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Issue 61 - August 2018

Your favourite PRICELESS community magazine

What’s Inside Feat ured Ar t i cles 28

Time for the 31st Darlington 10K!

Read about the new initiative by 16 Darlington College. Find out what

22 we think about Incredibles 2.




WHAT’S ON COMMUNITY NEWS Darlington’s oldest and widest-distributed community magazine

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Welcome to the August edition of Darlington Monthly! Have you literally melted in the heat yet? There have certainly been some scary headlines about the sweltering temperatures in recent weeks and months, and we would always urge you to slap on plenty of sun cream and pay close attention to any Met Office warnings. Even the sun’s harsh rays, however, shouldn’t deter you from getting out and about and enjoying the best of Darlington – not least as there’s so much going on in and around the town this month! Indeed, you’ll find our extensive ‘What’s on’ listings in the usual place, at the back of our magazine. Other great things to see and do in Darlington in August include the Quiet Hour shopping experience that has been attracting increasing acclaim (page six), or even going to see a movie. On the latter subject, our copywriter, Craig Lenaghan, has delivered his verdict on Incredibles 2 on page 22. There’s another feature this month that we’re especially excited to share, however, and it’s exclusive to Darlington Monthly: a farreaching interview with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen. He’s been answering our questions on Darlington’s – and the Conservatives’ – prospects in the looming post-Brexit era (pages 32-33). Finally, don’t forget that it’s as easy as you like to become one of our lovely advertisers! Simply email us now via sales@darlingtonmonthly. or call 07500 828 396, and we’ll guide you through our discounted long-term plans and the benefits they could have for your local business. With no further ado, it’s time to say goodbye for another month. Please enjoy this edition of Darlington Monthly, and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us so that we can make the September issue even better!

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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.

Miss.Darlington K. EdwardsMonthly Email: Tel: 07500 828 396 McPherson Advertise Contact 4 Brian To

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Do you like doing your shopping... the quiet way? It seems that we’ve had every conceivable kind of shopping craze down the years – from online shopping to happy hour shopping – but have you ever heard of ‘quiet hour’ shopping? Well, you have now. You see, it’s the new type of retail experience first tried out in Darlington just before Christmas, and subsequently turned into a monthly event. But there’s more – it’s become such a success, that it’s now being held weekly. The idea is that between 10:30am and 11:30am every Sunday, a ‘quiet hour’ takes place in which participating shops and venues turn off their music and children’s rides to help to create calmer and more relaxed surroundings. But it’s not just for the more sedate-minded of us A ‘quiet hour’ for shopping may seem like the kind of thing that would appeal to many of us who don’t like to be disrupted by noise or commotion while we’re browsing the aisles as part of our regular ‘retail therapy’. However, Darlington’s own ‘quiet hour’ shopping isn’t just aimed at those who like a bit of tranquillity – it’s also for the benefit of people who specifically need quieter and calmer surroundings, such as elderly shoppers and those with disabilities like autism or dementia. What else do I need to know? Not all retailers participate in the Quiet Hour, so if there are any particular venues you intend to visit as part of the scheme, it may be a good idea to contact them in advance to clarify whether they will be involved.

time, there’s a good chance that the entire town centre and beyond will feel like a much more peaceful place when you make your first visit. Participating venues so far have included Boyes, Guru Boutique, Queen Street and Cornmill Shopping Centres, Mercure Darlington Kings Head Hotel, Marks and Spencer, The Keys, Laura Ashley, Vue Cinema, The Dolphin Centre, Mangobean, Origins Home and Coffee Bar and Binns House of Fraser. How has the response been so far? Well, it’s been very positive. Kerrie Highcock of North East Autism Society was just one of the many to salute the news in March that the Quiet Hour would go weekly, commenting: “This is brilliant news. I am delighted that the Quiet Hour will now be a weekly fixture in Darlington, helping even more families to enjoy stressfree leisure and shopping time. “The list of retailers and other venues taking part keeps growing and is proof of how popular it has proved to be with families and individuals who appreciate a quieter shopping and leisure experience.” We’ve seen no shortage of warm sentiment towards the scheme on social media too, with one person remarking: “Isn’t this a lovely idea?” We don’t think we can disagree with that one – long may Quiet Hour continue to create noise (well, not very much at all) throughout the Darlington area!

Nonetheless, with the list of those to have taken part since the first Quiet Hour seemingly growing all of the 6

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An amazing deal – or, should we say, Amazon deal – for Darlington Over the years, many big-name retailers have opened outlets in Darlington and nearby; however, give recent news of high-profile shop closures in the area, despondency has unsurprisingly set in. It was undoubtedly exciting news, then, when word got out that one of the world’s leading retail companies – online behemoth Amazon – was preparing to extend its operations into our own little part of County Durham. We can expect to see thousands of jobs created as Amazon moves into a £120m fulfilment facility that could be complete by next summer. An open secret that’s no longer any real secret You might have long heard murmurs that Amazon was set to stretch one of its many tentacles, so to speak, into Darlington. However, it wasn’t until recently that the news saw more solid confirmation, thanks to multiple sources. Amazon has agreed to take the logistics fulfilment centre – which, when complete, will cover 1.5 million square feet – on a 20-year lease. However, the building will still take up just 40 acres of a 90-acre site that will be used for other developments, too. The site will be located at Darlington’s Symmetry Park on the A66, allowing for the strong transport connections that should help to foster a healthy influx of visitors. Last November, logistics developer db symmetry agreed a deal with landowners Durham Cathedral. Simon Dixon, db symmetry development director, has called Amazon’s involvement “the culmination of many months’ work and … undoubtedly a major coup for the scheme and this area of the North East”. 8

