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Centre for

Local Studies


Current displays & events Current displays & events

To see what's on in Local Studies, please visit the Events Page

Local Studies catalogue Local Studies catalogue

Local Studies books and pamphlets have now been added to the online library catalogue, click onto the Catalogue link above.

Following 3 years of hard work by staff and volunteers the main card catalogue for Local Studies is available online.However if you are looking for photographs, maps, newspaper indexing or family history resources please ask staff to help you use the card catalogues when you visit.

From the collection From the collection

Tea wrapper used by Jane Bryson


A very decorative tea wrapper used by Jane Bryson, grocer and tea dealer, 9 High Row, in the late 19th century.

From the collection From the collection

Edward Pease Public Library, Crown Street, with bust of Edward Pease and Portrait of the first Librarian, Frank Burgoyne,  Entrance of the Town Hall & Coniscliffe Road

by W. Walker Hodgson


This painting by W. Walker Hodgson who resided in Darlington for a while was given to the Library with the complements of Thomas Wood & Sons, November 1909

From the collection From the collection

Thread Mill and Dam, Darlington by S. Fothergill


If you like this painting call in to the Centre for Local Studies to see other framed paintings and images on display around the walls.

From the collection From the collection

Post House Wynd, Darlington by H.S. (attributed to)


We have no information about this artist. If you have further details, please contact us.

If you find this painting interesting why not call in to the Centre for Local Studies and see the other framed items on display around the walls.

From the collection From the collection

Brigham's Bookshop, Coniscliffe Road 

by S. Clark


From the collection From the collection

James Atkinson by an unknown artist

James Atkinson, Oriental Scholar and Artist, born at Darlington, 1780, died in London, 1852. This painting was presented to this Library in 1893 and shows Atkinson in his uniform as surgeon in the army.

From the collection From the collection

North Lodge Park Pond and Boat House, 1899

by P.P. Norman

Discover more of our collection Discover more of our collection

 On this page we will feature some of our most useful and interesting items of stock.

Some items you will be familiar with, others we hope to introduce you to!

September book of the month September book of the month

Eric’s War

Experiences of a Far Eastern Prisoner of War 1941-1945

by Eric Walter Markham

A vivid, personal account of life for prisoners of war in the far-east.

Eric Walter Markham was born in Darlington in 1919. His father Walter had inherited the family grocery and wine merchants shop located at Bakehouse Hill in Darlington Market Place.

This account was written by Eric shortly after his return to civilian life, following a period of illness associated with the privations suffered as a Prisoner of War, but it was only printed in a basic form as a personal record and for his family, until this  edition of 2015 the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day.

The book has illustrations by Ronald Searle among others and there are many photographs. The personal style of the writing truly brings home the horrors of life for a prisoner of war and the brutality of war itself.

On display in the Centre for Local Studies during September.

September framed photograph of the month September framed photograph of the month

Edward Pease 1834-1880 by an unknown photographer

Previous book of the month Previous book of the month

The Friends in Council

by Samuel Tuke Richardson, 1875

This charming book describes in words and pictures the week-long ‘First Day (i.e. Sunday) School Conference held by Darlington Quakers in August 1870. At first glance, one wonders whether it could be a little like a Shakespeare Comedy – that is, that the jokes could take a lot of explaining… However, there is no need to fear, and no prior knowledge of Quakers is required to take pleasure in the wit of the text or its richly detailed cartoon-style illustrations.  

First hints of the fun in store are to be found on the opening page, the programme of arrangements for the week in question. The Conference subject is described as: ‘Our Society on its last legs and how to undermine the Established Church’. Gentle fun is poked throughout at the pretensions of all religious folk, the most merciless reserved for the Quakers themselves. Day 1 is reserved for arrivals and ‘great loss of luggage’; Day 7 ‘will be devoted entirely to eating up scraps left by Friends’.

Two subjects are regularly the butt of the joke: the trappings of wealth, rank and privilege; and the overly strict application of codes of conduct within the organisation. There’s a wonderful drawing  of very smart horses and ‘equipages’ outside Darlington station: ‘the gleam of grandeur’ became ‘too much for Samuel Wurzley’, a young friend from the Dales, who took the staggers on the spot and being of humble origin did not survive’.


