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FREE - March 2018

COMMUNITY NEWS - LOCAL EVENTS - FEATURES - COMPETITIONS - LOCAL PEOPLE

What’s on this month? The complete Darlington events listings Mother’s Day tips The best ways to treat your Mum Rebecca remembered With £2500 charity donation


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Research, hire and review

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Piercebridge, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3SW www.thegeorgehotelpiercebridge.com

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MAIN COURSE Roast Sirloin of Beef Roast Leg of Lamb Roast Loin of Pork All our roasts are served with Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, pan gravy, local vegetables and cauliflower cheese. Smoked Haddock Risotto Pan Fried Cod Loin parmesan crisp, poached hen’s egg polenta mash, parsley cream sauce Stuffed Peppers couscous, smoked tomato and basil sauce, mixed salad

DESSERT COURSE Local Cheeseboard selection of local cheeses, homemade chutney, celery, grapes, biscuits Lemon Tart mini meringues, lemon gel, vanilla ice cream

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reservations@thegeorgehotelpiercebridge.com Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Welcome to the March edition of Darlington Monthly! It’s amazing to think that the spring is rapidly on the way, after a Darlington February that seemed to combine slushiness and mushiness (that’s the snow and Valentine’s we’re talking about)! That (hopefully) means much better weather in which to get out and about, and sure enough, we’ve got another helping of monthly events listings for you on page 34 of our latest issue.

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Speaking of events, also check out our features on how you can make the most of Mother’s Day (page 12) and St Patrick’s Day (page 30) – don’t be tempted to just buy your Mum a Guinness Easter egg to cover all of the bases! In rather sadder news, if you flick to page 24, you can also read Chester-le-Track stationmaster Alex Nelson’s reflections on the impending closure of the face-to-face train ticket firm at the end of this month, bringing an end to its presence at both Chester-leStreet and Eaglescliffe railway stations.

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Add all of our usual news from around the Darlington area and our review of the much-hyped Afrofuturist epic Black Panther (page 22), and you have a lot of reading material to keep you occupied until our April edition drops through your door. As always, please do support our wonderful advertisers here at Darlington Monthly – and if you fancy becoming one of them, why not email us via sales@darlingtonmonthly.co.uk or call 07500 828 396? We’ll give you the lowdown on our heavily discounted three and six-month plans.

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That’s it for another month – from everyone here at Darlington Monthly, have a brilliant Easter.

Available to read online Visit darlingtonmonthly.co.uk /DarlingtonMonthly

@DarlingtonMonthly

Last Month Competition Winners

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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 Sharon Simpson Mike Regan To Advertise Contact Darlington Monthly Email: sales@darlingtonmonthly.co.uk Tel: 07500 828 396 4


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Est. 1998

Our new premises will provide a more luxurious dining experience for our customers and we will continue to serve all your favourite Indian dishes and much more. A separate function room will be available too. We hope to move by April 2018. Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Relax. Let Anthony Jones take the stress out of buying or selling your property.

As your sole agent, Anthony Jones will bring your property to market using our unrivalled experience and expertise. We will handle the offers and negotiations all the way to getting your sale agreed.

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How to choose the right estate agent to sell your home

Deciding to sell your property is a big move. However, deciding which agent you are going to instruct to sell your property is also a crucial decision. Get it right and the moving process can be simpler, quicker and stress-free. Choose badly and it could end up costing you money, time and inconvenience. 1

Create a shortlist of local agents

Build a list of about five agents. Then start checking them out. Some of the questions to get answers to include: Do they have good reviews? How do they market properties? Where are they based? Are they part of a chain or independently owned? What industry bodies do they belong to? 2

Pop in

Once you’ve done your initial homework it’s a good idea to visit each agent. Pop into their office because this way you’ll see if you can build rapport with them and also how they treat people face to face. If you like what you see, feel and hear, invite them around to give you a valuation. 3

Valuation time

When the agent comes around to conduct the valuation use the opportunity to ask them lots of questions - don’t be shy. Ask about their fees, terms and conditions and how they’ll make your property stand out from the rest. Ask who in the office will actually be selling the house.

Things to look out for here include: punctuality, professionalism, local area knowledge and if you actually like them. 4

Ask for evidence

When an agent says your home is worth X ask he or she why they’ve reached that figure. Also, ask them for proof of comparable properties they have sold in the area within the past three to six months. At this point, a good agent will have no problem with also putting you in touch with clients who have used their services in the past. 5

Decision time

Once you’ve taken everything into account let the winning agent know. This is the beginning of a partnership between you and the agent. To achieve what you both want - for you to sell your home and for them to earn their commission – you will need to work together.

