The summer holidays may well be over for another year but there’s plenty more fun to be had as Darlington looks forward to a spectacular September.
Visitors to the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum can look forward to a packed programme of exhibitions and events which kick off with the annual Model Railway Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, 31 August and 1 September, 10am-4pm. There will be a wide variety of layouts from members and visiting enthusiasts on show.
Exhibitions include the latest from the North Eastern Railway Association – ‘Trains, boats and planes (and other railway activities)’ which opens on Tuesday 3 September and runs until Sunday 13 October.
The North Eastern Railway Cottage Homes 100th anniversary will also be celebrated in an exhibition which runs from Saturday 7 September to Sunday 1 December, and features contributions from local people and their memories of living in the homes.
There’s also a special Family Fun Day on Sunday 29 September as the museum celebrates the 194th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Entertainment will include face painting, balloon modeller, mini train and lots more, with entrance just £2 for adults, £1 for children and under-fives (and family members) free.
The little ones can enjoy an all new Bookstart Rhymetime on Mondays and Fridays, from 16 September, offering feel-good fun for babies and pre-schoolers and their parents/carers. The free sessions run during term-time in Crown Street Library and require block booking in advance. For more information and to book call 01325 349610.
Friday, 13 September is Roald Dahl Day and library staff are inviting youngsters, aged two years and above, to celebrate with some whizz-popping storytelling from Imagine Me. Tickets are £2.50 per child, with sessions at 10.30am and 2pm at Crown Street Library. Tickets must be booked in advanced through Eventbrite.
September will also see a new display within the Centre for Local Studies – The Remarkable Hush Hush – offering visitors a chance to discover more about the experimental steam locomotive and its connections with Darlington.
Both Head of Steam and Crown Street Library will also be among the local venues taking part in the annual Heritage Open Days, which will this year span ten consecutive days, 13-22 September, offering free admission at a host of venues across the country.
The Head of Steam will be offering free entry on the weekend of 14 and 15 September while Crown Street Library will be hosting its popular Heritage Open Day Tours offering a behind the scenes look at areas not normally open to the public. Tours will be held at 10am on Saturday 14, Wednesday 18, and Saturday 21 September and at 2pm on Thursday 19 September. Tours are free but must be booked in advance at the Centre for Local Studies within Crown Street Library. Other venues taking part include the Friends Meeting House, Elm Ridge Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Church and St Andrew’s Church. For more information about Heritage Open Days visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk
The latest of the evening Pease Pudding Markets will take to the Market Square on Thursday 5 September serving up a host of tasty treats from award-winning food vendors alongside carefully selected craft ales, artists, market stalls, music and entertainment.
Don’t forget Darlington’s Summer of Sound also continues into September with a host of music at venues across the town. The Last Train Home, a music and comedy festival organised by local music collective Tracks, on Saturday 7 September will see more than 50 musicians and comedians perform at various venues.
The ever-popular Rhythm and Blues Festival returns to the Market Square on the afternoon of Sunday 15 September bringing together some of the best original sounds of the blues, while many local bars will be hosting bands offering music well into the evening.
September is also a busy time for Darlington Hippodrome with a selection of shows on offer including An Evening with Brian Blessed (Wed 4 Sept), Wannabe: The Spice Girls Show (Sun 8 Sept), A Murder is Announced (Tues 10 to Sat 14 Sept), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Tue 17 to Sat 21 Sept) and In The Night Garden (Sat 28 and Sun 29 Sept). For full details of all productions available call 01325 405405, visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk or pop in to the theatre for a coffee and a bite to eat whilst flicking through a season brochure.
Councillor Paul Howell, Darlington Borough Council cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said:
“There’s still plenty going on in Darlington for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy. So do come along and make the most of what’s on offer here in Darlington.”
To find out more about our Summer of Sound and other events in Darlington visit www.darlington.gov.uk/events