Letters: ‘Darlington Borough Council has a terrible record of looking after heritage sites, maybe they shouldn’t keep Locomotion No 1’ – The Northern…

Chess Engine

DARLINGTON COUNCIL should not be surprised at the breakdown of talks with the National Railway Museum concerning the councils claim to keep Locomotion No 1 at its Head of Steam railway museum (Echo, Feb 6 & 9)

Perhaps NRM, from whom the engine is on loan, is aware of the councils record of looking after the towns heritage?

When the Tubwell Row museum was closed, much of the collection, perhaps given by members of the public, was dispersed with the popular polar bear apparently eventually ending up in Middlesbrough; what happened to the geological collection?

The councils proposed closure of Crown Street library (opened in 1886 with 10,000 from Edward Pease) with a missing covenant, plans to move parts of the library to the Dolphin Centre, and large public demonstrations, all reflect badly on its heritage credentials.

Darlington College of Education was founded by the British & Foreign School Society in 1876 as a teacher training college (my mother trained there 1932-4). In 1978, with its imposing Gothic-style Victorian faade it became Darlington Arts Centre funded by Darlington Borough Council.

The council increased the charges for groups such as the sewing, chess, Scrabble and camera clubs which had to meet elsewhere, so that by 2012 the centre was losing money and was closed. The building stood empty for four years.

The borough art collection, with many donations of oils and watercolours given by members of the public, is another sorry story too long to tell here; no proper inventory or valuation or adequate display for some time.

Michael Rudd, Darlington.

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Letters: 'Darlington Borough Council has a terrible record of looking after heritage sites, maybe they shouldn't keep Locomotion No 1' - The Northern...

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