Want to get a SOLD sign outside your property quicker? Email Tony at tony.dobbins@anthonyjonesproperties.co.uk or call 01325 776424 for honest, expert and friendly advice. Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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PEN VENT Please mention Darlington Monthly when contacting advertisers

Darlington College tutor Denise Kirkpatrick and with airport fire fighting officials in Dubai

A COLLEGE tutor proved to be hot property when she took her experience to the Middle East to boost fire fighting skills at an expanding airport. Denise Kirkpatrick spent five days in Dubai instructing safety officials in the best way to increase standards at Sharjah Airport. For the past 20 years Denise has delivered the assessor’s course working with the highly regarded International Fire Training Centre at Teesside Airport. Dubai adopted the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority standards which are ranked among the best in the world for fire safety. Normally fire safety officials from across the globe travel to the Tees Valley for the course but this time Denise responded to requests to deliver the training at the category 9/10 Sharjah Airport in Dubai. Delegates included the airport’s chief and assistant fire officers, the training and assistant training officers and the training officer from the main Dubai international airport. Training was based in the classroom and in the airport’s fire ground where she watched two training exercises involving the extinguishing of a fire and a search and rescue operation. “We have the best standards in the world and the Dubai authorities recognise the need to develop their skills 8

to the full,” she said. “The fire station was buzzing for the five days I was there; it was an amazing atmosphere and the feed back on my training was incredible. Everyone was very interested in my knowledge and exceptionally polite and respectful,” she said. “They said they loved the content and structure of the course and could see the benefits of improving the standards of assessment. The chief said he would be implementing what he had learned straight away, so powerful was the impact of the course. “One of the main things we identified was the need for improved communications and, with so many different nationalities working together, better English, particularly around the technical aspects.” The trip came two weeks after Denise’s very first visit to Dubai with her daughter to celebrate her birthday. “And, hopefully, I will be going back again soon to deliver even more training,” she said.

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Yarm Preparatory School remembers Rebecca with £2500 donation Yarm Preparatory School is donating £2562 to a local charity launched in memory of a local little girl. Remembering Rebecca was established in August 2010 after 21-month old Rebecca Sands died from Lissencaphaly, a rare brain condition. Rebecca’s parents, Gemma and Michael Sands, set up the foundation to raise awareness of the condition and of other neurological conditions, from birth to 16 years of age. Yarm Preparatory School’s parent association raised the money at its Arabian Nights-themed Ball, which included a charity auction and raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

affected by neurological diseases, and help them access the specialist equipment that they need to improve their quality of life.”

Bill Sawyer, Head of Yarm Preparatory School which said, “It is fantastic that our annual ball can raise a huge amount for a local charity as well as being an entertaining evening.

Christina Tomlinson, a Trustee of Remembering Rebecca, “On behalf of everyone at Remembering Rebecca, I would like to say a big thank you to Yarm Prep School for raising an amazing amount of money.

“The money raised will aid the important work that the charity is doing to support children and families

“We are grateful for the support and the money will go towards helping local families in need.”

Quakers Zone

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

Darlington Football Club wants to encourage as many young fans as possible to come along Darlington Football Club wants to encourage as many young fans as possible to come along to Blackwell Meadows and enjoy football in a family-friendly atmosphere – and so the club will give free admission to under 11s, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. The club has just opened a 294 seat extension to its stand, which means that it will have nearly 600 seats available to fans. Darlington FC worked closely with the Darlington FC Supporters Group to decide how the seats could be best allocated, and this was done with several factors in mind; increasing the availability of seats for those that need to sit; increasing covered accommodation for wheelchair users; improving the matchday experience particularly for families with young children; having some seats available for ‘pay on the day’; making some provision for away supporters; and generating some income to assist with running costs.

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One of the key considerations is to encourage young supporters to come along, because they are the lifeblood of the club tomorrow, so an adult can bring up to three Under 11s, so they can have a great afternoon watching a very good standard of football. The club has also increased the number of seats available for disabled people, and for away fans, who previously weren’t allocated seats for segregated games. The club is also in the process of setting up a Junior Quakers fan club, run along the lines of the successful Junior Fan Clubs that they had in the 1970s and 1980s. This will be open to all under 11s, and will provide personalised gifts, an exclusive prize draw, rewards for attendance and opportunities for Junior Quakers to meet the Darlo players at DFCSG events, including a Christmas party.