He added: “With the deal now signed, we will look to appoint a contractor … and are planning to start on site imminently. We will be also seeking to gain outline planning consent for approximately 550,000 square feet on the remaining 37 acres.” While the logistics centre will be used for the daily packing and shipping of thousands of parcels and could generate up to 3,000 jobs, there are also plans for the business park to include a bus terminus, 60-bed hotel, pub and restaurant. Looking forward to 2019 Colin Godfrey – partner of real estate investment company Tritax Big Box, which is funding the development – explained: “We worked very closely with both the occupier and db symmetry in the delivery of this off-market pre-let development.” He added that, once the three-storey storage and distribution hub is operational, it will be “one of the most technologically advanced buildings of its kind in the UK.” This facility should certainly help to cultivate a lot of positive publicity on our doorstep. Councillor Bill Dixon, who leads Darlington Borough Council, has hailed the Symmetry Park initiative as “a great result for our economic development team”. He further enthused that the project “will help deliver thousands of jobs to the town – which is great news – with recruitment expected to start early next year.” You might want to watch out for when the first job vacancies are advertised – but whether or not you will actually apply for any, it all adds up to amazing news for Darlington.

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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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Or are you a young person who just wants to share your views on the future of mental health in your town? 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.

Got something to say about Children and Young People's Mental Health in Darlington? Across the summer we will be encouraging as many individuals, families and young people as possible to tell us what they think about mental health services and support for young people living in Darlington. We were told by a staggering 45% of our survey participants that Mental Health was a top priority with a particular focus on children and young people services. Are you an individual, parent or carer in Darlington who is or has in the past supported a young person with mental health and want to share your views? Then please take part in our survey https://www.surveymonkey.

Then please take part in our survey https://www.surveymonkey. Please share our surveys far and wide so we can give EVERYONE the opportunity to have their say! Together we can make a difference!

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1. Deposit contribution available with 5.9% APR representative PCP finance through Shogun Finance Ltd, 116 Cockfosters Rd, Barnet, EN4 0DY. No deposit required and available over 25-43 months. Credit is subject to status and only available for retail sales to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18 and over. Offer is subject to availability, whilst stocks last and may be amended or withdrawn at any time. Offer not available in conjunction with any other offer and is available between 28th March and 26th September 2018. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to Shogun Finance Ltd. Zig Zag Cars Limited trades as Tees Valley Mitsubishi. Fuel figures shown are official EU test figures, to be used as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results.

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In the driving seat, public services students welcome the new initiative by Darlington College. STUDENTS have been given fresh drive in an initiative designed to make them even more valuable to potential employers. From September, young people studying fulltime courses at Darlington College will be eligible for free driving lessons. The scheme is aimed at all students aged 16-18, but those living in rural areas, such as North Yorkshire and County Durham, who often find themselves isolated even though they have the necessary employment skills, are expected to benefit the most. To qualify for the initial set of driving lessons students must show at least a 90 per cent attendance rate from September to Christmas, including maths and English modules where applicable. A further set of lessons will be approved if they maintain their attendance rate until Easter putting them well on the road to passing their driving test. Darlington College marketing manager Claire Turner explained: “Many students receive help with transport while they are at college but this initiative is designed to be even more sustainable. “Being able to drive opens a host of avenues with potential employers and really is equipping them with skills for life. “This scheme applies to new students and those returning to continue their studies. School leavers who come to us at 16 also qualify and will be able to keep 16

the lessons until they are able to get a provisional driving licence at 17.” Level 3 public services students welcomed the scheme. Regan Blewitt, 17, of Richmond, said: “I find it really difficult relying on public transport when you live in a rural area like Richmond. I have no one who can give me lifts anywhere and I think this is an amazing idea which will certainly give me complete independence.” Her colleague Lewis Johnson, 17, of Darlington, added: “I am hoping to join the police after college and being able to drive will be an incredible boost, particularly as I would love to work in the traffic policing department like on the TV series Interceptors. I think being able to drive will have a huge impact on all students as they try to secure jobs after leaving Darlington College.” The driving lesson initiative is part of a raft of benefits available to Darlington College students to complement their studies. They also receive free term-time Dolphin Centre membership to access the pool and gym facilities, which saves them around £187 a year, help with the cost of travel, kit, equipment, national and international visits and trips, free breakfasts, free hair and nail sessions, free childcare for under 20s, work experience placements with key employers and free sports and clubs. Further information on the driving lesson scheme will be available on enrolment. For more information on opportunities at Darlington College visit www.

