new designs for a subsea vehicle currently in use in the Asia Pacific region.

Separate to this, Ardmore Craig has established a partnership with an Aberdeen based oil and gas The new system, deemed a disruptive technology, will business allowing it to offer local project management, be designed in co-operation with its client and the offshore survey and risk management services helping to widen the company’s offering and geographical team’s advisors over the coming six months. presence. Based on the back of research & development activities undertaken by Ardmore Craig over the last few years Ardmore Craig is an independent and privately owned the system aims to provide a wide range of functionality engineering company offering its clients a wide range covering both lay activities and subsea handling of services based on each client’s individual needs maximising the cost effectiveness and benefits of and requirements. the spread. Get in touch: Director Andy Stevenson commented that the new A: Ardmore Craig Ltd, Office 3.11, Business award “confirmed the businesses approach to investing Central Darlington, 2 Union Square, Central Park, in R&D activities through the downturn in the O&G DL1 1GL sector with it developing new ideas and concepts T: +44 (0) 1325 734888 across a range of products and industries in which the E: W: company operates”. The latest award follows the businesses two hundredth commercial contract which was completed over the 12

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VISIT OUR BRAND NEW SHOWROOM CCTV is fast becoming a must-have security solution for protecting domestic properties.

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We install CCTV systems in a number of different environments, and whether you require the latest state-of-the art system, or just a single camera, we are capable of creating a system to suit your needs. Our systems can include static cameras with built in infra-red for night vision, as well as pan, tilt, and zoom joystick controllable cameras. Our systems can also use number plate recognition, and our digital recorders can record from 1 up to 64+ cameras consecutively. If you have an existing CCTV system which is in need of repair or maintenance, we can also be of service to you. We will always try our best to repair an existing system before suggesting you purchase a new one. We offer a wide and dynamic range of services for homes. We never sub-contract jobs and all of our engineers are fully insured. As a local company, we are proud of our customer service track record. Clients from all sectors come back to us again and again for all their needs.

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An easy-to-overlook gem! Weardale Railway County Durham is resplendent in beautiful countryside, but you might not typically have many opportunities to get a close look at it.This is for the simple and obvious reason that relatively few roads pass through that countryside; however, you can not only admire it, but also do so from a heritage railway when you hop on board one of the trains on the Weardale Railway. The Weardale Railway’s single-track branch line runs from Bishop Auckland right through to Stanhope, taking in Witton-le-Wear,Wolsingham and Frosterley along the way. The current line spans 18 miles, making it among Great Britain’s lengthiest preserved standard gauge heritage railways. Nonetheless, the line originally extended even further, to Wearhead, making this line 25 miles long when it was originally built and opened in the 19th century. Back then, the railway was intended to transport limestone from Eastgate-in-Weardale and passengers to Weardale. The passenger services ended in 1953, the year of the Queen’s coronation – though freight services destined for Eastgate continued until 1992. The 1990s marked a period of crisis for the Weardale Railway. British Rail threatened to close the line, which had fallen into disuse following quarry owner Lafarge’s decision to abandon it in favour of road transport in 1993. However, that same year, a movement to preserve the railway for use by tourists got seriously underway. In 2010, the railway began running regular railway services; why not look up what times you can take a train from which to admire rural County Durham? 14

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New service supports people with mental ill-health A new partnership between a local police force and NHS mental health Trust is already improving the support provided for people with mental health illnesses that come into contact with the police. Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Durham Constabulary have joined forces to deliver a new street triage service across County Durham. As part of the new service, mental health practitioners now work alongside police officers to offer mental health advice and guidance, and where necessary attend incidents to assess the mental health of people who have come into contact with police officers. Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner said: “We have seen how well other Street Triage teams have worked and how they have reduced the numbers of people being detained inappropriately under the Mental Health Act. I have no doubt that our new partnership will have a similar positive impact. It will also help to free-up police officers to respond to other incidents, and provide a better outcome for the people who need help.”

