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Street names of West Park Garden Village

Artwork in the residential area takes the form of naming the streets and placing short verses on each street-sign. Each area has a separate theme relating to the industrial and agricultural history of Darlington and the surrounding area. You will find this division into three elements wherever you go in West Park, from the central park itself with the three Trinity Stones to the village centre with its three motifs based on the trees planted nearby.

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Street Signs

The text on each street-sign is designed to be read many times, whether glanced at in passing, or reflected upon during a stroll around the houses. So it may be read by itself, or in relation to neighbouring signs, or with regard to the overall themes of the whole area. This reflects how we gradually absorb roadsigns or historical notices – deepening our involvement when we feel receptive, passing them by when we do not.

For more information and maps please visit Friends of WestPark here.

You can also download the street maps for Westpark here: Map 1 | Map 2

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The Peases and the Railways

The Peases were a nineteenth century Quaker dynasty of great significance to the industrial revolution. Coming from a background in the textile trade and moving into the coal industry, the wealth and vision of Edward and Joseph Pease and their family was instrumental in the development of the railways, providing funds to enable both George Stephenson and Timothy Hackworth to develop steam engines which subsequently transformed the landscape, changing how fast both goods and passengers could be transported.

George Stephenson Drive
When Darlington had need of George

what marvels rocketed from his forge.

Locomotion Lane
The first train fired by skill and chance

led the world on its tireless dance.

Timothy Hackworth Drive

Though history likes to simplify

don’t leave this pioneer behind.

Belah Court
Here Bouch’s triumph used to stand,

the highest viaduct in the land.

Paradise Way
In this staithe hundreds of passengers dined

to mark the first train journey’s end

Sans Pareil Square
The first and last of Hackworth’s creations

shared this name – and his innovation.

Swinbridge
This stone skew bridge across the Gaunless

saw steam shift from doubt to dauntless.

Rainhill Way
At Rainhill Rocket won the trial

and shrouded Hackworth’s Sans Pareil.

Chaldron Court
This coal cart's load became the measure

doling out our blackest treasure.

Bleath Ghyll
One week snowed in upon this hill,

a whole train dug good cheer from chill.

Catcastle Court
Left to the lichen and the lark,

this quarry reopened to furnish Westpark.

Raisby Lane
That flint tool found in Raisby’s earth

was the seed that led to masonry’s birth.

Edward Pease Way
Ned’s way cuts through work to wisdom,

through hospital, park and school to home.

The Colling Brothers & Shorthorn Cattle

Just as the Peases helped to develop the railways, so the Colling brothers, working on farms just outside Darlington, played an important part in the accompanying agrarian revolution by developing modern breeds of cattle. In order to feed the growing populations who were living in the new industrial towns and cities, livestock needed to mature young and give a high meat yield. The shorthorn cattle bred by Charles and Robert Colling became the first clearly identifiable breed reliably to do both.

Collingsway
Two brothers produced the finest stock

to feed the cities’ dens of folk.

Bakewell Mews
Improver Bakewell first saw the need

for more meat was met by the beasts you breed.

Teeswater Drive
This was the North-East’s standing breed

that gave the Colling men the lead.

Skerningham Avenue
This old farm housed the choosy father

of Charles and Robert, best of farmers.

Holderness Drive
These cattle had Celtic ancestors

mixed with Roman and Danish steers.

Colpitts Lane
Miss Colpitts was young Charles’ catch

in love and business both his match.

Hubback Square
Hubback was the humble sire

upon whose back was built the future.

Old Favourite’s Walk

She was the finest heifer, called

Old Favourite, and mother of them all.

Wildair Close
Her line was carried near and far

like dandylion or sycamore.

Comet’s Garth
This well-shaped bull was roan as Mars

and briefly shone: a breeders’ star.

Redrose Close
Her thorny blooms sway everywhere

a bull breathes out in calm or care.

Shorthorn Lane
This is the breed that Teesside planned

and proved the first across the land.

