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!
The Brewers and Breweries of North East England (2004)
As reference books go, it might seem at first sight that this would be one for the subject-specialist. It is, after all, chiefly a comprehensive index – fulfilling the brief of the title – a historical guide to brewing in the North East, defined as Northumberland and County Durham, from the 18th Century to the year 2000. It is arranged alphabetically by place-name, starting at Allendale and ending at Wylam, which is ideal if you have a particular town or village to research. The only drawback, as a borrower pointed out to us, is that it doesn’t come with free samples.
The information in the book is pulled together from three sources: official statistics, as brewing has always been a thoroughly regulated business; from trade directories; and from ‘descriptive accounts’, very often drawn from local newspapers. The text is in interspersed throughout with black and white illustrations, images of brewing ephemera, such as bottle labels, photographs, awards and advertisements. These have a charm all of their own. Who could fail to be tempted by
‘Pratt’s celebrated INVALID STOUT –
Known all over the World for its Excellence and Purity –
For Tic and Nervous Complaints put half a Bottle into a saucepan and heat it on the fire.
It makes the weak, strong! The strong, stronger!’
Four and a half pages are devoted to Darlington, a total of 35 entries, again arranged alphabetically, Some of the names here will be familiar to current residents, The Turk’s Head, The Hole in the Wall, The Fleece, The Wheatsheaf and many others. What may be more of a surprise is to discover just how many brewing establishments there have been in the town over the years, and that a number were headed up by women. Mrs Alcock in Skinnergate had a ‘brewhouse, malting, granaries .. and an extensive common brewery’ in 1785. Elizabeth Best was brewing at the Bridge End Brewery in the early 1880s, Anne Dennison at the Fleece Inn, Blackwellgate around 1850. The Hinde family in Ridsdale Street were licensees before turning to brewing: George Hinde’s grandmother ran the Wheatsheaf and his mother, the Hole In The Wall.
One of the longer entries illustrates the way the business can be read as an entire social history in microcosm. The fortunes of The Lion Brewery in Hartlepool, owned by the massively successful Camerons are outlined over a couple of pages. The first premises were erected in 1852 by a man who died two years later, his widow taking over the brewing. The first Cameron arrived on the scene in 1865. From then on it is a tale of steady expansion and takeovers. (They acquired Plews and Sons of Darlington in 1925.) Towards the end of the nineteenth century Cameron and his wife provided free meals to those who were unemployed after the closure of rolling mills, breakfasting 2,500 poor people. One of the firms they took over at Stockton had hydraulic lifts powered by gas in 1898; a pneumatic malting was opened in 1908. By 1974 Cameron’s had some 750 licensed houses. Though it was itself taken over eventually, the name was preserved and still going strong in 2001.
Definitely worth a browse, even if you didn’t know you had an interest in the trade – the book is full of curiosities. We discover that Kelly’s Brewery in Hurworth opened in a former circus kennels. The Whitworth Hall Brewery in Spennymoor, ancestral home of Bobbi Shafto, re-opened for a short run in the 1990’s in the cellar. Would you fancy a pint in Newcastle at The Dog public house in 1833? The Brewhouse drew its water from the river…
The book will be on display in the Centre for Local Studies during July.
St. Cuthbert's Church by B. Bigland
Life and Work of the Northern Lead Miner
Arthur Raistrick and Arthur Roberts
This evocative book is chiefly made up of photographs, 200 in total, taken from a collection held at Beamish Museum. They cover the period of the later phase of Lead Mining in the North Pennines, including the Tees, Tyne and Wear Valleys, and some way into Cumbria and Yorkshire. Most of them were taken between 1860 and 1910. The first thing to say is, ‘Don’t skip the Introduction!’ The book opens with eleven pages giving the history of the industry and provides essential background for the photographic record. Even if you don’t intend to open a mine of your own – though there is enough detail, almost, to make that feasible – the text gives you the information you need to be able to interpret the visual evidence: not just what the photos are saying, but even, you begin to suspect, what the mute faces would be saying if they could.
Dim memories of O Level Geography lessons may be stirred by the description of the processes of mining for lead. The material covered includes the access to and extraction of the ore, the dressing and smelting of it and all the logistical paraphernalia associated with transporting it between the various stages. Obviously, entire books could be written about what is covered in single sentences here – the use of horses and ponies – and little boys; the chemical and mechanical ingenuity of a procedure that evolved through generations – from Roman times to the present day. Particular geographical points of interest may emerge for some readers, encountering familiar names and discovering what industrial history lies behind their now more tranquil environs, eg Greenside Mine at Helvellyn, the workings at Alston, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Eggleston and even Richmond – there is a picture of the Weighing of Lead at Richmond Station in around 1870.
It is the human story that will stay with you and, as ever, that is in the detail. We are told that a man would usually arrive at work – and it could be a long hike along the Level, or tunnel - ‘wet-shod’, unless he had uncommonly stout boots, because he would have been sloshing through the streams that were an inescapable feature of draining slopes, not to mention the water wheels used for hoisting in the deeper shafts. One job for the smaller lads was to be a ‘windy billie’, operating a hand blower to keep the air stirring. If you worked above ground in the smelting process, your face would be red-hot but the back of your neck forever in a draught, the ventilation necessary to stop you being poisoned by the fumes. The ‘dressing’ wasn’t much better, entirely exposed to the elements and constantly wet because everything to do with breaking down the first product, or Bouse, was conducted with the aid of water.
If nothing else, the vocabulary is fascinating: Scrabble players take note and ‘Call my Bluffers’ prepare to hazard a guess… as to the meaning of… Hushing, and Hotching, the Buddle and Tremmel, the Adit, Stope and Winze.
And at last to the pictures, which immediately make more sense in the light of the explanation that precedes them. The first ones cover very early stage mining, the opencast gashes and round ‘bell pit’ workings that date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There are small mine buildings as well as the more complex, extensive accumulations of machine housings that start to look like villages in their own right. Equipment and men, groups and individuals, countryside and interiors, all are accompanied with a little text to fix the scene and date. What most linger in the memory are inevitably the photographs of the work itself, the tunnelling, the primitive mechanical inventions, the obvious danger and difficulty, the dark and the dust. The last few photographs illustrate a little of the cultural life of the mining communities, its parades and bands. The final one, ‘The Farewell’, shows a Weardale mining family about to emigrate: 1880 onwards saw such a drop in the price of lead that many mines closed permanently.
This is a sobering book in many ways but a highly necessary one if we are to read our industrial landscape right.
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!
The Discovery of Teesdale by Michael D.C. Rudd Find out more
Lost Houses of County Durham and also Lost Houses of York and the North Riding both by Peter Meadows and Edward Waterson Find out more
A History of British Birds by Thomas Bewick Find out more
The Artists of Northumbria by Marshall Hall Find out more
Men That Are Gone from the Households of Darlington by Henry Spencer Find out more
Dreaming of Babylon, The Life and Times of Ralph Hodgson by John Harding Find out more
Sleigh Ride to Russia by Griselda Fox Mason
Ghosts of the North by Melanie Warren & Tony Wells
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
Darlington Racing Pigeon Society, Season 1909
William John Cudworth 1815-1906
Engineer & Quaker teacher
Fair in Market Place
by Arthur Haward
Covered Market with Market Cross by Arthur Haward
The Market Tower by A. B. Dresser, 1912
Frederick Milbank 1820-1898
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 the certificates.
Edward Pease (1767-1858), The Father of the Railways
by an unknown artist
St. Cuthbert's Church, 1912 by D. Allston
Arthur Pease 1837-1898
of Hummersknott, colliery owner & iron master
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