Commenting on the new partnership Fran Bergin, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys adult mental health locality manager said: “Increasingly police officers can be called to incidents where people with mental ill-health might be in distress. By working alongside officers we can give advice, guidance and reassurance and make sure that the person experiencing mental health problems receives the most appropriate support and treatment as soon as possible.” Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said: “Having the ability to call on the skills and experience of mental health practitioners is invaluable.When someone is suffering from mental health problems sending a police officer is not always appropriate. The street triage staff are quickly able to assess people and determine the best course of action for them and in some cases this could prevent an incident escalating.”

The new service provides telephone support to patients and police officers/staff, as well as general mental health and mental health act information for police officers to help inform them whilst they carry out their duties. The street triage team will also, where necessary, attend police call-outs to provide face to face assessments and sign posting for people who may require support when they come into contact with officers.

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te With Us C el e bthisraFestive Season


Back to the 80’s - 2nd Dec £26.95pp


Available from 1st December Treat yourself, your family or your colleagues to our Christmas Fayre Menu. Available throughout December our menu is perfect for festive celebrations.


25th December Relax and let us do all the work, so you can enjoy the special day indulging in our traditional three course Christmas lunch with your friends and family.


31st December Join us for an evening to remember, and welcome the New Year while being entertained by our live Michael Jackson Tribute. Celebrate in style, with bucks fizz & canapes on arrival, a buffet dinner & dancing till late. £64.95pp

Jersey Boys - 8th/9th Dec £39.00pp Abba Xmas Party - 15th/16th Dec £39.00pp

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The Croft Hotel, Croft-on-Tees, Darlington, DL2 2ST

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Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup Ingredients 2 tsp cumin seed Large pinch chilli flakes 1 tbsp Olive Oil 1 Red Onion, Chopped 140g Red split lentils 850ml Vegetable stock or water 400g Can Tomatoes, whole or chopped 200g Can chickpeas or ½ a can, rinsed and drained (freeze leftovers) Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped (save a few leaves, to serve) 4 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt, to serve


1. Heat a large saucepan and

dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Add the oil and onion, and cook for 5 mins. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.


Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purĂŠe, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas. Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander. Finish with a dollop of yogurt and coriander leaves.

recipe by H O T E L




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#Over 40 MPG figure applies to manual transmission models. MPG figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Official fuel figures for the Isuzu D-Max range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 30.4 - 38.7 (9.3-7.3). Extra Urban 40.9 - 50.4 (6.9 - 5.6). Combined 36.2 - 45.6 (7.8 - 6.2). CO2 emissions 163 - 205g/km. For full details please contact your local Isuzu dealer or visit

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A pharmacy that’s open early until late and 7 days a week! NHS prescriptions, over the counter medicines and healthcare products, and a wide range of other services available. Denmark Street Pharmacy Denmark Street Surgery, Denmark Street, Darlington, County Durham DL3 0PD Tel. 01325 482 498 Visit


Employment Round Up Well being and work has always been closely linked and with the latest fad for employees to be wired up to some space age technology, it seems likely to become even more intrusive, with daily assessments recorded to measure not only how many steps you have taken, how well you slept and calories you’ve burned, but how happy you are. Bosses and their HR teams better prepare themselves for some workforce realities because employees aged 18-29 were found to be twice as likely as those aged 50-59 to describe their current mental health as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Younger workers in part-time jobs were also 33 per cent more likely than those in full-time jobs to fall within the bottom 10 per cent of the English adult (aged 16 and above) population according to a joint study from think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Now it’s just a thought and I’m not one for cynicism as you know, but if I looked at my Fitbit ‘watch’ and had only chalked up 1,000 steps, consumed 4,000 calories and had a poor night’s sleep and was then asked to rate my happiness level, well, I think you can guess the answer!

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An offer this good. Must be Miller Homes. Hunters Fold, off Sadberge Road, Middleton St George, County Durham, DL2 1RJ A selection of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes. Prices start from £204,950. Hunters Fold is on the northern edge of Middleton St George, a delightful village surrounded by farmland, just four miles from the centre of Darlington. Free Autumn Moving Essentials Package* available: Stamp Duty Paid

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03331 225 475 | *These offers are limited and subject to the lender’s approval and may be restricted to reservations made by a certain date. Available on selected plots at selected developments only and subject to Miller Homes’ terms and conditions. There is no cash alternative for Moving Essentials Package. Stamp Duty Paid for 1 x acquisition of properties as sole residence and no reimbursement of any higher rate SDLT due on additional properties will be made. Legal Fees capped at £500. Carpets and floorings are not included in our homes as standard. Moving Essentials Package offer can be withdrawn at any time without notice and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Prices and availability correct at the time of print. Photography represents Miller Homes’ interior. 21 Find us ona typical Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online:

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Places to go...