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John Fowler and the Steam Plough

Fowler brought the new technology of steam to bear on the growing of crops. Funded by the generosity of the Peases, he developed a machine to plough faster and more efficiently than horses. Just as the steam train gave way to diesel, his steam plough was the forerunner of firstly the steam tractor, then the modern machinery of the farmyard. As with Stephenson, Hackworth and the Colling brothers, his ingenuity helped place Darlington at the centre of a century of such radical transformation that it still shapes our lives today.

John Fowler Way
John Fowler has prophetic nous

and saw that steam could drive ploughs.

Elizabeth House
He hoped his industry might please

Lizzie, the daughter of Joe Pease.

Winding Way
Three Boro mayors made winding gear,

John learnt their skills for two short years.

Turf Lane
He watched the Irish famine eat,

so built a plough that drained the peat.

Shingle Way
He dreamt on Brighton’s shingle shore,

tide’s ploughshare turned the waves and roared.

Research Close
Stephenson’s factory was the place

where Pease told John his mind could race.

Jeremiah Drive
He worked with Jeremiah Head

so no field felt a horse’s tread.

Tillage Green
By 1856 steam power

could till an acre in an hour.

Marriage Way
In 57 John reinvented

an old proposal - Liz consented.

Prize Drive
In 58 he broke new ground

and tried to win five hundred pound.

Ploughman’s Crook
John’s red-hot engine cast a clout

of rocks that knocked his ploughman out.

Steam-Plough Place
His horseless steam-plough won the award

both fame and workload quickly soared.

Hunt Mews
His stress found an ironic balm:

he rode, fell, met with final calm.

Invention Row
From plough to tractor, steam gave way,

but Fowler’s genius broke the clay.

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Mines & Dams

Lead mining has been a Teesdale industry since Roman times. As with the railways, innovative minds of the Industrial Revolution like Thomas Sopwith devised ways to increase production. From the late nineteenth century onward, it became important to supply industry and a growing population with clean water. Over seventy years, engineers like James Mansergh and Julius Kennard designed a series of dams which accomplished this, but their civic goal later clashed with conservation of the dales’ unique ecology.

Mansergh Road
The Manserghs, man and son, conceived

dams in the dale for Tees’ relief.
 

Hury Way
From Broken Scar, then Blackton and Hury,

came water for all, clear and unhurried.


Balderhead Street
From Grassholme, Selset, Balderhead

the dale was made one watershed.


Kennard Road
Kennard was a hard-nosed man –

conserving flora was not his plan.


Dine Holm
Kennard proposed: fill it to the brink –

households must wash, and industries drink.


Cow Green Lane
Where Teesdale’s gentians once assembled

now only the reservoir’s wavetops tremble.


Thomas Sopwith Way
Sopwith saw through stone to lead
and modelled the minerals under our tread.


Galena Lane
Lead in the veins of the dales brought wealth

though miners’ lungs be robbed of health.


Middlehope Way
Hush and wheel-pit, buddle and leat:

words rest like shafts beneath our feet.


Killhope Crescent
Lead into gold: old Alchemy’s trope

performed each day by the mine at Killhope.


Spar Box Close
Let miners’ minerals endure
as spar-box worlds in miniature.


Smithsonite Street
James found zinc spar’s true constitution;

founded truth’s largest institution.


Nenthead End
Highest village on the Pennine’s spine

and deepest ballroom: dance in the mine!

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Dickens & The Arts

The Teesdale area has long been both home and inspiration to the arts, including Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), whose Jabberwock, based on the Sockburn Worm, is celebrated throughout Westpark. Charles Dickens’ novel Nicholas Nickleby is set nearby, as is Sir Walter Scott’s poem Rokeby, which inspired both Turner and the Russian composer Glinka. Local eighteenth century composer John Garth retired to Cockerton after a long association with Charles Avison, who was a pioneer of classical music performances in Newcastle and Durham cathedrals.

Dodgson Drive

That nonsense was born in Croft-on-Tees

at least the Cheshire Cat agrees.