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Employment Round Up WE SUPPLY THE LATEST BRANDS OF PROTEIN, GAINERS, FAT BURNERS, PRO HORMONES AND MORE... ALONGSIDE SPECIALIST NUTRITIONAL ADVICE

Data protection advice line for small businesses I hate to bang on about it, but GPDR is coming and if you haven’t given any thought to what this new data protection legislation means for your business, then now is the time to acquaint yourself in readiness for its implementation on 25th May 2018. You may be interested to know help is at hand. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a dedicated advice line for small businesses to help them prepare and can be reached by calling 0303 123 1113 and selecting option 4. As well as helping small organisations prepare for the GDPR, the ICO is able to deal with other related inquiries, including existing data protection laws, freedom of information requests and electronic marketing queries. In addition to the new telephone advice line, the ICO has also announced plans to simplify its ‘GDPR - 12 steps to take now’ document. It is also revising its SME toolkit, which will allow businesses themselves to identify gaps in their own preparation for the new law. Ignore it at your peril. Fines can be eye wateringly high! Libby Eglin, HR Resolutions E: hrresolutions@btconnect.com M: 07967 200603 W: www.hr-resolutions.co.uk

COMPETITION TIME

We are offering family ticket for any film at Vue Darlington at Feethams (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...

played Lara Croft in the 2001 Q: Who movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider? Answer: Name: Address:

Post Code: Email: Please send all entries to: Competitions Department, Unit 4, Station Road, Chester-le-St, Co. Durham, DH3 3DY *NEW* Or enter free by commenting on this advert on our Facebook Page @DarlingtonMonthly Entrants can view Terms & Conditions at www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk Vue guest admission policy terms and conditions apply, visit myvue.com/legal for details.

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HOW TO TREAT YOUR MUM ON THE MOTHER OF ALL DAYS “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” That was the early-20th-century writer Rudyard Kipling’s assessment of the role of mothers – and he has been far from the sole scribe to acclaim our maternal relatives. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the Lake Poets, remarked that “a mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive” – and Les Misérables writer Victor Hugo enthused that “a mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them”. Yes, our mothers are indeed awesome… and that’s why, when Mother’s Day comes around this month, we should treat them in an extra-extra-special way. Several such ways, in fact.You might already have numerous ideas for how to lavish love and attention on your mother. Yes, you could get her flowers, a card, and perhaps that Take That CD she always meant to get but kept forgetting to – because she was busy raising you. Ahh! We’ve got some unique ideas for the big day. May the right Mother’s Day date be with you You might think of hitting Google to look for some Mother’s Day gift ideas. However, one big risk of doing that is getting the wrong information about when exactly Mother’s Day is.That’s because the day falls on a different date to when it is celebrated in the US – and, for that matter, many other countries. Here in the UK, Mother’s Day always falls on Mothering Sunday; that’s the fourth Sunday of Lent, not to mention three weeks ahead of Easter.

Brits mark the occasion; so, don’t mistakenly choose to hold off buying a card for your mother until May! The difference in Mother’s Day dates can be attributed to cultural differences. In the US, the May date was chosen because peace campaigner Anna Jarvis, who called for a day on which mothers would be honoured on that side of the Atlantic, lost her own mother during May. How to treat your mother? Put some thought into it Considering how much of her time your mother has spent looking after you, imagine how much she could appreciate it if you now spend Mother’s Day looking after her. You could give her breakfast in bed, serve her dinner, do her hoovering… the list could go on. However, if you have little time to spare, a gift or two could suffice. Just make sure that any gifts you do get her are thoughtful… For example, you could get her something that you know she will actually use. That could be a comfortable bathrobe or cute purse. You could order something personalised; Moonpig lets you order a customised Mother’s Day card with a price tag of just £3.29. Online craft marketplaces like Etsy and Not on the High Street are also good sources of quirky and likeable gifts - and both of these sites also offer mobile apps with which perusing the range of products can be especially fun.

In America, Mother’s Day is instead on the second Sunday of May. That’s quite a bit later than when we 12

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Murder Mystery Evening at The George Hotel

30th March 2018 | 7.00 - 11.00pm Tickets £30.00 Join us for a three course meal as the drama unfolds and have your go at finding out who dunnit! To book call 01325 374576 or email events@thegeorgehotelpiercebridge.com The George Hotel Piercebridge | Darlington | DL2 3SW

REFLEXOLOGY What are the benefits? Reflexology & Aromatherapy can be used to help the body relax, revive energy instantly and to heal itself. It can also help to reduce stress, enhance the working immune system and bring relief to a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, including: Headaches/Migraine - Insomnia - High Blood Pressure Sinus/Congestion - Chronic Fatigue/ME - Tension Osteoporosis/ME- Sciatica - Gallstones - Sports Injuries Circulatory Problem - Menstrual/Menopausal Problems IBS - And much more...

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A member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists, Soul2Heal offer a complete reflexology and aromatherapy service based in our clinic above the pharmacy on Denmark Street in Darlington. Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet and hands, correspond with different areas of the body. There are over 100,000 nerve endings in the foot, all of which may be stimulated during a reflexology treatment. There are many health benefits associated with reflexology, it has been known to improve blood circulation: due to a sedentary lifestyle, we don’t use the feet muscles properly and wear tight footwear, all this hampers the circulation of the feet. Regular reflexology helps in transporting oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for overall health.   Reflexology may help in fighting depression. Certain points on the feet are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms, massaging these points or applying pressure to them can help relieve symptoms of depression.  After a tiring and stressful day, reflexology is a soothing and relaxing way to relax. Foot massage improves the blood circulation which in turn helps in getting a peaceful sleep.  One of the main benefits of reflexology is that it may help with many pains and aches such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower and upper backaches. For more information on how we can help, or for a confidential chat regarding reflexology or aromatherapy why not give us a call or message through our Facebook page.