NEWARK ON TRENT, Nottinghamshire

On the day before my recent visit to Newark, the Daily Express was warning of England receiving the tail end of the American hurricanes with winds of 70mph. As it turned out, it was rather a pleasant Sunday, and there was much more rain on the walk back to the car at Durham station than all day in Newark-on-Trent. I left Durham at 0938 on a direct Virgin Trains East Coast service to London, calling at Newark Northgate station at 1117. Many people on leaving the station turn right to walk along Northgate to the town centre. It’s quicker, though, to turn left on to Appleton Gate and enter the town past the Palace Theatre. Newark was built at the crossing of the Great North Road and the Fosse Way, two Roman routes which are now the A1 and the A46. When the railways arrived, two routes again emerged: the north-south East Coast Main Line calling at Newark Northgate and the east-west Nottingham to Lincoln line calling at Newark Castle. There is no rail service between the two stations, and the lines cross at the same level on one of the few flatbed crossings left on the mainline network. Boat trips are available on the River Trent. I first visited Newark Castle itself, the ruins of which are in an attractive park opened to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 70th birthday on 24th May 1889. There was an interesting exhibition in the North West Tower of the Castle about bad King John, who suffered dysentery after a major feast in King’s Lynn and losing his treasures when crossing the Wash. He died in the room above the Gatehouse at Newark Castle on 18th October 1216 to be succeeded by his nine year old son, Henry III, who made a much better fist of being King than he had.


Time for lunch then and I chose the Danube restaurant, two excellent courses for £15 opposite the Registry Office on Castlegate, before poking round the Newark Antiques Centre and the shops which were mostly open on the Sunday. After a coffee I moved to the National Civil War Centre which incorporates the town museum. A Royalist town which suffered three sieges and a good dose of bubonic plague, Newark was a strategically important town for the King, and the exhibits were much more interesting than suggested by some tripadvisor reviews. The small cinema played some specially filmed sequences about the Civil War and characters from Newark who had a role in it (look up the story of Hercules Clay), and there was the pleasure of seeing plaques later in the same streets featured in the film. There was also a continuing exhibition about T. E. “Lawrence of Arabia”. I wish I had allocated more time before closing at 1700. Evensong was a joy at 1800 in the Parish Church with the combined choirs of Newark and Grantham, followed by a tasty pizza on the Castle Barge, Newark’s floating pub. Go any day you want to Newark, but I am suggesting especially Sunday 26th November 2017 when a big fireworks display celebrates the turning on of the Christmas lights. On the way home, my intended 2048 train from Newark direct to Durham (2235) was cancelled so I had to take a following Leeds service to Leeds and transfer on to a TransPennine Express train which arrived at Durham at 2237, which meant I was 62 minutes late and able to claim a full refund on my ticket under the Delay Repay arrangements. No quibble, 100% refund of the £28.60 paid.

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie Cast: Jackie Chan (Master Wu), Dave Franco (Llyod), Fred Armisen (Cole), Kumail Nanjiani (Jay), Michael Peña (Kai) Abbi Jacobson (Nya), Zach Woods (Zane), Justin Theroux (Garmadon) What, there’s another Lego movie? Great! Who could forget The Lego Movie’s ridiculously catchy theme song “Everything is Awesome” and the wonderfully silly take on the Caped Crusader with The Lego Batman Movie? With both films having widely attracted critical acclaim, the anticipation was understandably – wait for it – building for this third one, which takes the Lego Ninjago toy line as its main inspiration. Alas, it’s not quite awesome… but it’s not awful, either. The Lego Ninjago toys, if you know little about them, are centred on ninja warriors, who nonetheless have sophisticated vehicles and technology that would look more fitting in a Transformers film

