Monday, 21 July 2014


A bright sunny day in Darlington. It wasn't originally my intention to visit the town, but there are two clock towers immediately visible from the train on the way to Newcastle, so it had to be worth making the trip.

The first stop, as so often, is the station. In this case it is particularly relevant as Darlington has one of the longest associations with railways of any town in the world, with the first ever passenger railway services operating in 1825 on the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

So, a quick look around the station reveals two clocks. The first two are identical clocks on the two main platforms.

The third clock is to be found in the taxi road, under a magnificent arched roof.

This is an example of Potts & Sons horological craft (more of which later).

Wandering around the platforms you can't help noticing a large bell - surely trains are given the right of way by someone blowing a whistle, not hitting a very large bell? All is revealed by the handily placed plaque:

And this leads to the question, is there still a clock tower with a clock in it? And the answer is yes!

And then comes the thought - you can't see this from the train as you are underneath, so there are at least another two clock towers in the town. Hurrah.

The truly amazing clock tower is to be found in the town centre, and forms part of the Market Hall designed by Alfred Waterhouse (of Natural History Museum fame, which I may have mentioned before as being one of the most magnificent buildings in the world).

The other tower visible from the train turns out to be the church of St Cuthbert, a Grade I listed building originally dating from 1183.

Some less spectacular settings for clocks now. First up is Northern Goldsmiths on Blackwellgate.

It may be a less spectacular setting, but it still looks good.

Next is Bramwells the jewellers in the wonderfully named Post House Wynd, although it looks like they have now vacated the premises.

Back to the grander buildings, and to the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College on Vane Terrace.

This was originally the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, which can trace it roots back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Next up is Holy Trinity church in Woodland Road, dating from 1838.

The premises of funeral directors are often adorned with a clock, and Seaton Leng at the junction of Broadgate and Greenbank Road are not ones for bucking the trend.

The company was founded in 1891 by Mr Seaton Leng, who was also Mayor of Darlington in 1920 - 21.

Time for a stroll in the park, South Park to be precise. The park offices include the William Potts memorial clock, presented in July 1901 to commemorate the founder of Potts Clocks who was a native of Darlington before establishing his company in Leeds. the clock was inaugurated on 5 September 1901.

As promised, more on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. A short length of track in the park claims to be from the original railway line.

And then it is time for just on more clock in Darlington on this anonymous building in the south-east of the park.

1 comment:

  1. I think you've n missed the b one vms on Morrisons on North Road b up from B&q the original one from the railway works but we'll done you got a few I've never noticed 😉