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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.

Are you a chatterbox or do you prefer to listen? Are you someone with a passion for getting things done? Are you a people person? Perhaps you’ve worked or volunteered in your local community? Healthwatch Darlington is looking for volunteers who can help us reach into our communities and work places to find out what people think of local health and care services. Can people access the right services at the right time or are they having difficulties? We hold a wealth of information so we can point people in the right direction. Whatever their experience, good or not so good, you can help us help people get the best out of health and care services in Darlington. Gathering the views of our population helps us influence the way local services are provided by ensuring that patients, carers and the public are heard at the heart of local decision making. 16

We’re a small independent charity delivering statutory duties. We are your local consumer champion for health and care services. We inform, observe, information gather and influence, but we can’t do what we do without YOU! We offer a full volunteer training package so if you’d like an informal chat to find out more, give Jemma a call on 01325 380145 email at j.austin@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk or pop into our new town centre offices on the ground floor of Jubilee House, 1 Chancery Lane, Darlington, DL1 5QP. We’d love to hear from you!

Community Groups We are collating a directory of smaller community groups in Darlington to enable us to inform residents of local activities and social groups in their own neighbourhoods. If you are a member of a group or you know of a group that would like to be listed, please email Rachel at r.mccabe@healthwatchdarlington.co. uk with details

Get Involved For more information or to get involved contact us on 01325 380145 info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk www.healthwatchdarlington.co.uk

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DMALAW ‘The Link’ is our very own ‘law shop’ walk-in centre (and still the only one we know of in the country we may add!). We are now well in to our 3rd year here at The Link and are very much a part of the local community in Darlington. We are a legal walk-in centre where, there is no hassle, no stress and all our initial consultations are free of charge. In the time we have been open we have proudly assisted over 2000 members of the local community. We offer free help and guidance and people can come and speak to us at any time during our opening hours and don’t need to make an appointment to do so. You can just come through our door and speak with our solicitors, lawyers and advisors. We have experience across a range of areas of law; family matters, crime, personal injury, wills and probate, employment, debt recovery, civil litigation, contract

disputes, housing, medical negligence, conveyancing and many others. We opened The Link in direct response to the cuts to legal aid funding to help people access justice. Our aim is to help, support, guide and encourage people who have legal issues but aren’t certain what they need to do to resolve them, or when they feel there is nowhere else to turn in their hour of need. This is exactly what The Link is about; what we do; who we are and we are very proud of that! What does the future hold for The Link? Well, we are going to be here for at least another 3 years and in that time we are sure that we will continue to get bigger and better and assist more and more of you. Why is that? Because we think The Link works! We are at 40 Skinnergate, Darlington and all our consultations are free of charge and in confidence.

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DMA LAW has been providing mainstream legal services in the North East for over three decades. Whatever your need is right now, we’re here to help.

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We also have a free legal walk in centre. If you have any legal queries visit DMA Law Link, 40 Skinnergate, Darlington. to us Mon–Fri 10-4, Sat 10-2 No appointment needed. Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Gavin Lenaghan Copywriter

FILM REVIEW

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s you might have gathered from much of the fervoured press chatter, the 18th film from Marvel Studios - described in turn as “a self-contained marvel”, “a superhero movie with serious muscle and style” and “a superb genre film - and quite a bit more” - is, well, not just about finally giving a black comicbook star a film of his own. In any case, the latter titbit is far from true, that honour having long gone to 1997’s Spawn, a year ahead of Wesley Snipes’ Blade. Indeed, Snipes himself signalled as far back as 1992 his intention to work on a Black Panther film, only for the momentum behind such a project to not start gathering steam until the mid-2000s. In the meantime, the Afrofuturism into which Black Panther heavily leans - which can be very roughly defined as an approach to science fiction and fantasy grounded in African cultures and the black experience - has continued to thrive in music through such acts as Janelle Monae, Willow Smith and Kanye West. Now, film finally has its big-blockbuster Afrofuturist standardholder - and many observers are wondering why it took so long for a studio to take on the task. A convention-buckling Coogler epic There are many more descriptors that one can apply to Black Panther - family saga, espionage thriller or simply another classic in the pantheon of Marvel superhero movies that will giddily excite overgrown and actual 10-year-olds alike. So much of this is attributable to director Ryan Coogler’s already wellhoned instinct for the ambitious, audacious and pyrotechnically spellbinding, despite this being only his third film. For the benefit of those of you who aren’t Marvel dweebs, it all centres on the tale of Black Panther himself - real name T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) - who is officially crowned as the king and super-powered protector of the secretive techtropolis of Wakanda after his father’s death.