than feudal Japan. Indeed, if you like your battling robots made out of Lego, you’ll delight in this film’s large-scale action sequences that unfold in the Lego-ised city of Ninjago. However, if you deem the Transformers films derivative, early scenes of this movie could somewhat depress. The focus largely falls onto Lloyd Garmadon, a schoolboy who is socially spurned due to his evil father Lord Garmadon’s frequent attacks on the city, which he is eager to take over. However, Lloyd leads a secret group of ninjas who constantly thwart his father and are mentored by Master Wu, aptly voiced by Jackie Chan. Seriously, if there’s ever an official Lego Power Rangers line that makes the leap to cinema screens, it’d be hard to imagine that film coming out much different to this. This gets to the crux of the problem with The Lego Ninjago Movie: it often feels too familiar. Telling a rite

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of passage story with an Eastern martial arts theme has already recently been done brilliantly by the Kung Fu Panda franchise, leaving The Lego Ninjago Movie with little fresh ground to cover. It does, at least, tend to run through the more serious sequences quite well; Lloyd’s scenes with his endearingly protective mother “Koko”, voiced by Olivia Munn, are particular highlights. Dave Franco – a younger brother of James Franco –nails the nervousness and naivety you would expect from his clichéd, Luke Skywalker-like lead. However, Justin Theroux’s Lord Garmadon can seem overbearing at times, with many of the attempts at humour coming from his mouth feeling forced. He ends up rather reminiscent of a comedian who lacks enough decent material and so has to resort to throwing random, spontaneous jokes left, right and centre to see what sticks.

in the computer-animated Lego city. Such moments help carry over much cutesy and charm from previous Lego cinematic instalments.

Craig Lenaghan Copywriter

Still, the film is enlivened by some neat touches – including, in the UK version, Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway voicing themselves as Lego newscasters. There’s also the visually striking live action element of a real cat running havoc Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online:


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Join a Party Night Two Course Meal - £22.95 per person Join our Festive Celebrations with your friends, family and colleagues. Over 18’s only. Parties of 10 or less will be on tables with other guests, minimum numbers required for events to go ahead.

Christmas Day Three Course Carvery £50 per person | Children (Ages 3 - 12) - £24.95 Celebrate with our traditional Christmas Carvery in our Grand Ballroom. Pre order required. Various seating will be allocated throughout the hotel.

New Years Eve Three Course Meal - £39.95 per person Come and see the New Year in with us. Pre order required. Various seating will be allocated throughout the hotel.

Until the festive season is upon us why not enjoy a fabulous three course Sunday lunch in the wonderful surroundings of Piercebridge. Two Course Meal - £12.50 per person | Three Course Meal - £16.50 per person

Piercebridge, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3SW 26

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Competition Time


Simply complete either of the competitions below, fill in the entry form and send to the postal address provided.

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Healthwatch Darlington helps you and your family get the best out of health and social care services in Darlington. No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, you have a voice, and you have the right for that voice to be heard. Healthwatch Darlington and the Working Population It Starts with You! Here at Healthwatch Darlington we don’t know what we don’t know! That’s where YOU come in! If you don’t tell us what you think about local health and care services, either the way they are commissioned or provided, or whether they are good or bad, we can’t help you and we can’t influence change or share good practice. Contact us, talk to us, tell us your story, and tell us your opinion. Take our survey: /r/How-did-it-go-for-you Facebook and Twitter Don't forget we also have a Facebook and Twitter page. We’re always sharing information via social media. We think it’s a great way of reaching out to more people living in Darlington. Please 28

follow us and share our page with friends and family living in Darlington. Facebook @HealthwatchDarlington Twitter @healthwatchDton Healthwatch Darlington is Recruiting Board Members (Voluntary) Are you someone with a passion for getting things done? Do you think you could make a positive contribution to leading an organisation representing the people of Darlington in shaping how health and care services are delivered in the Borough? We want to hear from people with experience of working as an effective member of a management board, committee or senior management team, influencing strategic decisions and monitoring and evaluating performance. A knowledge of working within the voluntary and community sector, public representation and capacity building of people and communities would also be welcomed. An application pack can be obtained by emailing