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Employment Round Up Right Person Wrong Job? A high proportion of people interviewed in a recent employment sample stated they were not working in the job or occupational category they had imagined when they were at college or university. We all know the recession has impacted adversely on recruitment opportunities, and with household bills to pay, and the pressure to find any work a pressing necessity, the privilege of choice may not be an option. But that so few felt they had a match to their career intentions is concerning, not just for them personally, but for the companies that employ them. Why? Because for a business to thrive and grow, it needs clear leadership, clear vision and a committed workforce. Right person wrong job is not a winning combination. How much talent is being wasted for the lack of opportunity? It’s a troubling thought… Libby Eglin, HR Resolutions E: M: 07967 200603 W:



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At your local Barchester care home

At our care homes across Darlington, we pride ourselves on making everyone feel at home. We offer a range of personalised care services that support independence and maintain individual interests, with a varied activities programme and freshly prepared home-cooked meals. At Barchester we understand that 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.

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Darlington for Culture calls for more support of events in Darlington What can be done to attract audiences away from their home entertainment systems and to come into town to support the many events that take place throughout the year? You often hear that it is too expensive, or car parking is difficult, or that there is no bus service. But many events, particularly bands at some of the bar venues are free.They just hope you will buy a drink, or two. There is often free street entertainment, particularly at the weekends and sometimes the added attraction of specialty food stalls. Car parking is free in some car parks for two hours, free after 6pm in all parking areas and there are improved bus services. Darlington boasts a wealth of talented artists. There are numerous community theatre groups, most putting on at least two productions a year in venues around the town from church halls to The Hullabaloo.Ticket prices are rarely more than £8 full price with concessions at £6. Details of events can usually be found on Darlington Orchestra’s summer concert last week in the Dolphin Centre was a great evening’s entertainment and for £7, or £5 a ticket tremendous value as well. There are at least half a dozen choirs offering programmes for all tastes from Vocal Collective and Voices of Darlington to Darlington Choral Society who last November produced

Verdi’s Requiem Mass, with 150 singers, two orchestras and four internationally renowned soloists. Their autumn concert of Christmas music this year is at St Cuthberts on 1 December. There are numerous clubs and societies. For writers and poets there is Inkerman and Vane Women. For the more energetic there are Morris Dance groups and for real fun check out Stockton to Darlington Ukulele Express either for membership, or to hear one of their hugely popular concerts. All of these have a web presence and for others you can check the Council’s website under Clubs & Societies, or And yet these talented individuals and groups can only survive with the oxygen of audience. They play an important part in promoting our town’s visitor economy. Darlington, like almost all towns around the country is struggling to meet the challenges posed by a changing retail model. The arts are integral to the town’s wellbeing and economic survival and we need to support all artists and groups as often as we can.

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FILM REVIEW: Incredibles 2 As many avid watchers of superhero films will be able to attest, the sequels are often the most fun. That probably shouldn’t surprise given how much backstory first instalments need to set up; while Batman Begins was wellreceived upon its 2005 release, it was blown away by the 2008 follow-up as more of director Christopher Nolan’s ideas for the Dark Knight came to the fore. Pixar’s first stab with superheroes had an air of “origin story” about it, so how has the sequel shaped up?

Not that Mr Incredible throws a lot of punches early in the film. As the Parrs investigate a PR drive aimed at rehabilitating the tarnished image of superheroes, it’s Elastigirl who gets the nod to be a reborn saviour while Mr Incredible is left homebound and looking after the kids. They include baby Jack-Jack, whose fledgling superpowers keep momentarily re-emerging to amusingly chaotic effect. It all pays off much later, as a sequence of stunning action set-pieces breaks out.

In the first Incredibles film released in 2004, a superhero family consisting of Mr Incredible, his wife Elastigirl and offspring Violet and Dash were living undercover as the Parr family due to superheroes having been outlawed. Much of the story focused on their journey towards slipping back into lycra outfits while gadget-obsessed geeky villain Syndrome emerged as a threat. Naturally, he was vanquished, but superheroes stay illegal in the new story picking up straight after the first film’s.

If Incredibles 2 should be praised for one reason above all, it’s its creativity. With Elastigirl now the main focus, her flexibility – both physically and as a character – powers the unpredictability of the script compared to the original film’s. It was, after all, always discernibly harder to mine potential for quirky plotting from Mr Incredible’s superhuman strength – and as Jack-Jack’s powers multiply, it’s easy to see how he complements the new heroes that join the established crew in droves.

We’ve got an even more interesting and menacing villain this time around: the creepily masked Screenslaver, who can hypnotise his victims just by taking over a screen they happen to be watching. We will stop short of saying how the tussles with Screenslaver unfold, as it would tragically spoil many of the best surprises in a script where proceedings twist and turn like the shape-shifting Elastigirl herself. Again voiced by Holly Hunter, she’s joined by Craig T Nelson back as the patriarch.


Still, Elastigirl especially earns her place in the spotlight. It’s hard not to love her sporting her new outfit – even if she initially deplores it as too “dark and angsty” – or saddling her new Elasticycle, which she more keenly hails as “torquey!” Samuel L Jackson also returns as the iceshooting Frozone – as if to remind us that, as can be easily seen from Jackson’s filmography since the Incredibles’ cinematic bow, the superhero genre has quickly become more well-worn than a Gareth Southgate waistcoat. Fortunately, so exhilarating is Incredibles 2 that there’s still more than enough room for it.