Logic Lane

While logic alone would drive you mad,

the Hatter might ask where some could be had?

Looking Glass Lane

‘On which side of the looking glass

did Alice live?’ The answer? ‘Pass.’

Lewis Carroll Close

A logician lost to introspection

might wonder which was his reflection?

Venus View

The Rokeby Venus, in her mirror,

secretly eyes her secret admirer.

Walter Scott Avenue

To fund a castle, Scott wrote a poem,

but Rokeby furnished more than a home.

Rokeby Road

Scott’s romance like a rumour survives:

by rivers its views and its melodies thrive.

Turner’s View

Turner piled Greta onto Tees,

creating anew how our world sees.

Glinka Grove

Because the Russians love their Scott

Glinka composed to Rokeby’s plot.

Avison Grove

Cathedrals, like radios of the North,

heard Avison pour his music forth.

John’s Garth

In Cockerton, Garth’s concerti flowed

till, composing himself, he set down his bow.

Balaguer Grove

He named the Eixample’s streets in a year –

yet Victor’s tribute’s not there, but here.

Gilroy Grove

The Guinness ad artist, to settle a debt,

painted a bar where Dickens’ folk met.

Nickleby Lane

Dickens saw learning grew through play

and kindness alone could pave its way.

Newman’s Walk

This original ragged philanthropist

though eccentric of gait would rush to assist.

Smike Wynd

Hard knocks might have skewed poor Smike

but his heart was greater than all despite.

Browdie Road

North Yorkshire yeomen, like to John,

are blokey, broad – and dependable on.

Dickens’ Drive

Charles, knowing poverty’s as cruel

as cruelty, made both writing’s fuel.

Linkinwater Lane

Keeping the books kept Tim in a wage

content as his blackbird, in its cage.

Cheeryble Chare

Charity’s twins, old Charles and Ned,

gave cheerily – thus was Nicholas wed.

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Archaeology & The Assemblage

Among the unique assets of the dales are the rare plants and flowers known as the Teesdale Assemblage, carefully recorded by horticulturists from James Backhouse to Dr Margaret Bradshaw. Historically, the Darlington area has sat on a main route since before the advance of the legions, and traces of both the Romans and local tribe the Brigantes are plentiful. Medieval sites are no less rich, for instance in nearby Archdeacon Newton. (More streets will acquire archaeological names as this latest phase develops).

Black Poplar Avenue

Slow burning poplar: a popular wood

medieval matchstick men thought good.

The Assemblage

Catalogued by careful labours:

the high dales’ hopes, our own rare neighbours.

Globe Flower Close

Tees’ double dumplings: buttery worlds

are in their meadows’ sweet selves furled.

Cranesbill Lane

The crane’s beak, dipped in washy ink,

pleads where it can: pause, and think.

Lady’s Mantle Lane

There’s alchemy in her Latin label,

this large-toothed leaf that’s almost fable.

Pennycress Lane

Beside the lead-mine, pennycress

is nursed upon the spoil heap’s dress.

Rockrose Gardens

Only the sugar limestone fell

suits the stubborn rockrose well.

Eyebright Way

Eyebright in ale would cure all ill –

glimpse it in hay-meads by Cow Green still.

Saxifrage Way

Saxifrage, clonal if left alone:

porcelain-white at Egglestone.

Viola Wynd

The Teesdale violet thrives on the edge

of fell-sides, survives in Widdybank’s wedge.

Hawksbeard Walk

Ragged-leafed dandy, shaken awake

to a district of reservoirs, not lakes.

Juniper Avenue

To twist itself each juniper tree

will take its own tart century.

Gentian Close

When you climb past Cauldron Snout,

seek the star-faced gentians out.

Iceflower Lane

This petal alphabet, long kept

by Tees: our ice age manuscript.

Mortimer Wheeler Drive

In digs from Harappa to Wheeler’s Wall

he found the foundations supporting us all

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Love Where You Live

We are extremely proud of West Park Garden Village and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

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Download The 2023 WestPark Levy Trust Newsletter

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