Get Involved For more information or to get involved contact us on 01325 380145

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TEES VALLEY MITSUBISHI McMullen Road, Darlington DL1 1XP 01325 462 222

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1. £2,000 Inc VAT scrappage discount available on the purchase of a new Mirage Juro model. 2. £3,000 Inc VAT scrappage discount available on the purchase of a new ASX model. 3. £3,500 Inc VAT scrappage discount available on the purchase of a new Outlander model. 4. £6,500 Inc VAT scrappage discount available on the purchase of a new Outlander PHEV model. £6,500 Scrappage discount also includes the £2,500 Government Plug-in Car Grant. For more information about the Government Plug-in Car Grant please visit The Government Plug-in Car Grant is subject to change at any time, without prior notice. All purchased vehicles must be registered between 6th October and 28th December 2017. Any vehicle, of any make, originally registered prior to 1st January 2010 is eligible for the Mitsubishi Scrappage Scheme. Scrappage vehicle must have been registered to the customer for at least 6 months before the customer’s new car registration date. New vehicle must be registered in the same name and same address as the vehicle to be scrapped. Vehicle must be scrapped by a Mitsubishi Dealer. All cars traded in under this scheme will be permanently destroyed. Only one scrappage payment can be claimed for each vehicle scrapped. Available to retail customers only. Offer not available in the Channel Islands or I.O.M. The scrappage discount is not available in conjunction with any other customer offer, subject to availability, while stocks last and may be amended or withdrawn at any time. Fuel figures shown are official EU test figures, to be used as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results.

Range fuel consumption (excluding Outlander PHEV) in mpg (ltrs/100km): Urban 38.2 - 57.6 (7.4 - 4.9), Extra Urban 54.3 - 72.4 (5.2 - 3.9), Combined 47.9 - 65.7 (5.9 - 4.3). CO2 emission figures range from 154 - 99 g/km. Outlander PHEV range fuel consumption in mpg (ltrs/100km): Full Battery Charge: no fuel used, Depleted Battery Charge: 51.4mpg (5.5), Weighted Average: 166.1mpg CO2 emissions: Visit 41g/km. 29 Find us on Facebook:(1.7), DarlingtonMonthly us online:

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Partnership helps community groups enjoy a grand day out A partnership between a building society and a nationally renowned museum has helped vulnerable and disadvantaged groups from across the North East enjoy a grand day out. Darlington Building Society teamed up withThe Bowes Museum to help over 500 adults and children experience an exciting exhibition designed to spark imagination and creativity across all ages, The Clockwork Garden. Working in partnership with the Museum, who offered free entry to the exhibition, Darlington Building Society funded the transport for visitors from community groups offering support to vulnerable and disadvantaged families across the area to experience the immersive and interactive show from national children’s arts charity, The House of Fairy Tales. The decision to fund the excursion came after the Society’s members asked to ensure that the profits being invested as part of its 5% pledge, went to activities that make a real difference in the community and support groups that help other people. Chief Executive at Darlington Building Society, Colin Fyfe, said: “Supporting our local community is at the heart of the Society and sharing local heritage in arts and culture is a strong way to do this through making things accessible for everyone. “This funding gave people the chance to experience something they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to and will hopefully have planted the seed to continue these experiences in the future. One individual responsible for bringing 78 adults and 73 children from Stanley, County Durham, was Kevin Howe. Speaking about the day he said:“You cannot put a price on the benefits to the individuals


who attended and the resulting impact on the community. “For some, this was the first time they had ever been out of the area, for others the first time in a Museum – the excitement they felt and atmosphere they created was electrifying. “Due to costs, we’ve never been able to organise a trip like this, so we cannot thank Darlington Building Society and The Bowes Museum enough for making the impossible, possible.” This funding is part of a close partnership between the Society and Museum to support a variety of groups including a young parents group offering monthly sessions at the Museum managed by Barnard Castle YMCA and One Point. Funded by the members of Darlington Building Society, the sessions included craft activities, a trail in the Museum, snacks and activities aimed at helping the parents and children with language, confidence and communication skills when in public and groups. Alison Nicholson, fundraising officer at The Bowes Museum, said: “The support of the Society has made a real difference to everyone attending the young parents group. We have seen a real change in the young people and children since the group joined us.They have grown in confidence and are enjoying the opportunity to explore the Museum and its collections.” Darlington Building Society members are able to take advantage of an exclusive two for one admission for The Clockwork Garden exhibition until it closes on November 5th. For more information on this offer, the partnership with The Bowes Museum or the 5% pledge, please visit Twitter: @DarlingtonBS

