Crown Street Library (which was recently in danger of closure) was given a reprieve and hopefully will flourish well into the future in Crown Street. Thank you to all the people who campaigned so hard to make this happen.
Under pressure from public opinion, Darlington Borough Council had to decide the future fate of this iconic institution which was gifted to the people of the town to be used as a library forever, by the Pease family.
For financial reasons, the cabinet members on our council had decided that it was in the best interests of the town that the building should no longer be used for this purpose. The members of DBC were asked to decide whether or not the building which is in Crown Street, would cease to be a library and the books and archives and art collection split up and relocated in The Dolphin Centre (a sports and hospitality complex) and various other places around town. At the eleventh hour and after a lot of stressful and expensive legal tussles it was finally decided that our library should remain open at its traditional location. We believe that Darlington’s main town library belongs in this particular building and is an important part of the heritage of our town. Furthermore, we want to see it stay intact and go from strength to strength for as long as it possibly can. This place is the soul of the town and to lose it would be to lose part of our Quaker history and not only dilute our own sense of identity but deny future generations their hometown pride.
Since the late 1970’s we have had the privilege of stocking candles made relatively locally to us in Alston, by our friend and one of the finest candle makers ever, Ted Thompson. Apart from keeping small shops such as ours stocked, Ted has supplied candles to some more high-profile clients. His candle lit the celebrations on Glastonbury Tor on Millenium night, they have featured in Harry Potter films and they light parts of the famous Globe Theatre.
These are his hand dipped pairs which can be obtained in many gorgeous colours (he also supplies us with a fine range of beeswax candles). The colour runs right through each of his coloured candles. This lovely product looks great and burns beautifully too. The retail price for a pair is £2.80 and they are available on our website.
The title of our book which was published in September 2016 is…
THE SECRETS OF 24 BLACKWELLGATE…
The quaint little building number 24 Blackwellgate is central to our stories as can be gleaned from what follows:
‘The stories herein tend towards the supernatural including ghostly goings on, time travel, witchcraft and other spooky stuff.
They also touch upon social issues of the times they are set in, such as attitudes towards family values, same-sex love, relationships, religion, the class system and so on…
They will continue to flow from the author’s imaginations and into print to become a series. The first compilation covers various periods in time up to and including the 19th century. Any subsequent books will deal with different timescales right up to the present day.
This series centres on an attractive little building known as number 24 Blackwellgate, because we think it deserves to be famous simply for having managed to stay standing for so long whilst most of the other buildings around it have been demolished and rebuilt in different styles.
We also intend to expand our tales to take in Darlington in general, as we would love to clothe this beloved town in a mantle of legend, folklore, romance and mystery.
Whether part of the action takes place before number 24 was even built (as in Bridget’s story), in the tunnels below it (as in Rachal’s story), or in the rooms within it (as in Beryl’s stories), this surviving architectural gem of Darlington is the original inspiration behind it all.