Craig Lenaghan Copywriter

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Acting For Film Summer '18 When: 13th - 17th August 2018 Where: Majestic Theatre 78-80 Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT Time: 10am - 2pm Age: 11 - 18 year olds Price: £85.00p for the week Contact: Tel: 07957 445765

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Finally storm season is over and the sun is shining. That means now is the perfect time to make a start on your dream home improvements. Whether it be a new conservatory, a contemporary garage conversion or some general brickwork, here at Findley Roofing and Building you can trust us to make your dreams a reality.


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I contacted this firm to completely change our existing, poorly founded brickwork and damp course as we had persistent damp for many years on our 1960’s bungalow. “Mick the Brick” and the team are a tremendous asset to Findleys and achieved a wonderful job. So good, in fact, we have decided to repoint the rest of the bungalow as it now looks shabby in comparison. Excellent work, excellent skills, and the most polite and friendly tradespeople we have ever met. Fabulous outfits and you won’t be disappointed. Take our word for it. We look forward to our next job in June, we were astonished they did so much. Thank you Gemma and Timmani who kept us updated at every step of the way and to Brian the manager. Thank you all and thank you for the lovely The Posthill’s flowers which arrived today from Mr Findley.

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Would you like a stressfree move? The last time my husband and I bought a house, we had decided within the first half-minute of the viewing that it was the right house for us. I have spent far longer deliberating over which pair of shoes to buy! Of course, the largest purchase of our lives was rather more considered than this may suggest. We knew where we wanted to live, we had seen an independent adviser to discuss the best mortgage product to suit us, and we had viewed a number of properties before this one. Quite often we read articles likening the stress of moving house to getting divorced or suffering bereavement. In fact, there is little scientific evidence to back this up, but there is no doubt it can be an emotional time. Make sure you choose an estate agent who will be patient and support you through your move. Your key reasons for choosing an agent should be because of their negotiation skills, their ability to market your property to the widest possible audience and their experience of managing the sales process. At JW Wood, we have experts on hand at every stage of the process, including mortgages and conveyancing,

to make sure you have the best possible moving house experience. Our valuers have in-depth knowledge of the property market in their area, so as a seller or a buyer you can be confident that the property has been listed by a local expert. Use property websites and portals as they are an excellent source of information about the types and recent sold prices of homes in the area you wish to move to, but please ask our friendly and experienced staff any questions you may have – we are here to help. We have accompanied viewers who will show you round properties and might potentially have suggestions of other properties which might be of interest to you. Our negotiators will negotiate on your behalf and then when your sale is agreed we have a team of dedicated sales co-ordinators, one of whom will guide and update you throughout the process from agreeing the sale to legal completion. Buying and selling houses is all about people and relationships and how those relationships are handled is the key to a stress-free selling experience. You need to be confident that you can trust and work with your agent and you need to feel that he or she has your best interests at heart. As our many positive reviews demonstrate, you can be sure of that with JW Wood Estate Agents.

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Strap on your running shoes... it’s time for the 31st Darlington 10K! It’s official: with the commencement of this year’s Darlington 10K on Sunday 12th August, one of the region’s most popular road races will mark more than three decades of thrills, tribulations and triumphs. With plenty of men’s and women’s prizes on offer, as well as veteran prizes and a young athletes category, every entrant will have something to compete for, while Sherwoods Vauxhall continues to serve as the event’s main sponsor. The main 10K starts at 10:30am, with presentations of the prizes taking place at about 12:15pm. What else do you need to know about this regionally important event? The 2018 Darlington 10K is being organised once again by Darlington Borough Council in partnership with Rotary Club of Darlington, and also receives support from the likes of More Mile and Start Fitness in addition to its title sponsor. There must be some pretty juicy prizes on offer... You bet they are! As we mentioned, there will be no shortage of them, including - in both the men’s and women’s categories - first prizes to the value of £600, right down to a sixth prize worth £20. Team prizes will be awarded in each gender category, too, with the first three being to the value of £20. To be eligible for any of the veterans’ prizes, meanwhile, you’ll need to be aged over 40 to over 80, and the young athletes prizes will be handed to those finishing first and second in both boy and girl categories. ‘Young athletes’, by the way, are defined as being between 15 and 17 years old. 28

But even littler people can also get involved No one can accuse the organisers of wilfully excluding anyone - not with a Family Fun Run and 3km Junior Run also scheduled, for starts of 9:00am and 9:45am respectively on the day. The first of those - as the name suggests - is a chance for all of the family to participate. Indeed, many of the mums and dads on the entry list for the 10k later that day may fancy treating the Family Fun Run as their warm-up! Souvenir medals are handed out to all of the participants, so this really is a run where everyone is a winner. You can enter on the day at The Dolphin Centre at Horsemarket, Darlington, DL1 5RP, but there’s also the option to enter in advance. As for the Junior 3k Run, this has been quite the hit since it was reintroduced in 2015. It’s open to eight to 14-year olds, and takes place over an out-and-back road course. As with the 10K, various age-category prizes will be on offer, too. The organisers suggest that this run could be ideal for local sports and athletic clubs looking to raise funds, and we’d be hard-pressed to disagree with them! How can I find out more? You can learn more about this year’s Darlington 10K by visiting, emailing or calling Phil Haymer on (01325) 406417. It is also on the website where you will be able to download an entry form. Please note that the closing date for all entries is Friday 3rd August, or when the race reaches capacity.