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Boseman is joined in a predominantly black ensemble by such talent as Michael B. Jordan - who plays the improbably buff challenger for T’Challa’s throne, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens and Lupita Nyong’o, whose turn as T’Challa’s former lover and an undercover spy for Wakanda undertaking missions in other countries sees her treated to some of the film’s wittiest lines. Another major threat to the kingdom comes in the form of the brawny arms dealer speaking in a spicy Afrikaner bark, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), who has his sights trained on Wakanda’s vast deposits of an indestructible metal known as vibranium. Not just another Marvel juggernaut Of course, for all of its cultural significance and political nuances, Black Panther remains a big-budget Marvel film, with almost everything that entails - but not quite. Yes, the third act couldn’t be more Marvel at its heart if it tried - a big, noisy CGI climax. But the moral and political questions that Black Panther contemplates aren’t touched on in the haphazard or peripheral manner that seems the case even with the Dark Knight trilogy or the X-Men franchise. Instead, they are very much central to its architecture, providing a thought-provoking narrative seam from the first scene to the last - even if you may also simply be having too much fun to notice.

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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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Places To Go...

A Journey coming to an End This series has been running in some publications since 2002, encouraging people to take to the rails from their local station, and visit places of interest throughout the United Kingdom, sometimes even to Eire and continental Europe. Some articles have led to groups travelling by train as a result, perhaps away just for the day, or for nights away to enjoy an area in more depth. The series started with Saltburn by the Sea, always a favourite, and led to a large group taking the train, changing at Darlington where my daughter, then quite small, wanted to go to the toilet. The connecting train left on time minus said daughter who arrived at Saltburn half an hour later with Pauline, now my wife. I have always researched places personally and have only once had to admit defeat in finding interesting things to do. This was at Northallerton where the town has plenty of coffee shops and retailers, but that alone does not make a day out. Thirsk was much more interesting. Years later two of my apprentices (Henry and Ali from Eaglescliffe station) had a great day out on the Wensleydale Railway from Northallerton West, with a walk over the fields to visit Castle Bolton. Tickets to most of my recommended destinations can be purchased from Chester-le-Track, which runs two stations at Chester-le-Street (since 1999) and Eaglescliffe (since 2011). We currently have five staff at CLS and three at EAG, five men and three women, six of whom were recruited as apprentices, some direct from school, who have learned how to plan journeys and issue tickets throughout the UK. We book to 2,563 stations in Great Britain, more in Northern Ireland, more PlusBus destinations, airport coaches, Metro stations and other light rail services, and pioneered the sale of Oyster cards outside London in 2006. At first, though, Transport for London were not keen on us reselling Oysters and summoned me to their 55, Broadway HQ for a dressing down. We won in the longer term: anybody in the travel trade can now place an order at 13% commission. Time has moved on. Contactless cards valid on buses, trains and tubes are now a better deal than Oyster pay-as-you-go. They are even now accepted on buses and Metro in the north east, as well as at CLS and EAG. A combination of higher internet sales with special internetonly offers, forthcoming introduction of on-platform

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electronic ticket machines, stalling demand for rail travel, falling or insufficient revenues, new smart cards appearing soon (a northeast version of Oyster), withdrawal of support for our current office ticket machines, and minimum wage leapfrogging our rates of pay prompted the decision to close. There is little prospect of improvement in any of the above situations. We have always accepted that passengers arriving from elsewhere and returning again will never purchase tickets from us. But it is galling that now only 20-30% of originating traffic at our stations purchase their tickets at the station. So when we close at Chester-le-Street, who will open and close and keep an eye on the waiting room? The websites cannot monitor the toilets, and the coffee machine. How long would an unattended waiting room last in good order? At Eaglescliffe who will advise you how to travel when the Grand Central is cancelled or delayed? So we’ll be closing on Easter Saturday 31st March and hope you will pop by in to see Helen 1 and Helen 2 at Chester-le-Street along with Paul, Tony and Jack and buy your tickets from staff with 2,000 hours of experience every year in finding you the best fare. At Eaglescliffe, another Paul, Ali and Henry have developed the business with irregular visits from me. Together they are a great team, and I wish them all the very best for the future. Alex Nelson, Stationmaster www.nationalrail.com

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Robson Granite Worksurfaces Limited

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Rhubarb Fool recipe by

H O T E L

Ingredients. For the rhubarb fool 700g/1½lb rhubarb 2 lemongrass stalks very finely chopped to almost a powder 100ml/3½fl oz water 140g/5oz unrefined organic sugar 110g/4oz icing sugar 150ml/¼ pint crème fraîche (preferably organic) or 1 small carton 150ml/¼ pint mascarpone cream 4 tbsp white chocolate, grated or peeled into shavings For the rhubarb lemonade 1 lemon, juice only 1 small glass sweet wine, optional