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Pretty Paws Dog Grooming Our services include: Full Groom Dogs • Puppy Groom • Bath Only Hand Stripping • Claw Clipping only £5 per Dog We are currently located at The Fairy Dog Mother, Unit 11 Red Barnes Way, McMullen Road, Darlington, DL1 2RR

For an appointment please call Lisa on 07506 742518

Sean Miller is reaching out to re-connect to an old friend

ROB WILLIAMS. Formerly of 9 Chapel Street, Hunwick and 61a Front Street, Sacriston and is now believed to be living in the Darlington area closer to family. If you are Rob or know Rob, please get in touch with Sean via email: as it would be great to catch up again in time for Christmas.


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Quakers Zone

Our monthly report on Darlington 1883 from Ray Simpson, Communications and Media Manager

Darlington fans have launched another fundraising drive to improve the ground at Blackwell meadows. Quakers were unable to participate in the play offs last season because they didn’t have 500 covered seats in their ground, and since the end of last season they have successfully raised enough cash to pay for the foundations and the seats themselves – they expect the seats, which are being imported from China, to be installed and in use before the York City home game in early January. This part of the campaign has been nicknamed – appropriately – as “Raise the Roof”, and the aim is to raise £50,000 by 31st December, so then the steelwork and other safety work can be completed by the deadline of 31st March. All of the details are on the Darlington FC Supporters group website.

The proposed stand will go next to the existing stand at Blackwell Meadows, which should then allow for a great viewing experience, especially for families. Quakers fans are used to fundraising campaigns in recent years, and collectively they have raised enough funds to help bring the club back to the town, and pay for facilities such as the Tin Shed. With a new manager at the helm following the departure of Martin Gray after five years in charge, Quakers are now looking to push on towards the play offs again.

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FIND OUT MORE TODAY Bescol Motors 01388 854111 Park Head Service Station, Bishop Auckland, DL14 8QE #Over 40 MPG figure applies to manual transmission models. MPG figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Official fuel figures for the Isuzu D-Max range in MPG (l/100km): Urban 30.4 - 38.7 (9.3-7.3). Extra Urban 40.9 - 50.4 (6.9 - 5.6). Combined 36.2 - 45.6 (7.8 - 6.2). CO2 emissions 163 - 205g/km. For full details please contact your local Isuzu dealer or visit †Important Information. Business users only. Rental amounts shown are for an Isuzu Blade Double Cab Commercial Vehicle On The Road with manual transmission, excluding special paint finish. Contract based on 10,000 miles per annum, nonmaintained. Vehicle must be returned in a good condition to avoid further charges. Subject to status. Provided by Lex Autolease Ltd trading as Isuzu Contract Hire, Heathside Park, Heathside Park Road, Stockport SK3 0RB. Available at participating dealers only. Excludes motability and fleet sales, not available in conjunction with any other offers or with BASC or NFU member discounts. Available until 31st December 2017. *3.5 tonne towing applies to all 4x4 models. **125,000 miles/5 year (whichever comes first) warranty applies to all new Isuzu D-Max models. Finance options available at participating dealers, subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Visit


COMPETITION TIME We are offering family ticket for any film at Vue Cinema Darlington (valid for 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children). All you have to do to enter is answer the following question...

you name two films that Q: Can feature the actor Will Ferrell? Answer: Name: Address:

Post Code: Email: Please send all entries to: Competitions Department, Unit 4, Station Road, Chester-le-St, Co. Durham, DH3 3DY

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Tel: 08712 240 240 Web: 32

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Join us for an exciting, energetic performance by the band of the Brigade of Gurkhas full of the warmth and enthusiasm which only Gurkhas can create.