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You and your friend or partner can WIN an amazing treatment for two at Darlington’s newest wellbeing and beauty spa. Settle down and unwind with a herbal tea in the relaxation zone as their expert wellbeing therapists help you choose from a myriad of treatments especially designed to suit your needs. Leave your worries behind as you breathe the gently scented air and get wrapped up in the softest of sea island cotton towels.


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Our lucky winners might try the reflexology; a foot massage which will help you to relax, unwind and de-stress all over. Or try a Swedish massage, which assists the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the body and aids circulation. You may want to enjoy a deluxe facial to deep cleanse your skin and leave you with an inner and outer glow. If you suffer from aches or pains, you can see one of their expert sports therapists who can conduct a thorough assessment and treat as required including sports massage, remedial

massage and trigger point therapy. The Micro-Spa is situated in Business Central, opposite Darlington train station and is run by Corporate Personal Fitness, one of the UK’s leading wellbeing companies and whose headquarters are here in Darlington. Enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize. Simply complete to coupon opposite or enter online by subscribing to the newsletter at Everyone who enters the competition online will receive a special treat.


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Join our league of fundraising Superheroes to help people across South Durham & North Yorkshire!

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Quakers Zone

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

Darlington’s first fixture of the new Vanarama National League North season will be at Blackwell Meadows. Quakers’ first game in the sixth tier of English football will be at home to Curzon Ashton on Saturday 4th August, quickly followed by away games at local rivals Spennymoor on Tuesday 7th August, and FA Trophy winners Brackley on Saturday 11th August. To complete a very hectic start to the season, they’re at home to Blyth on Wednesday 15th August, and then at Kidderminster on the 18th August. Their Boxing Day fixture and New Year’s Day fixtures are against York City, managed by former Darlington boss Martin Gray.

from the National League at the end of last season, while Hereford won promotion from the Southern League. There are already several former Football League clubs in the division; York City, Boston United, Stockport County, Southport, Bradford Park Avenue and Kidderminster Harriers, so this will be a very tough league to win promotion from. Manager Tommy Wright will include six new signings for the start of the season; keeper Jonny Maddison and outfield players Jonny Burn, Alex Henshall, Simon Ainge, Jordan Nicholson and Liam Hughes.

Quakers will be facing two more clubs that were with them previously in the Football League. Chester were relegated


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A Conversation with

Ben Houchen Tees Valley Mayor


our triumph in the Tees Valley mayoral election last year was seen as a big shock – what do you think convinced local people to give you their vote?

always have. I will always back our wealth creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and risk takers, but I also owe it to the 700,000 people I represent to push to ensure we’re prepared for Brexit.

I think my election as Mayor just over a year ago illustrates how local people felt about how they had been represented by Labour over the preceding years. For too long we’ve been fed a diet of low ambition and low aspiration. Perversely, we’ve even seen some local politicians talk down our area for too. Labour’s failure to deliver for the people of the Tees Valley created a dissatisfaction and encouraged many to make the jump and support me for the first time. Clearly there was also a realisation that something had to be done about Durham Tees Valley Airport, and my commitment to bring it back under public ownership and give it a chance to survive. Our airport was sold off for half a million over a decade ago, and the ‘keep open commitment’ that was negotiated expires in 2021. I’m clear we either need to do something now, or say goodbye to our airport.

You recently backed the formation of a free port – an economic zone that allows goods to be imported, manufactured and then exported from the area without incurring customs tariffs – in the North East. Do you think this would be an adequate substitute for membership of the single market?

What are your hopes and aspirations for Darlington, especially in the post-Brexit era? One of my key priorities for the town is the Darlington station redevelopment. This is a £100m project that would drag it into the 21st century, make it the gateway into Tees Valley, and unlock capacity across the region. I have announced that I am prepared to invest up to £25m from the funds devolved to our area, and I am hopeful that central government will cough up the rest. You recently criticised local business leaders for expressing their concern over the current state of Brexit talks. Do you think you know better than them about the likely impact of Brexit? I think we need to be clear – I criticised the North East Chamber of Commerce, not businesses. Real businesses are doing a sterling job investing, employing, training and exporting. The Chamber is a representative body…but isn’t even representative, covering just 2% of employers in the North East. The fact is: the British people and the Tees-Valley voted to leave the European Union, and this must be delivered in full by the Government. I was disappointed by the pessimism shown by Chamber bosses, many of whom haven’t even ran a business. I have, and the businesses I speak to want Westminster politicians to stop bickering or refighting the referendum, and start looking at the opportunities ahead. As an area we should all be looking forward to leaving the protectionist European Union and start looking outward as we