The Allocation Committee were constantly on the prowl for anyone ‘of influential appearance’; but the Sessional Committee were even more fearsome – on their guard against Friends falling into the Vice of playing Billiards, or daring to attempt to evade evening Meeting by dropping into St Cuthbert’s…

Best of all is ‘The Ministerial Snore’. Lodged in one of the Bank attics, ‘a snore of at least 8pig power’ leads to a fracas during which, ‘all peace principles were speedily forgotten’ (‘The Ministerial Crisis’) and the Police ultimately arrive to restore order, assuming that a burglary must be under way.

The book ends with the depiction of the troubles of Friends returning to Ireland, many the worse for wear. It could have been the sea voyage itself – unusually rough – but unfortunately ‘all agreed that Darlington must be unhealthy to produce such results’.

Find previous books of the month here Find previous books of the month here

You might enjoy exploring previous books of the month. You can do this below. Just select a title you would like to find out more about and click on the link.

Remember you can come in to the Centre for Local Studies anytime to see the original book. Just call in and ask the staff. They will find the book for you.

If you have used a book in Local Studies which you have found useful or interesting and you think should be featured here, do let us know.

Enjoy finding out more!


Lady Fry of Darlington by Eliza Orme Explore here


Darlington Half-Holiday Guide by Mr. J.W. Cudworth Explore here

The History of Whessoe Explore here


Up There, The North East Football Boom & Bust by Michael Walker  Explore here


From Thornfield to Thornfield Road by Patricia Dean  Explore here






Annual Reports on the Health of the County Borough of Darlington  Explore here


 The Mystery of Easter Island by Katherine Routledge  Explore here



Inventry of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses in the North of England by Christopher Stell Explore here






The World War One Memorial of Eastbourne, Darlington by A. Magrys  Explore here


At the House of Edward Pease, Northgate, Darlington

 by Charles McNab Explore here


Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company Ltd Explore here


Charter of Incorporation of the Borough of Darlington & The County Borough of Darlington Official Handbook

Explore here







Darlington Illustrated Year Book for the Municipal Year, 1903 Explore here


Public Catalogue Foundation, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in County Durham Explore here




A History of The Denes, Darlington by Chris Lloyd and Memories of The Denes Explore here



A rhinoceros bone from Brierton, nr. West Hartlepool & a skeleton of elk (Cervus alces) from Neasham, near Darlington by C.T. Trechmann Explore here


 England's Vast Industries & Mercantile Marine Explore here


Henry Pease - A Short Story of His Life by Mary Pease    Explore here


Memories of North Road Locomotive Works   Explore here 



Biographical and historical notes on bygone Darlington by W.J. Mountford  Explore here








The History of the Polam Christmas Tree  Explore here






Durham at the Opening of the Twentieth Century and Durham Contemporary Biographies  Explore here


A North Country Album by George A. Fothergill  Explore here

Kelly's Directories Explore here             

Religion, Business and Society by Anne Orde     Explore here                               

Dodds' Darlington Annual for 1917     Explore here             

From the collection From the collection

St. Cuthbert's Church, 1912 by D. Allston

From the collection From the collection

Bishop's Palace, Darlington 1813 by E.A. Elton

From the collecton From the collecton

Advertisement and 1899 calendar for W. Sedgewick,

family grocer and wine merchant,

97 Bondgate, Darlington

From the collection From the collection

Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington by W. W. Neasham


From the collection From the collection

The Sisters of Mercy Home, Darlington

 by G. A. Fothergill


From the collection From the collection

Thornfield, Darlington by A. R. Longley


From the collection From the collection

 Opening of the South Park Teahouse, Darlington June 4, 1908

photographed by Alfred H. Harrow

From the collection From the collection

The Old Mill Race, Darlington by Samuel Fothergill, 1884

From the collection From the collection

Cockerton by an unknown artist

From the collection From the collection

Hannah Maria Whitwell (1778-1866) by an unknown artist


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