Method. Wash and trim, but do not peel the rhubarb. Cut into even chunks about 3cm/1¼in long and put into a warm pan with the water, sugar and the lemongrass. Cover and simmer until the rhubarb softens and breaks down - usually this takes about 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve, reserving all the juices and allow the rhubarb to cool down. Whisk the icing sugar into the mascarpone, then gently fold in the crème fraîche and half the rhubarb. Divide the remaining rhubarb

among four dishes or glasses and spoon the fool mixture on top. Allow to set and cool in the fridge. Serve with the chocolate shavings on top. For the rhubarb lemonade, pass the reserved rhubarb liquid through a fine sieve, then add lemon juice to taste. Add the sweet wine if you want to make it alcoholic and chill well in the fridge. Serve in small iced glasses with the fool and some shortbread biscuits or Tuille biscuits.

Fill up on knowledge with a cyber breakfast A series of free cyber breakfasts across County Durham & Darlington are being held to show businesses how they can be vulnerable to cyber-attack, and how they can protect themselves. The North East Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) have teamed up with Durham Constabulary to deliver a series of cyber breakfasts in County Durham & Darlington. At the opening of a breakfast in Darlington, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, said: “The threats which the police are facing are changing. It is in this new and different digital world where some of the new challenges lie. The purpose of these breakfasts is simple: we want to show businesses how they can be vulnerable to cyber-attack, by demonstrating a live hack and showing how you can protect your business from one.” “We realise that time is precious for our businesses, so we have designed these cyber breakfasts with this in mind. We hope that people will leave the session more knowledgeable, better informed, and with a clearer idea of how they can improve their organisation’s cyber security.” The sessions show how the criminals remotely find, target, and execute their attacks, which can all too often cripple businesses. You don’t have to be special or be in big business to be an attractive target for cyber criminals. All you need to have is the vulnerability. Our analysis and experience of investigating cybercrime has shown us that a business is likely to become a victim of a cybercrime in one of three ways:

• A phishing email – tricking the someone into making a fraudulent payment, or delivering malware via attachments • People – having a rogue member of staff who holds the companies secrets or through a complete lack of awareness by an employee who picks up a USB stick which has been found in the street, placing it in a work computer, inadvertently delivering malware. • Found vulnerabilities – the bad guys scanning the internet looking for weaknesses which they can exploit. However it’s not all doom and gloom. Research conducted by government has shown if you do the basics, you are 80% less likely to be a victim of these common cyber-attacks. Support and advice is being given to help businesses defend against these hacks. A free vulnerability assessment service is on offer which can give you an overview of your ICT weaknesses, so you can fix them before the cyber criminals can find them. Please come along to one of our events, and learn how to defend your networks from common cyber-attacks. Events can be booked through https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/

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Darlington youngsters can kick-start their careers with a free bt work placement BT is on the lookout for 15 young people in Darlington who are ready to kick-start their working life with a free work placement.

The final days of the work placement are spent doing mock interviews and developing an individual plan of the next steps to find employment or return to education.

The three week course, which combines hands-on work experience and tech know-how with coaching and training, is open to anyone aged 16 to 24 not currently in education, employment or training.

Simon Yellowley, chair of BT’s regional board in the North East, said: “A BT work placement is a fully supported programme, which can inspire young people, giving them the confidence and skills they need to either start their working life or return to education.

BT work placements offer the opportunity for people to build confidence and learn practical work skills such as CV writing and interview techniques. Attendees are given a certificate showing their attendance and achievements to demonstrate their commitment to prospective employers. The next work placement in Darlington starts on March 5, 2018 and will be held at the EE campus on Yarm Road Industrial Estate. For more details or to apply visit www. bt.com/workready. The first week of the course focuses on building and developing key skills such as writing a stand out CV and application, interview techniques, self-confidence and computing skills. This is followed by a week ‘on the job’, shadowing employees and getting hands on experience of the working day. In Darlington this will be an opportunity to work in various on-site departments, to get an insider view of the company which could include front-line customer support, sales and marketing and project management. 28

“I would encourage any young person looking to get on a new career path to join a work placement. We regularly run courses in Darlington and throughout the region so even if you can’t attend this particular course register your interest to make sure you don’t miss out in the future.” BT work placements are part of the BT Work Ready programme which is a series of initiatives provided to help young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, gain employment skills and get them ready for work. It’s part of BT’s commitment as a founding partner in the Movement to Work coalition of employers.** Since 2014 and to date more than 3,500 young people from around the UK have participated in the programme. More than half of those who have completed have gone on to either gain employment or return to education. Further information on BT’s Work Ready programme – www.bt.com/workready