The Tees Valley can benefit greatly from the UK’s withdrawal from the Single Market and the Customs Union as opportunities for businesses to engage with new global trading partners will arise. Leaving the Single Market would offer exemptions from operational, regulatory and state aid requirements allowing for the revitalisation of Teesside’s manufacturing industry. According to global construction firm Mace Group – not me – establishing as Free Port in Teesside could create over 17,000 jobs and add £1.1 billion to the economy. However, to ensure we can achieve this we must be sure to leave both the Customs Union and the Single Market fully – which is what the British people voted for. If we remain in either pillar, we won’t be able to take back control of our money, borders, laws and trade. What’s the latest news you can share on efforts to return Durham Tees Valley Airport to public ownership? I promised to bring our airport back into public ownership, and that is what I’ll do. I’m genuinely confident we will reach an agreement with Peel this year. A strict Non-Disclosure Agreement has been signed and agreed following a proposal I have submitted to Peel being. This means I can’t say anything further, but it also demonstrates that negotiations have entered an advanced stage. Many said it was a pie in the sky promise, but look where we are now – sitting at the table negotiating a transfer of ownership. Watch this space! What are your most pressing priorities for the remainder of your term as Tees Valley mayor? A clear priority will be to deliver upon my election pledge to bring Durham Tees Valley Airport back under public ownership to rectify the long-term decline of the airport. We also need government to fund the rest of the Darlington station plans. The South Tees Development Corporation is also the forefront of

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Please mention Darlington Monthly when contacting advertisers my plans to transform the former SSI steelworks site in Redcar. Following the £123 million of new money secured from Government to prepare the site, I will continue to oversee this project which represents an opportunity to attract investors and improve the economy in what is the single biggest development opportunity in the UK. Earlier this year we secured an agreement in principle with the three Thai banks who hold a charge on the land to take back control of the site. Once this deal is done, private investors will pile onto the site. What do you think the Tories’ prospects are in Darlington and the wider Tees Valley, going forward? The future prospects of the party in Darlington and the Tees-Valley will be strongly linked to the delivery of Brexit. If we screw that up, people will very rightly turn their back on the Conservatives. I’ve made this very clear to 10 Downing Street. Each area within the Tees-Valley voted leave by more than 60% and Darlington specifically, voted with a majority of almost 7,000 to exit the European Union.Therefore, it is vital that the Conservative Government deliver what the people of Teesside voted for in full otherwise we will face the consequences at the ballot box. Locally, it is key that we continue to deliver jobs and investment to the region, which has been translated into higher levels of employment across the Tees Valley. At the end of the day: more jobs means more people with the security of a pay packet at the end of each month. If we deliver Brexit, create more well-paid jobs, and sort out our airport, I might just about get in next time!

Look out for next month’s A Conversation With... where we’ll be chatting to a local entrepreneur!

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Pimms ice lollies Serve these naughty Pimms lollies instead of dessert at a summer barbecue. Equipment: for this recipe you will need wooden lolly sticks and lolly moulds.

Ingredients. 300ml/½ pint Pimms, or similar ‘fruit cup’ 850ml/1½ pints lemonade handful fresh strawberries, hulled, halved few sprigs fresh mint, leaves only 1 orange, zest only

Method. • Mix the Pimms and lemonade together in a large jug. • Place a couple of strawberry halves, a few mint leaves and a little orange zest into each lolly mould. • Pour the Pimm mixture into each ice lolly mould until three-quarters full. Insert the lolly stick and lid and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until frozen solid. • Alternatively, you can use large shot glasses as moulds: place the strawberry, mint and orange zest into the glass and

fill with the Pimms mixture. Freeze for one hour, or until the lollies are partially frozen, then insert the lolly sticks and continue to freeze until completely frozen. • To remove the lollies, dip the moulds briefly in hot water and carefully remove the lollies.

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Darlington Market Square

What’s it all about? It is an ambitious new visual theatre work marking 100 years  since the first British women were given the right to vote. Inspired by the Suffragettes and Suffragists, the show celebrates activists from the Tees Valley region whose courage propelled this historic movement to achieve political recognition. Periplum bring to life the self-styled ‘feminine incendiaries’, and the men who marched alongside these pioneers of direct action. Sensory, spectacular  and ultimately uplifting, this surround performance uses innovative staging and pyrotechnic design, new music, writing and aerial performance in a gritty depiction of the struggle to gain the vote and break through a glass ceiling.

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An innovative North East letting agency has achieved further growth by recruiting new staff and moving into additional office space. My Property Box which focuses solely on residential lettings, is based at Darlington’s Business Central and has secured more space in the business centre to accommodate new members of staff and to help facilitate future growth plans. Established in 2012, the firm have pioneered their way to success, according to its Managing Director Ben Quaintrell. Since their inception, the forward-thinking firm have embraced digital marketing and technology by implementing an online portal for landlords and driving their services via social media. And it’s with this way of marketing that the firm have achieved their success to date, leading to another significant expansion. “High street agents are unfortunately becoming a thing of the past,” said Mr Quaintrell, “we were the first letting agency to launch in Darlington that wasn’t on the high street; the industry has gone online and we’re benefitting from being in the perfect environment. “We wanted a modern office which is why we chose Business Central initially because there’s a synergy between the centre and ourselves, and it’s also well located being next

My Property Box team including MD, Ben Quaintrell (far right)

Innovative Darlington letting agency expands after embracing digital services

to the station and in the middle of town. “And we now have two offices within the business centre – one will now exclusively be a department that will only deal with landlords and the other will be focused on dealing with tenants. “This will enable us to give only the very best service to all of our clients.” In addition to their office expansion, the firm have recently brought in two new members of staff including Adam Boyd who has taken on the role of maintenance manager. Mr Quaintrell added: “It’s great to have our staff including our new members in specific teams to focus on driving our services. “And we’re big believers in developing our own staff so they can improve their knowledge and grow within the company as we seek further business growth.”