An eclectic mix of Nepalese and Western Music Kukri and Nepalese dances. Fundraising Raffle for Silver Kukris & Bottles of Whisky

The band is to be accompanied by:

Hartlepool Ladies Choir

Tues 14th Nov 7.00 o’clock In the sports hall, The Dolphin Centre Tickets: £15 Main Hall £10 Sports seating All proceeds will be donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Where do you get tickets? Call us on: 01969 663 551 Pam at Sherwoods on 01325 466155 Reception at The Dolphin Centre Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online:


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What’s on


Got an event coming up?

Let us know and we’ll help spread the news. email details of your event to:

St Marys Church Autumn Fair

Dolphin Centre Party Weekend

Community Centre, Corner of Stooperdale Avenue,and Newton Lane, Cockerton. Saturday 25th November - Doors open 11am. Side Stall, Bric a Brac, Christmas Gifts, Home Produce, Arts and Crafts, Refreshments, Fun for all the family.

Dolphin Centre, Horsemarket, Darlington, DL1 5RP Nov 04 - 80s Fancy Dress, Cake, Competitions, Live Music from an 80s BBand, Baywatch-Themed Lifeguards.

Choco Charge

Nov 11 - Christmas is coming! Join North East Autism Society for their 5K chocolate themed fun run, Choco The following three talks will take place at Darlington Charge. The spirit of the event is “taking part” not Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Vane Terrace. “winning” so you can run, jog or walk – you decide. All will commence at 7.30pm. Nov 6th Medieval Towns and Villages of the Tees Valley Aldi Darlington Fireworks Spectacular – Robin Daniels Nov 5th - The fireworks display will include an array Nov 13th Birds of the Durham Uplands – David Raw of entertainment for spectators to enjoy, from fire Nov 27th Geology of Teesdale – Brian Young breathers to live bands, and will be hosted by radio Contact the Club Secretary Steve Keeney on: station TFM. Tickets will be available from both The 01325 258162 for further information Northern Echo Arena and the Dolphin Centre, and will also be on sale over the phone by calling the club on The Forum Music Centre / Film Club 01325 350267. Contact 01325 363135 for further information. November 1st Open Mic Night Tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £4 for U16s and 3rd The Skapones £20 for a family ticket of 2 adults and up to 2 children. 4th Hilarity Bites Comedy Club A limited number of parking passes will be available 6th Film Club: Starship Troopers (1997) priced at £5 each. 10th RnB Club:The Della Grants 11th Slade UK Remembrance Sunday Parade 13th Film Club: Name of The Rose (1986) 12 Nov - 10am - Parade from Holy Trinity 16th Limehouse Lizzy Church to the Cenotaph – Memorial Hospital. 17th The UK Legends Address: Holy Trinity Church, Woodlands Road, 20th Film Club: Room (2003) Darlington, DL3 7PZ 24th The Icicle Works 25th Ultimate Bowie *SOLD OUT* The Spotted Dog Quiz Night 27th Film Club: Star Wars:The Empire Strikes Back The Spotted Dog, 6 The Green, Darlington, DL2 2LJ 15 Nov - Test your general knowledge at The Spotted Darlington FC Fixtures Dog Quiz Night. Home Games at Blackwell Meadows, DL1 5NR 04 Sat - 15:00 Darlington vs Brackley Town Wreath Workshop with Manor Garden 11 Sat - 15:00 Kidderminster Harriers vs Darlington Houndgate Townhouse, 11 Houndgate, DL1 5RF 18 Sat - 15:00 Darlington vs Tamworth Nov 26 - 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM - Make your very own luxury moss wreath with Clarey from Manor Garden. Dogs Trust Community Event Tickets include refreshments after the workshop. Call Nov 23 - South Park, Parkside, Darlington, DL1 5TG. 01325 486011 to book.Tickets £35. 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM. Free Microchipping, Free Check Your Chip Service, Free Health and Training Advice, Free Basic Health Check (including Nail Clipping).

Darlington Field Club


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Studios in Cockerton, Middlebrough & Washington

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Pleasure Flights around the North East

Absolutley amazing time. Went above and beyond to make our experience well worth it. Will be going back and recommend it to everyone. Thanks.

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Darlington Monthly November 17  

Last month we held an incredible evening of local businesses getting together at The Croft Hotel to chat and toast to the continued success...