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Choose Value Doors UK, to manufacture and install your new External Doors and uPVC Windows you will be choosing the Nation’s Favourite Door Company! We stand out from the crowd thanks to our open, upfront and honest policy, which our customers love. With decades of experience in the industry, we have become specialists in creating the highest quality products that are available at incredibly low prices. We even advertise all of our fully fitted door prices on our website and were the first UK company to do so. Our range of products can cater for all tastes and budgets, our prices include: • Our Measurement and Fitting Service for Your New Door and Frame • The Removal and Disposal of your Old Door and Frame • Ten Year, Insurance Backed Guarantee • 12 Month Key Return Service (through Lostakey) • Toughened Double Glazed Safety Glass As our customers can see our fully fitted door prices before they book a door survey, we have no need for salesmen. Instead it is our local installers that conduct door surveys, take your order and install your new made to measure doors. Our product collection includes Composite Doors, uPVC Doors, Bifold Doors, uPVC Windows, French Doors, Stable Doors and Patio Doors. So, contact Value Doors today, and find out for yourself why we’re the Nation’s favourite door company! 0800 955 0898!

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Give yourself the look of the irish on st. Patrick’s day Every 17 March, many of us will start wearing lots of green, don tall hats, and drinks plentiful beer... all to mark St Patrick’s Day, which commemorates St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Hence, there is naturally a very strong Irish flavour to the celebrations, both in Ireland itself and around the world. How did the tradition of St Patrick’s Day emerge - and how could you celebrate it yourself once 17 March comes around again? You won’t need the luck of the Irish to learn the answers. St Patrick: an intriguing and mysterious saint St Patrick lived from 385 to 461 and is often deemed more responsible than anyone else for establishing Christianity in Ireland. Patrick himself was born not in Ireland, but instead Roman Britain. The widely accepted story - allegedly originally penned by the man himself - is that Irish raiders kidnapped a 16-year-old Patrick and made him a Gaelic Ireland slave. The story continues that he “found God”, who helped him to escape back home, where he came a priest. However, tradition says that he later returned to Ireland and converted thousands of members of its Celtic society to Christianity. It is thought that he died on 17 March, which is why this has remained the fixed date for St Patrick’s Day. Conveniently, this year, that date falls on a Saturday. Therefore, you might not need to book any time off work to make the most of St Patrick’s Day.

and creamy-headed stout has fended off competition from many other Irish beer brands, including Harp, Murphy’s and Caffrey’s, for premier position in the Irish drinking scene. However, if your heart remains set on Guinness, you could unjustly overlook many other brands that may warrant your attention come St Patrick’s Day. For example, the brewer Galway Bay produces Buried at Sea, a chocolate milk stout wonderful for its toasty smell and silky texture. The chocolate flavour certainly isn’t overwhelmed, either - not even by the smoky and nutty finish. Another shrewd drinking choice would be The White Hag’s Little Fawn, with flavours of grapefruit and mango. Also worth sipping is The Full Irish; it’s made by an Aussie and a Kiwi, but also with malts sourced from Ireland itself. How else could you mark St Patrick’s Day? Your St Patrick’s Day can be about far more than just drinking. You might fancy nibbling some toast on which Kerrygold Butter - Ireland’s best-known butter, and a wonderfully creamy one as well - has been spread. You might fancy listening to some music, too. Irish traditional music has become a popular part of St Patrick’s Day; however, if your music tastes are more electronic, you could head to Durham’s Loveshack nightclub on the big day, as electropop star Basshunter - or Jonas Erik Altberg, to use his real name - will be performing there.

Thinking of having a tipple on St Patrick’s Day? If so, there are plenty of Irish beverages for you to choose from. The most obvious choice is Guinness; this thick, black

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At North Park Care Centre

At North Park we understand finding the right care home can be a daunting decision, that’s why our friendly team are on hand to offer advice and guidance at a time to suit you. Our home offers a range of care services whilst supporting independence and maintaining individual interests. With a varied activities programme and freshly prepared home-cooked meals, we pride ourselves on making everyone feel at home. Residential Care • Dementia Care • Respite Breaks Whether you need urgent care or just some help and advice, our friendly team at North Park Care Centre are here when you need them.