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Easy to take your scooter for a ride BRITAIN is Europe’s mobility scooter capital, with more than 350,000 in daily use on our pavements. But these helpful, nifty vehicles do their limitations. A scooter battery will typically take you about 12 miles, so you can’t stray too far in one journey. And with mobility scooters weighing from 50kg to 200kg, moving a heavier model into a car boot might risk a back injury. However, a lift on the back of the car makes it easy to transport the scooter around without struggle or risk. It means that you can revisit favourite places, go shopping more often or see family whenever you feel like it , without strain.

and with good ground clearance. The lift is very simple to operate and means that there is no longer any need to dismantle the scooter to fit it into the boot. It’s alsovery stable, so you will hardly know it is there, even on rough roads. And it is slim, lightwight and easy to remove and store. Having a lift fitted opens up so many new opportunities to use your scooter without fear of injuring your back.

The lift is mounted on the back of the car by means of a tow bar hitch. It has a triangular ‘male’ fitting that interlocks with a ‘female’ docking bracket attached permanently to the scooter into position, press a button and the two will lock together, so that the scooter can be lifted up behind the car, effortlessly


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Block Paving · Paths · Patios · Turfing Driveways Tarmac, Concrete & Resin Gates & Fences · Hedge Cutting Pruning · Treework · Decking


Get in touch:




Printing and Embroidery

FREE same day collect & return within 5 mile radius. From home or workplace between 06.30 - 20.00 Boss printing and embroidery provide quality workwear school wear and sportswear with a choice of printed or high quality embroidered logos

UNIT 5 Banks RD. Darlington

@printandembroide Call 07920 513194




Free Estimate & Quote s s

Bryan Mosley

Decorating, plastering, fencing, Small Brick/Block Work, Gutters repaired/Cleared, Gardening, Jet Wash, DIY.

MOBILE 07808 696448 HOME 01325 246735


Call Peter on 01325 776535 or 07876 078577 Chimney Stacks - Slating - Ridge Tiles Replaced - Tiling Flat Roofs - Pointing - Leadwork - Guttering Proud member of UPVC Facias and Soffits Storm Damage - Velux Windows 44

Complete Bathroom Installations

(Including tiling & associated building works, flooring, decorating, etc)

All general plumbing works including upgrades, leaks & repairs, inside & out NO CALL OUT FEE

07827 587260

Fully Insured Professional Ironing Service


Free Collection & Returns within 24 Hours Prices from £3.15 p kg

CALL 07525 150033 EMAIL


To Advertise Contact Darlington Monthly Email: Tel: 07500 828 396

Please mention Darlington Monthly when contacting advertisers


fencing, disabled HAVE A DAMP P R O BLE M T H AT NEEDS AT T ENT I O N? hand rails, grab rails, all external and internal door, window locks, handles, hinges, (Lost keys gained entry) Garage locks &Of Cables, Key Safes, Garden gate New Roofs & door All Aspects Repair Work Undertaken. latches, PadAllbolts, All other hardware. We Cover General Building Work Too! GET IN TOUCH M: 07584 449 426 FOR A FREE QUOTATION: E:


UPVC & Composite door multipoint locks, all other external, internal door and window locks, handles, hinges, fencing, disabled hand rails, grab rails. (Lost keys gained entry) Garage door locks & Cables, Key Safes, Garden gate latches, Pad bolts, All other hardware. m 07856 278438 t 01388 774107

West End Landscapes Landscaping & Gardening Services throughout the North East

Digital T.V Aerials - Repairs & Faults Extra T.V Points - Sky & Virgin Box Relocation Low Prices Guaranteed - 10 Years Experience

07760 221 377 01325 242 268

Patios & Terraces - Fencing & Decking work Driveways - Block Paving - Turfing - Garden Design We are fully insured & carry a waste transfer license.

Get in touch on 07974 970338 / 01325 789227 or Email: Visit:

A.D Cleaning Services

Our Services

Deep Cleaning - General/Commercial Carpet cleaning - Oven cleans - End of tenancy Washing/Ironing -Upholstery - and more...

For a FREE quote, get in touch on

07807 331782 or email

an established driving school based in Newton Aycliffe, that has been teaching people to drive in Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Durham and surrounding areas since 1992. CONTACT TODAY ON 07949 195 184 T: 01325 333 455 M: 07710 833 294 E:

All aspects of Carpentry and Joinery Specialist in Kitchen Fitting & Wooden Floors



For a FREE No Obligation Quote Please Call:




PROFESSIONAL PLUMBERS YOU CAN TRUST We Cover All Aspects Of Plumbing & Heating and More...

Boiler Installations + Bathroom Design Mobility Bathroom + Gas & Oil Installations Central Heating Services + Power Flushing

PoppySues Handy Home Improvements Painting and Decorating From one room to a full house GET IN TOUCH

07759 395 443 Email: Web:

DMW Computer Solutions


Computer Repairs - Virus Removal - Data Recovery Screen Replacement - VHS to DVD Conversion Home, Office, Gaming Machines Custom Built 7 Day Service (Includes evenings) No Hourly Rates | No Call-out Charges

Tel - 07821 264990 | 01609 771973

Over 25 years of experience

Dismantling of trees - Pruning Reduce leaf surface - Felling Reduction - Stump removal Reshape hedges - Hedge cutting Site clearance - Clear Building Site Thinning woodland - and more...

