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!
Book of the month
Mary Pease; a memoir.
Journals and letters, compiled by her daughter,
Marion E. Fox. 1911
Mary Pease was born in 1826 and died in 1909; her lifespan thus more or less covers the period when the Quakers were at their most influential in the town.
Mary herself was one of nine children. Her mother was a travelling minister, a campaigner on many fronts, favourite causes being temperance, anti-slavery and the Deaf and Dumb Society. Mary remembered how there was ‘often a bandage of vinegar and water across her forehead to mitigate the headache which was making the labour such a toil.’
Unsurprisingly one of the effects of being brought up in such an atmosphere was a certain seriousness of character. The children were taught to pray in the dark as it was thought that a candle would offer too many distractions. At aged 8 she was conscious of the difficulty of remaining focussed in Quaker services, confessing, ‘My thoughts wander much in Meeting’. When recording a game of charades played with her cousins she describes having to enact the words ‘Manufactory’ and ‘Fellowship’!
Nineteenth century Quakers were always travelling the country to meet up with each other, and so it was that Mary (in Wednesbury, Birmingham) first encountered the Pease family by way of visits to the Lloyd household from the nieces of her future husband, Henry. He was in fact twenty years her senior and a widower with a son. After a cautious and lengthy courtship they were blessed with a very happy marriage of twenty two years, producing five children of their own. Henry was the son of Edward (railway) Pease, and the man who made the heroic but ultimately unsuccessful journey with two friends to Russia, a journey made mostly by sledge, in 1854, to try to avert the Crimean War. He lived at Pierremont and had the vision to more or less build Saltburn, including planting the Valley Gardens, from scratch. He could also claim to be the first passenger to travel by steam train, as he had been on the maiden voyage, the trial run that took place the day before the official opening of the line on the 27th September 1895.
Married life was very busy. Henry was an MP, and eventually Darlington’s Mayor. As well as Pierremont, the family had homes in London, in Saltburn, and at Stanhope Castle in Weardale. In addition to holidays with family and friends in Cornwall, the Lakes, Scotland, there were also many foreign trips, including through France, Spain, Switzerland and Norway. Marion writes that she is astonished to realise how much ‘constant travelling’ her parents were doing, even as her father was nearing the end of his life.
Mary’s journals show how consumed she was with her own duties, what we would now call her ‘good works’ – and yet always castigating herself for not working harder. She was in fact immensely industrious, right into her advanced old age. To give just a flavour, she did secretarial work for thirty years for The Convalescent Home in Saltburn. (This was built in 1871 by the Peases, to give free care to the sick and poor of Darlington, Middlesbrough and Stockton.) She started ‘Mother’s Meetings’ in Darlington and Cockerton, providing a mixture of education, and both spiritual and material support. She opened an Orphan Home for twelve girls. She was on the Committee of Management of Darlington Training College and of the Homes for Waifs and Strays. She was on the Board of Guardians and President of the YWCA. Marion has a daughter’s eye to the practical work involved in all this – it was not just a matter of attending meetings, but of writing endless letters, visiting the sick, keeping accounts, covering books, even making clothes for the orphans. She was also behind the invention of first Coffee-House that opened in Cockerton in 1879, aiming to offer a counter-attraction to the Public House. This was a project that apparently did some useful work for some years, but due to the difficulty of finding suitable staff and because of ‘the insubordination of the young men’ had regretfully to be given up. One more lasting by-product of that initiative was the formation of the Cockerton Brass band. Somehow she also found time, for what she called the ‘pleasant employment’ of writing contributions for the Friends’ Essay Society– a Darlington Quaker tradition that persisted for decades.
‘Our mother was a praying not a preaching mother.’ There is always the danger that a book like this comes across as something of a hagiography, especially when put together by a close relative. It bears some of the hallmarks of its time, Victorian in tone and possible a little cloying in its religiosity, for example in the preoccupation with good deaths as proof of Faith. There are so many and mysterious deaths. Babies born and rejoiced over – but ‘taken home’, ie to Heaven, within hours. Just by the way, we come across a description of the sad and untimely end of Edward (the Library benefactor) Pease. The families had set off together on one of their journeys abroad in 1880. She writes how ‘he had charmed us all in those first days in Paris by his brightness of mind and unselfishness in the midst of suffering and weakness – we felt he was in a critical state but did not realise we would never see him again. At Lucerne he passed quietly away. So ended one of the most beautiful lives it has been our privilege to know.’
If nothing else, the human trajectory here – journals which began when she was 14 and continued into her 80s – is compelling. Serious and sensitive, Mary was driven and held herself to very high standards; but the impression she gave to those around her was of unusual gentleness and inner calm. The diaries show equal parts faith and self-doubt. Her intense grief at the loss of Henry is very touching: ‘The fruits upon the trees he knew so well are ripening under the warm sunshine as they have not done for years. Where is he? What is he doing?’ They are reunited in burial in Skinnergate, both names on the same gravestone.
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!
Darlington Official Handbooks Find out more
Muckraker. The Scandalous Life & Times of W.T. Stead, Britian's First Investigative Journalist by W. Sydney Robinson Find out more
British Bookplates by Brian North Lee Find out more
The Quintessential Cornish. The Life & Work of Norman Cornish by Robert McManners & Gillian Wales Find our more
Alan Kitching, A Life in Letterpress by John L Walters Find out more
Memorial & Record, European War 1914-1918. Pease & Partners, Limited, Darlington and War Memorials in Britain by Jim Corke Find out more
The Brewers and Breweries of North-Eastern England, A Historical Guide by Brian Bennison Find out more
Life and work of the Northern Lead Miner by Arthur Raistrick & Arthur Roberts Find 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
Kate Jackson by Sydney H Wood
Kate Jackson was leader of the Darlington Orchestral Society and with her sister Agnes ran a musical academy in Esson Road, 'The Misses Jackson - Pianoforte and Violin'
Kate died in 1959
Darlington Racing Pigeon Society, Season 1909
William John Cudworth 1815-1906
Engineer & Quaker teacher
Hospital Bazaar Opening Ceremony, 25th October 1905
Darlington General Hospital, Greenbank Road, officially opened by the Mayor Mr. J.B. Hodgkin, 6th February1885
Clapham's Rope Works, Tubwell Row
South East Aspect of Darlington in 1760
by Samuel Wilkinson, Del., J. Bailey, Sculp.,
Fair in Market Place
by Arthur Haward
Covered Market with Market Cross by Arthur Haward
The Golden Nag, advertisement and 1910 calendar for J. W. Wright, Saddler and Harness Maker, 4, Priestgate, Darlington
The Market Tower by A. B. Dresser, 1912
Laying of the foundation stone of the Edward Pease Public Library, 4th June 1884, photographer unknown
Darlington Market Place, by F. Lawson
Frederick Milbank 1820-1898
Coach & Horses by Samuel Tuke Richardson
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
St. Cuthbert's Church by B. Bigland
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
Hannah Maria Whitwell (1778-1866) by an unknown artist