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Sensory Music Movement & Sign Sessions for 0-5 yrs

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What’s on

March

The Forum Music Centre / Film Club Contact 01325 363135 for further information. March 2nd The Cureheads 3rd Hilarity Bites Comedy Club 7th Open Mic Night Hosted by Dave Brittle & Marie Marx 9th Stevie Nimmo Trio 10th The Southmartins *SOLD OUT* 12th Film Club Special: A Page of Madness (1926) 16th RnB Club: Geoff Achison & The UK Souldiggers 17th Hey Beatles 23rd The Bryan Adams Experience 26th Film Club Special: Pimm Productions Showcase Evening 29th Alun Cochrane Comedian 30th Nearly Noel Gallagher’s High Flyin’ Birdz 31st Northern Soul Oldies Night

Darlington FC Fixtures Home Games at Blackwell Meadows, DL1 5NR 3rd Tamworth vs Darlington 10th Darlington vs Curzon Ashton 17th Darlington vs North Ferriby United 24th AFC Telford United vs Darlington 31st Darlington vs Southport

Quiet Hour Shopping 4th March. 10:30am - 11:30am. Shops and services across Darlington town centre will take 60 minutes to provide customers with break from the overload of sensory attractions. These changes aim to support local shoppers in need of quieter and calmer surrounding, from elderly shoppers or people who have other types of disabilities such as autism and dementia. The town shops and services taking part include: • Cornmill Shopping Centre • Queen Street Shopping Centre • Marks & Spencer • Dolphin Centre • Mercure Kings Hotel • Origins Home & Coffee Bar • Geoffrey Gillow

PDSA 6 Mar - PetCheck – North Park. Free wellbeing checks for dogs. - Free microchipping. Free nail clipping and eat cleaning. - Free advice on pets. PHONE 0800 731 2502 - WEBSITE www.pdsa.org.uk/

Bump and Baby Fair 7 Mar. Free event for expectant parents and those with babies aged 0-6 months. Try out a host of local activities for young children, from baby

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Got an event coming up?

Let us know and we’ll help spread the news. email details of your event to: sales@darlingtonmonthly.co.uk yoga to music and baby signing. Also the chance to ask advice and talk to different organisations including: Health Services Children’s Centres Family Learning Advisers Crown Street Library, Crown Street, Darlington, DL1 1ND 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM

The Springfield at Darlington Daily Promos: Monday-Free Drink* with every Pie Meal Tuesday-2 drinks for £5* Wednesday-Any Curry and a drink* £5.75 Thursday-Free Drink* with every Grill Meal Friday/Saturday/Sunday-Weekender Drinks Offers (Btl Prosecco £10, 2 btls Hardys £15, 5 Bud/desperado/peroni/ vk £10, 2 Bulmers £5) Sunday-Sunday Roast only £5.75 *Free drink to be selected from a range of drinks on the menu Entertainment: Tuesday 2pm Bingo and Card Bingo Thursday 9pm General Knowledge Quiz Friday 8:30pm till late: Week 1 ‘All request Disco’ Week 2 ‘Karaoke’ Week 3 ‘Open Mic’ Week 4 ‘Karaoke’ 1st Saturday of every Month 9pm till late Live Band (February ‘Hope City Rockers March ‘Gastric Band April ‘Preacher’ May ‘Mis D’Mina’ June ‘Valley Dogz’) Last Sunday Live Acoustic Act 3-5pm. www.springfieldhotelpub.co.uk

Tees cottage pumping station open days

1ST/2ND APRIL 2018 - Tees cottage are holding their first open weekend of this year at broken scar, coniscliffe road, darlington, dl3 8tf. Come and see the history of the water supply in darlington. The plan is to run all of the old steam machinery including the victorian beam engine, boiler and gas engine and the electric pumps installed in 1926 will be on static display. A blacksmith will also be in the smithy. The miniature railway should also be available to ride (small extra cost). The café will be open for snacks. Opening times: 11.00 To 17.00 Each day (last admission 16.00). Charges: adult: £5.00. Concessions: £4.00. Children free.

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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 info@denmarkstreetpharmacy.co.uk Visit denmarkstreetpharmacy.co.uk

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Specialising In Sliding Wardrobes Since 1978

24 Cockerton Green Darlington DL3 9EU 01325 464 100 361 Linthorpe Rd Middlesbrough TS5 6AB 01642 823 003 Elswick Rd, Washington, NE37 1LH 0191 417 9174

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24 month 0% ďŹ nance on your new Worcester Bosch boiler or new bathroom.*

LOOKING FOR PLUMBING AND HEATING ENGINEERS IN DARLINGTON? Serving Teesside and the North East of England our services include Plumbing, Heating and Gas whilst we always work towards excellence and 100% customer service with every job we undertake. Our engineers are highly trained and work with our customers to make sure there are happy with the end result which is why most of our work is through word of mouth and recommendations.

Our Services Boiler Installations

Bathroom Installations

Worcester Bosch Platinum Accredited

Boiler Service and Repair

10 Years Guarantee

Small Plumbing Works *terms and conditions apply

GET IN TOUCH TODAY ON

01642 919 912

www.dinsdaleplumbing.co.uk

Darlington Monthly March 2018  

It’s amazing to think that the spring is rapidly on the way, after a Darlington February that seemed to combine slushiness and mushiness (th...

Darlington Monthly March 2018  

It’s amazing to think that the spring is rapidly on the way, after a Darlington February that seemed to combine slushiness and mushiness (th...

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