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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Brigham's Bookshop, Coniscliffe Road
by S. Clark
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.
North Lodge Park Pond and Boat House, 1899
by P.P. Norman
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!
County Borough of Darlington
Darlington Welcome Committee on behalf of their fellow Townsmen & Women in grateful acknowledgement of Loyal & Gallant Services rendered to King & Country in the Greatest of all Struggles for Freedom and the Right.
We have only seen only one other certificate given to a Darlington soldier who surrived WW1 and so far have not found out any other information about when they were presented. We would be interested to know if you have a similar certificate given to your ancestor or if you have more information about them in general.
Sleigh Ride to Russia
Griselda Fox Mason
published in 1985
This understated little book concerns a dramatic episode in the lives of three brave men who were tasked to attempt to prevent the outbreak of what became known as the Crimean War. It is an unusual insight (mostly through the medium of their letters) into a unique moment in history.
Joseph Sturge, Robert Charleton and Henry Pease made a 2000 mile round trip over three weeks in February 1854 to meet with the Emperor of Russia and present an address penned by English Quakers urging peace, on avowedly religious rather than political grounds. The book is put together by the great grand-daughter of Henry Pease – Edward (Father of the Railway) Pease’s youngest son.
They travelled first by rail, until the tracks ran out in Konigsberg, modern-day Kaliningrad. Henry is rueful when reporting back to his brother on the efficiency of German trains, that they run in ‘a style well calculated to lower an Englishman’s pride as to railway management’. Thereafter it was a carriage, on a sleigh, drawn by six horses at a top speed of six miles an hour – unless impeded and on occasion entirely overwhelmed, by snowdrifts. Having three sets of letters home to draw from, there are plenty of individual insights into the cultural and geographical worlds discovered en route. Russia’s ‘dead markets’ make a big impression for instance – the way the frozen produce has to be hacked up with mallets…
Three weeks then, of considerable tension, what with the hazards of the journey, the vanishing window of opportunity to put their case, and the uncertainty as to whether they would even be granted an audience. The British press was sceptical: the undertaking was reported in the ‘Times’, for instance, as ‘a piece of enthusiastic folly’; our own ‘Darlington and Stockton Times’ had ‘no faith in the success of their mission’.
There is a touching glimpse into the personal impact of the big day itself in one of Henry’s accounts of it, where he talks about waiting to be admitted into the Emperor’s presence: ‘ trying to appear at ease when in reality it was not just so’. The address and the Emperor’s reply are reproduced in full in the text. The former was received politely, but the response was implacable: “On the present occasion, my great duty is to attend to the interests and honour of my country.”
In fact, war was declared five weeks after the visit of what the cartoonists called ‘the three doves’. The remainder of the book is devoted to a round-up of ‘what they did next’: all three continued undaunted in their efforts to promote the interests of peace in other contexts.
The book will be on show in the Centre for Local Studies during November.
Ghosts of the North by Melanie Warren and Tony Wells
The Centre for Local Studies collection is wide ranging, so books about local customs, traditions, folklore and ghosts are also collected. Along with more serious studies there are a number of books in the collection such as this with stories based in places the reader will recognise. Why not pop in and read something different!
This book is a well written collection of stories from all over the north of England that make you feel every scary noise and spooky happening.
There are a host of fascinating characters for you to meet in the book too. One example is Sir Bryan de Blenkinsopp who would only marry a woman if she brought with her a chest of gold heavier than ten strong men could carry. The story of Mr Winter the ghost of North Road station in Darlington is also particularly interesting. The story involves two prominent Darlington figures; the journalist, W.T. Stead and Edward Pease,”Father of the Railways”.
The section on the Brontës will appeal to those who have enjoyed their books. The ghost of Anne Brontë has been seen in a very unusual place. The places where Emily is said to haunt are much more expected.
You can find an interesting way of making old documents which have become illegible, readable again, in the chapter on Mother Shipton. This chapter on Mother Shipton also gives an insight into her life and prophecies.
The chapter ‘The Web Of Death’ is a poignant tale of friendship which any reader will be find truly moving.
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!
Eric's War, Experiences of a Far Eastern Prisoner of War 1941-1945 by Eric Walter Markham Find out more
The Friends in Council by Samuel Tuke Richardson Find 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
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
Kelly's Directories Explore here
Religion, Business and Society by Anne Orde Explore here
Dodds' Darlington Annual for 1917 Explore here
Edward Pease (1767-1858), The Father of the Railways
by an unknown artist
St. Cuthbert's Church, 1912 by D. Allston
Bishop's Palace, Darlington 1813 by E.A. Elton
Advertisement and 1899 calendar for W. Sedgewick,
family grocer and wine merchant,
97 Bondgate, Darlington
Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington by W. W. Neasham
The Sisters of Mercy Home, Darlington
by G. A. Fothergill
Thornfield, Darlington by A. R. Longley
Edward Pease 1834-1880 by an unknown photographer
Opening of the South Park Teahouse, Darlington June 4, 1908
photographed by Alfred H. Harrow
The Old Mill Race, Darlington by Samuel Fothergill, 1884
Cockerton by an unknown artist
Hannah Maria Whitwell (1778-1866) by an unknown artist