Darlington is a town in North East England and the main population centre in the Borough of Darlington. In 2003, Darlington had a resident population of 100,390. The town lies within the traditional and ceremonial county of Durham. On 1 April 1997, the Borough of Darlington became a unitary authority, which separated it from the non-metropolitan county of Durham, for administrative purposes.
Darlington’s main railway station lies on the East Coast Main Line. There are also services from the historic North Road railway station and associated Darlington Railway Centre and Museum. The town is also home to the football team Darlington F.C., known as “The Quakers” because of the contributions made to the town by men such as Edward and Joseph Pease, members of the Religious Society of Friends.
The Civic Theatre is a popular arts venue in the town, hosting a mix of musicals, dramas, plays and pantomimes. The smaller but well-used Arts Centre, founded in 1982, features smaller events, film screenings and more experimental material.
The Rhythm’n’Brews festival is a music and real ale festival normally held in early autumn, with many rock, blues and jazz acts playing at various venues around Darlington, as well as a Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) run bar at the Arts Centre.
The Forum Music Centre, opened in 2004, hosts regular live music events, from Ska and Punk to Indie and Classic Rock. Also runs a popular comedy club. As well as live music, the facility houses a state of the art recording studio and several rehearsal rooms. The Carmel Rhythm club is another place for music. Held at Carmel College in the Hummersknott end of town. A charitable organisation for the Carmel PTA (Parents and Teachers Association). Attracts many large bands in the genre of Rhythm and Blues.
Darlington Dog Show has been a Championship event since 1969. It was normally held in September on the showground in South Park, although in more recent years it has moved to Ripon.