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!
Fair in Market Place
by Arthur Haward
Dreaming of Babylon
The Life and Times of Ralph Hodgson
by John Harding (2008)
Reviewing this biography, Chris Lloyd called Hodgson ‘the most highly regarded poet of his heyday, which was just before the First World War.’ (The Northern Echo 27/2/2009) Nowadays we might think of him perhaps as one of Darlington’s most forgotten famous men.
Hodgson was born in Garden Street in 1871; he also lived in Station Terrace, opposite Bank Top Station, which the book calls ‘Darlington slums’, after the collapse of his father’s coal business. He was the eighth of eleven children, left school at 14 and had what sounds like a rather wild and carefree adolescence. He eventually followed one of his elder brothers to London – Walker Hodgson was making a successful career in cartooning and illustration for the newspapers, having started out on the Northern Echo himself. It was into this world and through these contacts that Ralph began to make a name for himself. Some of his drawings are reproduced in the text, including, from much later in life, a quirky portrait of his third wife, one elegant boot disappearing behind a door as she leaves to do the dishes. He was in sufficient demand in Fleet Street by 1895 to be the artist sketching Oscar Wilde’s trials at the Old Bailey in the ‘Evening News’.
Much of the pleasure of this biography is in the incidental detail, the references to other more well-known names and thus a rather gossipy angle on the period in question. Ralph became great friends with Walter de la Mere and T.S.Eliot, for example. The latter pursued Hodgson for a while in the vain hope that he would illustrate his ‘Old Possums Book of Practical Cats’. Eliot wrote a ditty about him that ran, ‘How delightful to meet Mr. Hodgson! (Everybody wants to know him!)’ In fact, that seems to get to the heart of the matter, as Hodgson was a fiercely private man who strongly resisted the idea of publicity, and, indeed, the very thought of anybody attempting a biography of his life.
Hodgson had three marriages and lived on three continents: he taught at Tokyo University for five years and after that settled permanently in Ohio. He won prizes for his poetry, including the Polignac Prize in 1914 for ‘The Sword of Honour’, probably his most popular work and one, because of the subject matter and its timing, which gave a nationalistic slant to his reputation. Later, in 1954, he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He had many themes though, especially relating to the natural world, birds of all kinds and his abiding life-long passion for dogs. The book might have benefitted from printing some of the longer poems in full, letting them speak for the poet. He does not give the impression of having wanted to elucidate on them much himself. Enid Bagnold, the novelist and playwright, and a friend, commented that ‘he talked in pointers and always stopped before being precise’.
The Centre for Local Studies also has a copy of his book of poems; The Last Blackbird, so you can read some of his poems in full.
Dreaming of Babylon will be on display in the Centre for Local Studies throughout December.
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!
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
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
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