Get in touch for a FREE no-obligation Quote

07902 288 036

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What’s on


Darlington Football Club 04 Sat - 15:00 Darlington vs Curzon Ashton 07 Tue - 19:45 Spennymoor Town vs Darlington 11 Sat - 15:00 Brackley Town vs Darlington 15 Wed - 19:45 Darlington vs Blyth Spartans 18 Sat - 15:00 Kidderminster Harriers vs Darlington 25 Sat - 15:00 Darlington vs Altrincham 27 Mon - 15:00 Ashton United vs Darlington

Mini Monsters Aug 05 2018 - 10am til 12:30pm. Come and discover the wonderful world of beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, spiders and other mini monsters. Families can register for a year of wildlife challenges with awards and stickers for £5 per family. Run by the Darlington & Teesdale Naturalists Field Club in partnership with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. For more information, email Darlington & Teesdale Naturalist’s Field Club, Firthmoor Community Centre, 56 Burnside Road, Darlington, DL1 4SU

Pick, Pie & Pint Join Darlington Cares for a kid friendly litter pick, pie and pint and start your weekend with the glow of knowing you’ve done something good for the community and get a pie and a pint for free. 16:00 - 17:30. To register your interest, email Chelsea.Johnson@ Market Square, Horsemarket, Darlington, DL1 5RP

Interactive Puppet Theatre & Carnival Games Aug 10 2018 - TIME: 11:00 - 16:00 The Cornmill Shopping Centre is holding a Interactive Puppet Theatre and Carnival Games, as part of their Summer of Fun. Cornmill Shopping Centre, Priestgate, Darlington, DL1 1NH.

3CW Mid-Summer Showdown Aug 12 2018 3 Count Wrestling returns to Darlington with 3CW Mid-Summer Showdown 2018. Tickets cost £16.00. Confirmed wrestlers include: 3CW Champion: Rampage Brown ‘The Mexican Sensation’ EL Ligero Martin Kirby. Email: Website:

Darlington Gay Pride 2018 Darlington Gay Pride takes place in bars across the town centre, including Number One Bar, The Hoskins, Avalon, Harveys and Inside Out. This year will have a carnival


Got an event coming up?

Let us know and we’ll help spread the news. email details of your event to: theme. Aug 13 2018, Darlington Town Centre, Darlington, DL1 1NT

Blues in the Park 2018 Blues in the Park returns to North Lodge Park this summer. DATE: Aug 19 2018 - TIME: 13:00 - 17:00 - COST: Free North Lodge Park, Darlington, DL3 6LZ.

Little Learners in the Park Join Little Learners in the Park for some VERY messy outdoor fun, including paddling pools & trays of messy play, food, paint, sand, play dough, dancing, games and more. This event is suitable for ages 5 months – 5 years but older children are welcome to join in the fun too. DATE: Aug 22 2018 - TIME : 13:00 - 14:00 - COST: £20.00 Eastbourne Sports Complex Bourne Avenue, Darlington, DL1 1LJ

Railway Museum Dementia Friendly Cafe Have a cup of tea, meet the museum staff, and get the chance to handle a collection of objects from the steam railways. Jigsaws and photocards will also be available to help with conversation. Head of Steam, North Road Station, Darlington, DL3 6ST. 15th August. Head of Steam North Road Station, Darlington, DL3 6ST.

A-Level Results Takeover Darlington The UK’s biggest A-Level Results takeover comes to Darlington, featuring: Fire Breathers Dwarf Misbehaving Hosts Co2 Jets Confetti Cannons Dance Offs Inflatables Ball Pits Rodeo Bulls Aug 16 2018. TIME: 22:30. COST: £5.00

Darlo Dines Out Sample street food meals and market foods for your lunch every Wednesday in Darlington. A selection of regional Street food traders will fill the West Row for you to enjoy. Grab a healthy snack from the fruitmongers inside, a delicious cake from Rosie’s Deli, read a newspaper from Market News. Covered Market, Horse Market, Darlington, DL1 5PX.

To Advertise Contact Darlington Monthly Email: Tel: 07500 828 396

Please mention Darlington Monthly when contacting advertisers



Studios in Cockerton, Middlebrough & Washington

Bedroom Image Est 1978

A Family Run Business

Made to measure | Sliding Wardrobes Hinged Wardrobes | Luxury fitted bedroom furniture Available in a large selection of colours and styles


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

Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online:


Trusted plumbing & heating engineers • Boiler installations • 10 years guarantee • Worcester Bosch platinum accredited • 0% finance • Bathroom installations • Boiler service and repair 9.89/10 • Small plumbing works

01642 919912

from over 438 reviews

Darlington Monthly August 2018  

Have you literally melted in the heat yet? There have certainly been some scary headlines about the sweltering temperatures in recent weeks...

Darlington Monthly August 2018  

Have you literally melted in the heat yet? There have certainly been some scary headlines about the sweltering temperatures in recent weeks...